Vatican envoy denies interfering in Malaysia ‘Allah’ spat
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Vatican envoy denies interfering in Malaysia ‘Allah’ spat

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The first Vatican ambassador to Muslim-majority Malaysia has denied trying to interfere in a highly sensitive legal battle over the use of “Allah” as a translation for God.

Some Muslim activists have urged authorities to expel Archbishop Joseph Marino for commenting last week on a court struggle by the Roman Catholic Church’s newspaper in Malaysia to overturn a government ban on “Allah” as a Malay-language translation for God.

Marino had been quoted as saying in remarks to Malaysian journalists that a leading Malaysian Christian group had presented “logical and acceptable” arguments to support its stance.

Marino’s office said Malaysia’s foreign minister called Marino to his ministry Tuesday. It says Marino told the minister his comments “were never intended as an attempt to intrude into the internal affairs of the country.”