We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,735 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Vatican cardinal decries fear of Muslims, says Saudi Arabia should permit churches

Catholic World News - January 06, 2010

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who served as the Vatican’s foreign minister from 1990 to 2003 and was appointed president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in 2007, has called upon all nations of the world to enshrine the right of religious freedom in their nation’s laws.

“Currently religious freedom is assured in various Muslim countries, for example in those of the [Persian] Gulf, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, where nearly two million Christians do not have any possibility of gathering for their celebrations or in order to pray … They feel tolerated rather than a partner in public dialogue. And this does not do anyone any good.”

Commenting on the recent Swiss referendum that banned the construction of new minarets, Cardinal Tauran said that “naturally it is necessary to harmonize construction with the atmosphere in which it comes to be a part, with the city landscape, the cultural context, and the complex of the laws and norms that regulate the life of the society.” However, he described as “alarming” the “feeling of fear” that was associated with the vote. Decrying ignorance of Islam, he said, “I wonder if these persons [who are afraid] know Muslims, if they have ever opened the Qur’an.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,735 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,665.00
93% 7%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jan. 06, 2010 8:41 PM ET USA

    What alternate universe does the cardinal inhabit? Even in the "most" tolerant of majority Muslim countries such as Turkey, churches cannot be repaired or replaced, any public appearance of non-Muslim religious symbols or media is punishable under law. Ask a Christian in any Muslim majority country what is the meaning of "fear".

  • Posted by: Steve214 - Jan. 06, 2010 4:27 PM ET USA

    I wonder if Cardinal Tauran has ever opened the Qur'an. If he had, he should know that it is not ignorance of Islam which produces deep concern--it is knowledge of Islam.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21