Quran reading in diocesan church cancelled; interfaith event planned
CHARLOTTE — A plan to allow for the reading of the Quran during a Mass at St. Peter Church in uptown Charlotte later this month has been cancelled. In its place parish leaders plan to host an interfaith dialogue in October.
St. Peter Parish had agreed to take part in a June 26 event called "Faith Shared" in which priests, rabbis and Muslim scholars read sacred texts in each other's houses of worship. The event is a project of two groups, the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First.
In announcing the cancellation June 7, Father Patrick Earl, pastor of St. Peter, noted that a 2004 Vatican document, "Redemptionis Sacramentum" expressly forbids the reading of texts from other religions during the celebration of Holy Mass. Fr. Earl was not aware of the Vatican prohibition when he agreed to host the event.
Fr. Earl said his intent in taking part in the event was over a concern about the lack of respectful dialogue taking place between the Christian and Muslim communities nationwide. The pastor cited a recent incident in which two Muslim imams, en route to Charlotte for a conference on Islamaphobia, were denied access to their airline flights.
"There is animosity in our country...between the Christians and Muslims and the Christian community needs to address that," Fr. Earl said.
The plan to allow the reading of the Quran was in its formative stage. Fr. Earl had not yet contacted a member of the Muslim faith to conduct the reading.
St. Peter Church will host an interfaith event during the month of October as part of its observance of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
St. Francis engaged in a well-known interfaith dialogue during the fifth crusade in 1219 when he met with the Muslim sultan of Egypt. As recently as January of this year, Pope Benedict spoke of the cordial reception that Francis received even though he was "armed deliberately only with his faith and his personal meekness." The Holy Father also pointed out that the meeting was "a model that should inspire relations between Christians and Muslims: to promote a dialogue in truth, in reciprocal respect and in mutual understanding."
-- David Hains, Director of Communication
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy