The following flyer is being distributed by the lay ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation this weekend as a humble attempt to understand, in a serious way, what the Ground Zero-Mosque building proposal means in light of our saying we believe that Jesus Christ makes a difference in the way we live and see reality around us, and how He is truly present among us. If we really believe that Christ abides with us, then how do you (we) evaluate value of the current Christian-Muslim-unbeliever tensions? Do we, as believers, assess reality according to the way everyone else does, or do we Christians assess reality in a new way, in the way Christ sees reality?
The proposed construction of an Islamic center and mosque at
Ground Zero has resulted in the outrage of many Americans and the recent public
discussion about “Islamophobia” in America. These events provoke us to affirm
1. We notice a growing tendency to manipulate circumstances to
serve as a pretext to create a public furor that demands people make a choice
between one of two pre -packaged, ideological positions. We refuse to engage in
a debate about whether or not to build a mosque at Ground Zero. The reality of
Islam in America brings up questions that go much deeper than that of the
construction of one mosque.
Indeed, one critical and open question is how contemporary American
culture comes to grips with the human person’s religious sense.
2. Many of
those among the cultural elite, as well as many who hold the levers of power in
our nation, have abandoned the religious tradition that informed the lives of
the vast majority of their ancestors: Christianity. They have reduced it to a
moral code or a vague myth, linked to a man dead for more than 2,000 years. Instead,
they have embraced a “scientific” outlook on human life. But science provides
no answer to those questions that continuously gnaw at the human heart, such as
the problem of justice, the meaning of human life, or the problems of suffering
and evil. In fact, science tends to stifle them. Hence, contemporary American culture finds itself weak and
tremendously uncertain about any response to universal human inquiries and
3. Just over two weeks ago, we marked the 100th anniversary of Mother
Teresa of Calcutta’s birth. One who looks at her sees a resplendent human
person, overflowing with love for everyone, especially strangers of different
religions. Her humanity touched all: religious and atheist; Muslim and Hindu;
rich and poor. Mother Teresa’s life invites anyone who seeks truth to open his
or her heart and mind and take a fresh look at Christianity.
4. For serious
Christians, the challenge of Islam, the large-scale abandonment of
Christianity, the emptiness of the dominant culture, and the witness of Mother
Teresa signal the urgent need for conversion. Pope Benedict XVI recently said
that “conversion…is not a mere moral decision that rectifies our conduct
in life, but rather a choice of faith that wholly involves us in close
communion with Jesus as a real and living Person.” The Pope brings us face to face with the defining difference
between Christianity and Islam: one religion bases its response to the human
person’s religious sense upon a message delivered 1,400 years ago, while the
other offers the experience of a Man who died but is alive and present with us
today. As Fr. Juliàn Carròn,
President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, recently affirmed:
Jesus’ message and even all the miracles He performed were not enough to
overcome the sadness of His disciples on the road to Emmaus –only His risen
presence could ignite their hearts once again.
5. We are not Islamophobic, nor
do we fear our post-modern world.
On the contrary, we invite all to look at Mother Teresa and at the Man
to whom she gave her life. In His
Person, present with us today, all can find the Truth that alone will deliver
the freedom America promises.
Communion and Liberation
September 11, 2010
Benedict XVI, General Audience,
Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, February 17, 2010 (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20100217_en.html)
cfr. Luke 24: 13-35
Here’s the text for easy printing: CL Sept 11, 2010 Flyer.pdf