Losing My Religion: Multi-faith prayer rooms in U.K. Catholic Schools

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Catholic truth in England and Wales took a hit today with the release of a new document calling on Catholic schools to set aside multi-faith prayer rooms to accommodate Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh students, according to guidance.

A document issued by the Catholic Education Service said facilities for other faiths should be made available in all primary and secondary schools if possible.

Catholic schools in England and Wales should also consider adapting toilet facilities to accommodate ritual cleansing, the document said.

The guidance also said “respectful understanding” should be shown to pupils of other faiths who are withdrawn from or remain silent during Christian worship.

The advice – issued on behalf of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales – comes in response to new rules forcing all state schools to promote “community cohesion”.

Schools must foster race relations and religious tolerance to stop communities becoming divided. Read the full story  here.

6 thoughts on “Losing My Religion: Multi-faith prayer rooms in U.K. Catholic Schools”

  1. Amen. God’s House Will be called a House of Prayer for all peoples and nations and tongues.

    He who welcome the least of these welcomes Me, for the Angels always see the Face of The Father in The Kingdom of Heaven.

  2. I think this is a wonderful development – it shows a true desire to encourage harmony in our society
    by respecting others – there are many paths to salvation –

    I fail to see how this breaks thefirst commandment – Muslims do not worship idols – they have no false gods – can you truly say Allah is not also our Heavenly Father? What would you prefer – a society characterized by sectarian violence and mistrust?

  3. Hi Cecelia

    Thank you for responding. Below is why I believe it is not wise to create (or be forced to create) worship spaces for Muslim children in Catholic schools…

    You said,

    I think this is a wonderful development – it shows a true desire to encourage harmony in our society
    by respecting others

    It is widely known that the Koran denies the divinity of Jesus Christ. This antichristic error has been played out in history previously beginning with the manifestation of Islam, which in effect denies the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity by denying the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    The western world is currently experiencing, through radical Islamic fundamentalism, a flare up of this same antichristic behavior as was known in the 6th-7th centuries when Islamic military forces destroyed ancient Christian communities as well as invaded Europe. The attempt was made then, as it is now through Islamic terrorism, to destroy Christianity completely–and was nearly successful.

    The Catholic Church, as the pillar and bulwark of truth, beginning with Vatican II has encouraged respect and dialogue with Islam and encourages harmony in society through respect of others as well as by promoting religious freedom. That does not mean we deny in any manner whatsoever the Divinity of the Word made flesh, the only Son of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, Begotten not made, and One in being with the Father, Jesus the Christ–The Only Savior of the World…

    You said,

    There are many paths to salvation

    As the Word of God (His Divinity), in whom all things came into being, Jesus is the fount and final fulfillment of all authentic divine revelation found in mankind’s search for the one true God within the world. Still today, ”the coastlands await his teaching.” And if I might be so cynical–still await another re-teaching…

    By his Incarnation (Humanity) He unites in his divinity (as God) our humanity, and confirms for us that all flesh (yours and mine included) came into being through the same Word who was from the beginning with God and was God—and thus we find in Jesus the Christ (alone) the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy—“all flesh will know I am God.” There is only one Word.

    As you may notice above Cecelia, it is Jesus who reveals the Holy Name of the only true God, and He was sent to do so in accord with the plan of salvation. Our salvation comes through the Jews, The God of Israel… Your post does not reveal if you are a Catholic/Christian or not but man’s redemption and salvation, and even that of the entire created universe, is only accomplished in, through, and with Jesus Christ. Your saying that “there are many paths to salvation” is erroneous if they do not end up becoming paths leading to Jesus. He alone opens and noone closes, closes and noone opens… This is a spiritual reality discovered within the very origin of the Catholic/Christian faith–the Sacred Heart of Jesus.. And noone will enter through the gate of heaven except through this sacred and all-holy wound; as heaven is pure and free from all evil and sin, and men are in need of washing…by blood (and water).

    Yes, I can easily and truthfully say that Allah is not my heavenly Father, because God is spirit and we must worship in spirit and truth; and my own flesh has known the Spirit of Truth who reveals Jesus to be the Christ, the Same Spirit which led me as a convert into the Catholic Church.

    In his Gospel, Jesus has given us the clearest definition of himself as God made man, by saying:

    “I AM the way and the truth and the life”

    By His saying I Am “the way”: Jesus is exclusively the way to eternal life, punctuated also by his self-revelation, (and the spiritual reality), that “no one goes to the Father except through the Son.”

    By His saying I Am “the truth”: Jesus reveals his absolute reliability because he is Divine Truth, and thus, the fulfillment of man’s search for absolute truth.

    By His saying I Am “the life”: Jesus reveals life eternal, as he says “I am the resurrection and the life”; The life of the Father eternal, and the very source of life for all others.

    I will leave you with Jesus own revelation as God on earth, without any predicates, so you might reconsider the syncretism that currently prevails in the modern world—that is, that all paths lead to salvation… They do not. Here Jesus reveals His deity in His own words, and the results of unbelief today, (in too many ways), resemble those of what he suffered in the flesh at the time of their utterance:

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM”.

