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From the Wall Street Journal:



Islamic group gets OK to cut crosses off NY church
Associated Press


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A city board on Thursday gave a Muslim group the go-ahead to remove six crosses from the roof and spires of a century-old former Catholic church so the now-vacant Gothic structure can be used as a mosque.

More than 200 people had signed an online petition calling on the Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board to deny an application by North Side Learning Center, the church's new owner, to remove the crosses and build a six-foot chain-link fence.

Before the vote to allow the church alterations, Chairman Don Radke said the board cannot interfere with a decision that involves religious freedom.

About a dozen people who spoke at the meeting were evenly divided for and against the church conversion, The Post-Standard reported (http://bit.ly/1mDNxfs ).

Petition-signers, who included some local residents and former church parishioners, had argued that the former Holy Trinity Catholic Church was a neighborhood landmark built by German immigrants 100 years ago and removing the crosses would deface the architecture.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse closed the church in 2010 and merged the parish with that of St. John the Baptist because of a declining congregation as population shifted from the city to suburbs. The North Side Learning Center, a nonprofit group that provides literacy programs for immigrants, bought the church and its school and rectory for $150,000 in December.

Vox[ Wrote:I'm sure the $800+K spent on "counseling expenses and settlements for victims of sexual abuse" didn't help either. Thanks, guys! And thanks for the great catechesis that helped keep those pews full and help Catholics see the radical differences between the Holy Faith and Protestantism! Good job!

Yusuf Soule, the center's director, has been the public point-person for the mosque effort. He said the crosses must be removed because the Islamic faith prohibits worship of idols and symbols.

Vox Wrote:Seems as if they're intimating we DO worship "idols and symbols," doesn't it? Nice touch.

A report by the nonprofit Onondaga Citizens League last summer said more than 7,200 refugees have resettled in the Syracuse area over the past 10 years, with the majority from Burma, Bhutan and Somalia.

To be honest, the shame is on us for losing that church building to the World, and to its false religions. Let them have the structure and destroy the crosses. Let them tear down the Hagia Sophia and St. Peter's, if they have to. Whatever it takes to enliven our complacency and overheat our lukewarm hearts. Something has to compel us to reclaim what we have lost by negligence.
(04-06-2014, 08:46 PM)Heorot Wrote: [ -> ]To be honest, the shame is on us for losing that church building to the World, and to its false religions. Let them have the structure and destroy the crosses. Let them tear down the Hagia Sophia and St. Peter's, if they have to. Whatever it takes to enliven our complacency and overheat our lukewarm hearts. Something has to compel us to reclaim what we have lost by negligence.

    Amen!

MC
Much too late to do anything about this now. My question on this is why the Muslims chose an abandoned church? Is it that the town allots a certain amount of land for religious purposes and so a new mosque can't be built, or is there perhaps a symbolic nature to this, i.e. Islam taking over Christianity?
(04-06-2014, 08:46 PM)Heorot Wrote: [ -> ]To be honest, the shame is on us for losing that church building to the World, and to its false religions. Let them have the structure and destroy the crosses. Let them tear down the Hagia Sophia and St. Peter's, if they have to. Whatever it takes to enliven our complacency and overheat our lukewarm hearts. Something has to compel us to reclaim what we have lost by negligence.

Well said.
(04-07-2014, 03:03 AM)mortify Wrote: [ -> ]Much too late to do anything about this now. My question on this is why the Muslims chose an abandoned church? Is it that the town allots a certain amount of land for religious purposes and so a new mosque can't be built, or is there perhaps a symbolic nature to this, i.e. Islam taking over Christianity?

It might simply be economics. I would imagine it's cheaper to take over an existing building than to build new. It would especially appealing to take over this particular building if it faces East, towards Mecca.
(04-07-2014, 10:19 AM)PrairieMom Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-07-2014, 03:03 AM)mortify Wrote: [ -> ]Much too late to do anything about this now. My question on this is why the Muslims chose an abandoned church? Is it that the town allots a certain amount of land for religious purposes and so a new mosque can't be built, or is there perhaps a symbolic nature to this, i.e. Islam taking over Christianity?

It might simply be economics. I would imagine it's cheaper to take over an existing building than to build new. It would especially appealing to take over this particular building if it faces East, towards Mecca.

It sounds like they got a good deal.
I think we should not be attached to symbols, even crosses and crucifixes. Catholicism has multitudes of statues, crosses and other holy representations, not all of them in very good taste. And anyway, these crosses on an empty, abandoned church aren't exactly a positive message. They should be transferred to an active parish. When it comes to symbolism I'm reminded of an old Zen saying --- "When pointing at the moon, don't mistake the finger for the moon." 

--- Frank
(04-07-2014, 11:22 AM)fgorin36 Wrote: [ -> ]I think we should not be attached to symbols, even crosses and crucifixes. Catholicism has multitudes of statues, crosses and other holy representations, not all of them in very good taste. And anyway, these crosses on an empty, abandoned church aren't exactly a positive message. They should be transferred to an active parish. When it comes to symbolism I'm reminded of an old Zen saying --- "When pointing at the moon, don't mistake the finger for the moon." 

--- Frank

Actually they are referred to as sacramentals. They direct our attention away from the world and toward God. They remind us of Holy Saints and religious who have gone before us and won the battle.
And really, zen?
(04-07-2014, 11:22 AM)fgorin36 Wrote: [ -> ]I think we should not be attached to symbols, even crosses and crucifixes. Catholicism has multitudes of statues, crosses and other holy representations, not all of them in very good taste. And anyway, these crosses on an empty, abandoned church aren't exactly a positive message. They should be transferred to an active parish. When it comes to symbolism I'm reminded of an old Zen saying --- "When pointing at the moon, don't mistake the finger for the moon." 

--- Frank

This all sounds more buddhist than Catholic. We shouldn't have inordinate attachments to symbols but we should have a sense of respect for them, most especially if they are actually blessed and rendered into sacramentals. That a violent sect that engages in false worship is both removing the signs of mans redemption and taking over a consecrated Church and using it to worship a false God should cause us to be a bit upset.
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