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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Ecumenism or self-repression?

At Benedictine University, they are allowing Muslim students to pray in the Catholic chapels, the article begins with

Mohammed Ahmed and Abrar Anwar draw curtains to cover the wooden altar, the pulpit and stained-glass images of St. Benedict and Jesus carrying the cross. Faruk Rahmanovic helps them move plastic chairs to the sides of the room and unroll colorful prayer rugs stashed in a cabinet.

Chicago Tribune | Different faiths, same spirit

Now, while I don't have any problem with Benedictine permitting Muslim students to pray on school grounds, I am a bit more uncomfortable with the covering of the altar and Catholic images, especially images of Jesus. I realize that such images may make Muslim students uncomfortable, but don't think that a Catholic school should attempt to hide its Catholic identity. Jesus was and is a sign of contradiction.

Perhaps a different building or structure could be used to both allow the Muslim students to pray while not attempting to hide Benedictine's Catholic heritage.


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