I have posted here and on Ninglun’s Specials a few items already about some of the travails of the Catholic Church, and about World Youth Day, but I also said a while back that I didn’t intend to rain too much on their parade. I still am prepared to see the positives in the event, and this story in today’s Sydney Morning Herald really is worth noting.
POPE Benedict XVI may have raised the ire of the Muslim world almost two years ago when he invoked a harsh medieval description of Islam during a speech in Germany, but for almost 300 Catholic pilgrims, an Islamic school will be home during World Youth Day.
“Pope Benedict clarified his comments on Islam,” said Pinad Elahmed, a teacher in charge of inter-religious activities at Malek Fahd school in Greenacre. “Anyway, no one here even thought of it when we decided to offer hospitality to the pilgrims.
“We are Muslims but we are also very committed Australians and that means living in a multicultural, multi-faith country. We want to be a role model of generosity for all Muslims. “This is not unusual. After all, the prophet himself opened his house to Christians.”
The 281 pilgrims will bunk down in the gymnasium and several classrooms. “They will basically have the run of the place,” Ms Elahmed said.
Yes, one could be cynical: but why should we be in this case? Why not just welcome such a development?