Archbishop: Muslims' Request to Pray in Spanish Church is Not Permissible

May 2, 2004

Source: Zenit

On May 2, 2004 Zenit reported, "Is it permissible to allow Muslims to worship in a Catholic church? The answer is no, according to Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The question, asked by a Spanish Muslim, had sparked a national debate in that country, as followers of Islam in Spain wish to be able to worship in the cathedral of Cordoba, a former mosque. In statements to AsiaNews, Archbishop Fitzgerald clarified that no official request has been made to the Holy See. It was simply communicated in a personal capacity in March by a Spanish Muslim during a dialogue meeting of the pontifical council, he said. 'A general reflection is needed here,' Archbishop Fitzgerald said. 'As there are monumental buildings in Cordoba, there are also others around the world which currently have a use different from that of the original -- like the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, now an Islamic museum, despite pressure put on by some Muslims to use it again as a mosque.'"