The Deacon's Bench

You might think so, based on some reports.

But the rector of the cathedral in Sacramento explains:

First of all, the “Qu’ran blessed at California cathedral” was misconstrued and of course the event was not in the Cathedral building but merely on the steps allowing visibility from the square.

The term “blessed” has distinct meaning in our Catholic faith. There was no such action in that event. Unfortunately, the term which was used by a Presbyterian Minister and adopted by the media could be misunderstood. During the event some people went forward to place a rose on a table holding a copy of the Qu’ran which perhaps could mistakenly be seen by the unknowing as a “blessing.” Also, it was stated that “During the ceremony, Father Michael Kiernan, rector of the cathedral, read from the Beatitudes.” I did not read anything and did not even participate in the event. The facts are as follows:

The Interfaith Service Bureau (ISB) of Sacramento made up of many denominations planned an event for the public square not owned by the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. The previous Sunday, a wonderful presentation of the commemorative stamp of Blessed Teresa was held with our Bishop present in the same space. The ISB asked if they could use the Cathedral steps to allow people to see what would be going on in the square. Everything was outside the Cathedral on the steps and no one entered the sacred space. This was all the participation by the Catholic Church, except for a Franciscan priest from another parish, who read a short scripture passage. The event was brief, led by Dr. David Thompson, a Presbyterian Minister, who is President of the Interfaith Service Bureau. There was no opening prayer (hence no combined prayer) and there were no speeches of any kind. A few passages from the Qu’ran were read by various faith representatives. It lasted about 20 minutes after which those gathered sang a hymn “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

Read the whole thing. Seems that, once again, the media screwed it up.

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