Tuesday, October 22, 2002

California priest apologizes for anti-Islam remarks

At a Sept. 11 memorial service at the Chico church, Fulton spoke out against Islam, reportedly calling it a religion that fosters violence and saying that Muslims in general represent a threat.

One person who heard Fulton's homily on Sept. 11, Bonnie Roy, a student at Chico State University, said she was shocked by the priest's words "in a setting where you expect people to be open-minded and reflective and tolerant."

She complained about the sermon to Bishop William Weigand, who heads the Sacramento Diocese of the Catholic Church.

Fulton said Weigand responded to the complaint by having the diocese's staff theologian talk to him. That discussion convinced him he'd been somewhat ignorant about Islam and Catholic teachings on that religion, he said.

"I acknowledge that Islam 'has a long history of tolerance,' and that among its central tenets are forgiveness and returning good for evil," he wrote to the E-R. "I acknowledge that it was wholly wrong to blame all Muslims and Islam itself for the heinous actions of a few."

After talking to the diocese's theologian and re-reading certain church documents, Fulton said he realized his statements on Sept. 11 were "totally contrary to Catholic teaching and conduct, and to the efforts of both the Holy See and the diocese to promote harmonious relationships between (Christianity and Islam)."

Well. Were the Detroit 4 called in to talk to a "diocesan theologian?" Have they apologized for misrepresenting Church teaching yet?



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