    As we know from Sacred Scripture, “At this, they picked up stones to stone him”. They were trying to kill him because claiming to be the Son of the Father he was making himself “equal with God” And He is…

    As for breaking the first Commandment, Jesus didn’t. He fulfills all the commands. And as Catholic/Christians and members of the one mystical body whose lives are now hidden in Christ, (and not Allah), we can only do the same by believing in and following the command:

    “I am the Lord thy God; thou shall not have strange Gods before me.”

    To introduce Islamic prayers to Catholic/Christian children in Catholic schools is to introduce anti-christocentric confusion within the lives of these little ones as they are being formed in absolute truth; and ultimately is unfair as well to Moslem children in denying them the truth of paradise as discovered within the Gospel–and found wholly–in the person of Jesus Christ, Who still says through His Church to all peoples and coastlands: “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved…”

    Peace to you and yours Cecelia.

    James Mary Evans

  4. From Cecelia:
    Editors Note: Posted from a e-mail:

    I appreciate your thoughtful reply. However, I guess I have a bit more faith in the power of God and the Church. A false belief may have its day but it ultimately cannot triumph. We must be steadfast in faith and scurpulous in following the teachings of Christ, but we must know that the true defender of the faith is Christ Himself. The Church will prevail not by our human power but by the power of truth – the power of Christ. Children in Brit Catholic schools cannot be confused if they are being taught well within their own homes and by their teachers. If they experience confusion it is not because we show charity to Muslim students by allowing them space but because we fail to teach well. I do not think Jesus ever envisioned His Church as a citadel locking others out. Consider that the example of a people so strong in their own faith that they can accomodate divergent beliefs – think of the power of such an example to bring souls to the Church. Are we a “yes” people or a “no no no” people? I suspect Christ wants us to be a confident, loving people so sure in His truth that we can be an example of His love. Thank you for your attention

  5. Hi Cecelia

    Thanks for responding again, my apologies for missing your e-mail until this evening. Here’s my response:

    I too believe in the power of God and the Church. I do however also recognize the revelation of eternal vision present within the truth of these following words:

    “When the Son of man returns will he still find faith on earth?”

    At the very least these words draw up a reasoned scenario concerning the state of Catholic faith preceding the day of His return.

    So where are we today?

    I suggest that the mysterious repetition of betrayal carried on throughout time beginning with the first Good Friday is immensely far greater and more universal today as was then.

    How many Catholics over the course of the past 40 years–having received the powerful grace and truth of God through the bath of regeneration and the rest of the sacraments of initiation, confirmation, and particularly, the Eucharist–do we know today who repeat by there witness in the world and Church the very same words of Peter:

    “I do not know this man.”

    Here in America according to the latest research analysis we find a partial answer [HatTip/Fr. Sirba]:

    […the Catholic Church has lost to other religions or to no religion at all 35.4 percent—or more than one-third—of the 64,131,750 of its native-born members to other religions or to no religion. This amounts to almost seven out of every twenty adults who were baptized as Catholics. Had the Catholic Church retained all of these individuals (which of course has never been the case—there have always been people leaving the Church), Catholics would now account for 34 percent (or 76,500,000) of the adult population of the United States. Adding children to this number would place the total Catholic population in the United States at over 100 million.

    So where has the 10.1 percent of the population that has left the Catholic Church gone? What has happened to those 22,750,000 people who have left? They have joined the following groups (note here that because of rounding, these figures are approximate and don’t add up to the 22,750,000 figure):

    Hinduism: 36,000
    Islam: 54,000
    Orthodox Christianity: 67,500
    Judaism: 114,750
    Mormonism: 267,750
    Buddhism: 364,500
    Jehovah’s Witnesses: 409,500
    Other liberal faiths: 621,000
    Historic black churches: 621,000
    Mainline Protestant: 3,665,250
    Evangelical Protestant: 6,509,250
    Unaffiliated: 9,780,750

    Keeping in mind that by baptisim each of these souls and their lives are hidden in Christ as scripture attests, by this we find, (although rarely admitted, and even less addressed) a true crisis of faith. You can click this link http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=50099 concerning the U.K., but, the good news will be just as lacking–and most especially within the very heart of Christ in the Spirit–the searcher of hearts.

    I don’t know Cecelia, it’s not a matter of locking Muslim children out of Catholic schools (they already attend). The Catholic schools are being pressured by government(and bishops are folding) into introducing multiple faith practices that honor foreign Gods under the pretext of multi-cultural understanding, of which for Catholics can only be considered syncretism. “Go and teach…” is an eternal command–in order that men might find the one true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent.

    The desert of this time resembles another desert time within salvation history—the 40 years the Jews spent in the desert whereupon they themselves turned to worshipping false Gods.

    We must preach the Gospel in season and out…There is no other way.

    peace to you and yours…
    james mary

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