"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Archbishop Dolan offers to help in NYC mosque debate

New York City, N.Y. (CNA/EWTN News).- As the controversy over the planned building of a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York City grows increasingly heated, Archbishop Timothy Dolan urged the different factions to carry on a “respectful discussion” and offered to mediate between those who support the plans and those who oppose them.

Photo Source: The Rocking Traddy
The New York archbishop made his remarks in a brief and impromptu news conference on Aug. 18 at Covenant House, a Catholic facility in Manhattan for homeless youth.

“My major prayer is that what has turned into somewhat of a divisive issue might develop into an occasion of very civil, rational, loving, respectful discussion,” he stressed.

Archbishop Dolan then praised both New York Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson for their contributions to the debate, though both are on different sides of the issue.

"Mayor Bloomberg articulated in a particularly of eloquent way the principles of religious freedom and the hospitality on which this great country and this wonderful community is based," the archbishop said.

Bloomberg supports the plans for the mosque and Islamic center, and according to ABC News, has said it would be a "sad day" if the project is canceled. Governor Paterson, however, has offered to hold discussions with the imam and mosque developers in order to find another suitable location.

“I think the governor’s initiative is welcome," Archbishop Dolan said. "Both of what they (he and Mayor Bloomberg) are trying to do is bring people together to look into this problem.”

The prelate then cited the example of Pope John Paul II, who advised a group of sisters in 1993 to move from their convent at the former Auschwitz death camp after protests from Jewish leaders.

“He’s the one who said, ‘Let’s keep the idea, and maybe move the address,’ ” the archbishop said. “It worked there; might work here.”

“Those who wonder about the wisdom of the situation of the mosque, near such a wounded site, ask what I think are some legitimate questions that I think deserve attention,” he added.

When asked if he would play a part in the ongoing discussions over the planned mosque and Islamic center, Archbishop Dolan replied, “I'd be honored to ... If I can be a part, say but the word.”

“In kind of a backdoor way, I think we already are (a part of the discussion) in the archdiocese,” he added, in “more of a quiet, behind the scenes way – a lot of our pastors in that area and a lot of other religious leaders are part already of the conversation that needs to keep going on.”

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