Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fr. Patrick Earl, SJ, “Just Having Something Public Is Not Going To Be A Big, Big Deal Here.."

Fr. Patrick Earl, S.J.

At St. Peter's Catholic Church, a Jesuit parish in Charlotte has canceled plans to read the Qur’an from the pulpit on June 26, the feast of Corpus Christi.  

“Just having something public is not going to be a big, big deal here, but to have someone come in and read from the Qur’an and to recognize publicly the existence of Islam and to reverence and respect is a good thing for the Church to do,” Father Patrick Earl, S.J., said on May 27. “I’ve heard from Muslim imams about what they and their congregations have suffered just from the fear, the fear of what they call Islamophobia.”  

On June 7, Father Earl announced the cancellation of the event; he said that he had been unaware that 2004 Vatican instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum forbade such readings. The document states that “it is strictly to be considered an abuse to introduce into the celebration of Holy Mass elements that are contrary to the prescriptions of the liturgical books and taken from the rites of other religions.”  

Link (here) to read the original story at Catholic Culture



TonyD said...

Different communities get different lessons. Just as we can recognize that people are seen differently by God, we can recognize that communities are seen differently by God. God may say something to a Saint that He doesn’t say to you. The things that He tells a Saint may not be true for you.

Maria said...

What's next? Strippers for all the sex workers who feel "oppressed"?

Andrew said...

He had been unaware of Redemptionis Sacramentum?!? Looks like the Jesuits are getting great liturgical training.

Anonymous said...


Jesus taught us "The He is The Way, The Truth and The Life."

Hosting a reading of the Quran, which denies Christ's Divinity, is not appropriate for a Catholic Church.

Mary said...

A discussion of Islam may be appropriate in a different venue (ie.,the parish center)if it doesn't contradict the tenets of Catholicism. Unfortunately, any honest reading of the Qur'an would have to address the following Muslim beliefs: 1)There is no such thing as a "Mother of God," 2) God is not our Father, 3) Jesus will return at the end of the world to destroy the Cross (and people of the Cross).

There is nothing wrong with learning about other faiths, and there is certainly nothing wrong with reminding people that everyone is entitled to respect. But in fairness, the good father might want to ask the imam the following questions:

1. Is there any mosque in the country--or in the world--where there's "outreach" and positive discussion of the contributions of Christianity, Judaism, and non-Western religions?

2. Why are Christians and Jews forced to accept second-class status in Muslim-ruled countries? Why are their places of worship destroyed? Why is it illegal for Muslims to convert to other religions? Why does discussion of "Islamophobia" never mention concrete examples of Muslim leaders promoting the right of other religious practices?

Father Earl should travel to Egypt and spend some time with the Coptic community, or go to Serbia and talk to some of our Orthodox brothers. Maybe his congregation will benefit from his more informed impression of Islam.

TonyD said...

Anonymous 12:12pm,


You know, most of our daily life is hard to understand from the perspective of the Bible or the Magesterium. It’s kind of like looking at your life through the prism of the legal system -- “Don’t go more than 25 in a school zone” is a law, and a deep understanding of the law itself (“30 is definitely more than 25”) may not do much to help anyone cultivate appropriate values.

Maria said...

Andrew: Here is Fr. Earl's educational background:

Fr. Patrick Earl, SJ, currently serves as pastor of St. Peter Church in Charlotte. He completed his doctoral studies in theology at Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley, California and has taught theology at St. Joseph’s University. At Loyola University in Baltimore he served as
Rector of the Jesuit community, Director of Campus Ministry and taught theology.

And, yet, we are being asked to believe that somehow, with a Doctorate in Theology, he was unaware of Redemptionis Sacramentum? This strains the imagination. I'll not comment on the implications of this assertion.