In what has to be one of the most bizarre and foolish thing I’ve read recently Catholic Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne last week unexpectedly banned Catholic childrenÂ from praying with Muslim classmates.
Apparently the basis of this ban was that “The image of God in non-Christian religions is not identical with the God who is Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Surely when we’re talking about (catholic/muslim/jewish) children, the fact that they’re praying AND getting along with people of other faiths in a christian/muslim/jewish manner is enough.
They’re not going to understand the dogmatic distinction between a catholic praying to god versus a protestant praying to god versus a jew praying to god versus a muslim praying to god (which all 4 groups would acknowledge is still the same god, separated by human dogmatic differences (whether you believe Jesus is the son of god vs. not the son of god vs. just another prophet). More importantly they shouldn’t have to, and for the Cardinal to try and impose division on children seems both callous and pathetic.
Thankfully it sounds as though he is pretty much being either ignored or openly criticised for the stance, and once again the chuch as an organisation is being marginalised because it continues to focus on dogmatic minutae and maintaining it’sÂ power, while ignoring the major themes of love, tolerance, understanding and community on which most people base their faith.