Abu Dhabi opens second Catholic church

You may remember this item from a few days back. Now, it’s official:   A second catholic church in Abu Dhabi was inaugurated on Thursday evening in the presence of Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state and Bishop Paul Hinder, [Read More…]

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Hundreds gathered in Arizona to protest Muslims—and then this happened

That rally—in which armed protestors stood outside a mosque, wore profanity-adorned t-shirts about Islam, and screamed—resulted in this epiphany for a couple of the protestors: Jason Leger, a Phoenix resident wearing one of the profanity-laced shirts, accepted an invitation to join the evening prayer inside the mosque, and said the experience changed him. “It was something [Read More…]

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Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims preparing together for papal visit to Bosnia

View image | gettyimages.com From Reuters:  Preparing for the visit, Bosnians of all faiths are showing a rare unity in a country plagued by political and ethnic tensions nearly 20 years after the end of its 1992-95 war that claimed over 100,000 lives. While the pontiff’s June 6 visit is the most eagerly awaited by [Read More…]

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Muslims call on world to protect endangered treasures of Palmyra from ISIS

From my colleague Fr. Elias Mallon, over at the CNEWA blog One-to-One: Now that ISIS has gained control of Palmyra — and, some fear, could destroy many of the priceless artifacts in the ancient Syrian city — an important Muslim voice has been raised, calling on the world to protect and defend these treasures. Al [Read More…]

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Cardinal: Christians, Muslims “still don’t know each other well enough”

From CNS:  “Despite 50 years of ‘Nostra Aetate,’” the Second Vatican Council’s document on interreligious relations, “we still don’t know each other well enough,” said French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.Speaking May 19 about Catholic-Muslim relations, Cardinal Tauran added, “Most of the problems we face are problems of ignorance.” [Read More…]

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Historic: Muslim imam earns masters in theology at Catholic Seattle University

From The Seattle Times: The premise of Abdullah Polovina’s story sounds like the start of a bar joke: A Muslim imam walks into a Catholic university … Except it’s true. Polovina, who leads a congregation of Bosnian Muslims in Portland, did just that. And in June, he’ll walk out to “Pomp and Circumstance.” The 41-year-old [Read More…]

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Meet the newly ordained Catholic priest with two Muslim daughters

This may be one of the most unusual vocation stories you’ll ever encounter. From The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:  Like most seminarians, the Rev. Dennis Saran could tick off the many influences that bolstered and shaped him in his yearslong path to the priesthood. There was his Catholic upbringing, of course. His teacher-priests and fellow seminarians. Long-dead [Read More…]

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Learning about Islam from a Catholic archbishop: “In a way, the Quran is a sacrament, a sign of the presence of God”

NPR profiles Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, a veteran observer of the Arab world, former nuncio to Cairo and a leading Roman Catholic expert on Islam: Now retired, the archbishop has turned his attention to writing and lecturing; this spring, he is a guest instructor at John Carroll University, a Jesuit institution in Cleveland, where he is teaching a [Read More…]

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Journey to Jordan: Waking up to the Muslim call to prayer—and walking ancient streets

After yesterday’s long plane ride, I slept fitfully but somewhere around 5 a.m. found myself hearing the not-too-distant call to Muslim prayer—a sound both mournful and humbling. I figured it was a good time to get up and pray, anyway, so climbed out of bed and did Morning Prayer.  “All you heavens, bless the Lord,” I [Read More…]

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Meet the Muslim building a chair for Francis in Bosnia

From AP:  Salem Hajdarovac says he didn’t sleep for a week when he heard his workshop had been granted the honor of carving a special chair that Pope Francis will sit on during his visit to Bosnia. Hajdarovac, 61, and his 33-year-old son Edin, both devout Muslims, started working on the chair on Monday in [Read More…]

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