Catholic World News

New York priest: Ground Zero mosque controversy reminiscent of anti-Catholicism

October 11, 2010

The pastor of New York State’s oldest parish says that the controversy over the construction of a mosque near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attack is similar in some ways to the controversy over the construction of his own parish in 1785.

“Many of the charges being leveled at Muslim-Americans today are the same as those once leveled at our forebears,” said Father Kevin Madigan, pastor of St. Peter’s Parish, which was damaged in the terrorist attack. Father Madigan recalled that Protestants attempted to disrupt the parish’s Christmas Mass in 1806 because they viewed the holiday as a “popish superstition.”

The leaders of the mosque, he added, should “make clear that they are in no way sympathetic to or supported by any ideology antithetical to our American ideals, which I am sure they can.”

Further information:
Sound Off! 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 8 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Guest6455 - Oct. 12, 2010 10:41 AM ET USA

    There are rules for the construction of Catholic churches also. The issue is not if "Mosques can be built", but if for that particular place the people (eventually through their representatives), can oppose the construction. In fact, it is next to the place where a couple of thousand were killed by the same group. It they are really responsible people, that they should pay compensation to the victims and the owners of the buildings.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Oct. 11, 2010 2:29 PM ET USA

    Foolish remarks comparing apples and oranges. Catholics were not guilty of having suicide squads targeting Protestants nor engaging in the killing of innocent people in the US to advance the Catholic religion.

  • Posted by: Obregon - Oct. 11, 2010 2:26 PM ET USA

    I find the comparison to be "repugnant" at best. Those of us who opposed the building of a mosque near ground zero know that it is legal to do so but that the decision is not prudent at all. When was the last time that "Catholic" terrorists threw planes against buildings? If that had been the case, I could see an argument against building a Catholic church close to buildings destroyed by fanatic Catholics.

  • Posted by: lcdaniels9370 - Oct. 11, 2010 1:05 PM ET USA

    If a mosque should not be built at "Ground Zero", why should one be built anywhere in our country?

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Oct. 11, 2010 12:40 PM ET USA

    What Fr Madigan is discussing the cartoonish mis-characterization of the opponents of the Ground Zero Mosque. This is clear as no one actually holding those views in the article is identified. Also, the anti-Catholics of 1806 were not asking for the church to be moved, but either not to be built, or if built, burned down. Finally, any article alleging anti-Muslim prejudice in New York City should mention the city has over 150 Mosques including several in lower Manhattan.

  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Oct. 11, 2010 11:14 AM ET USA

    I have to agree with tucsonjay. More false charity, I'm afraid. If the muslim group building the mosque wants respect and good will they can have it by simply moving the buidling site.

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Oct. 11, 2010 8:53 AM ET USA

    Catholics don't riot in the streets, murder film makers or make death threats to those that have harsh words for the Church the way Muslims do. Catholicism is also part of our Western heritage while Islam has historically been our enemy. Anyone can make a statement that they don't support terrorism but unfortunately Islam as a whole seems to support it. Seeing that Muslims are allowed to lie to "infidels" it makes no difference what politically correct statement the imam says. Wake up America!

  • Posted by: - Oct. 11, 2010 8:47 AM ET USA

    Question for Fr. Madigan: Did a group of Catholic terrorists once slaughter scores of American citizens in the name of Catholicism near the site of your church, just a few years before your church was built? No? Then your comparison of the two has absolutely NO validity. None.