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Sunday, January 7, 2007
Bishop Asenjo: No Use of the Cathedral Allowed by Muslims

A few weeks ago, a group of Muslims from Spain asked Bishop Juan Asenjo Pelegrina of Cordoba for permission to worship in the Cathedral of Cordoba, which used to be a mosque in medieval times. Thankfully, the bishop has denied their request.

In a Dec. 27 statement responding to the request, Bishop Asenjo said he believed Cordoba's "relatively small" Muslim minority -- less than 1 percent of its 350,000 inhabitants -- did not need extra facilities
However, he added, the Catholic Church held "irrefutable historic titles" to exclusive use of the cathedral and believed that sharing it would "only generate confusion among the faithful and give rise to religious skepticism."

"The Christian roots of Cordoba and its 1,700-year Christian history deserve respect," said the bishop. "Catholics in Cordoba wish to live in peace with believers of other creeds. But we do not want to be continually subjected to pressure that contributes nothing."


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