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Catholic School Provides Muslims With Prayer Room, Parents Outraged

Parents of students at the private and all-boys Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan are protesting the creation of a prayer room used by the Muslim students.

In an email to local station WXYZ, one parent claimed it was "unconscionable" and would undermine her child's religious education. John Birney, the school's president, says that several parents have emailed him to share their disapproval.

He responded by saying "Is [the prayer room] something that compromises our faith and identity, or is it, in fact, consistent with the respect that we have? We are Catholic in the sense that we share the 'good news.' We are not Catholic in the sense, 'Hey, if you're not Catholic, don't bother coming here.'"

Birney said that out of the 650 students, there are a few who don't practice Catholicism. Birney went on to say "When the question was, 'Is there a place that I can pray?' the answer that evolved was yes. We have this sacred space available for you if you want it." There haven't been any students who have complained.

John Everley, whose children went to the school, told Fox 2 News, "I see the parents -- they're worried. They see things out there, but the worst thing is to separate and assume the worst about everyone."

A few years ago, a Catholic high school in Ontario, Canada created an Islamic prayer room. The archdiocese spokesman, John Kohn of Detroit, said "The Archdiocese of Detroit has provided Brother Rice High School with information in regards to the precedent in the Catholic Church for respecting the religious liberty -- including the ability to pray -- for non-Christians who are present at a great number of Church institutions worldwide, including schools, universities, hospitals, soup kitchens and shelters. Such respect for non-Christian people of faith is in keeping with what the Church teaches and what the Church Fathers put forth at the Second Vatican Council."

Photo: Right Wing News

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