Saturday, January 21, 2017


I was struck by how insistent and without fear of being labeled non-inclusive, the Protestant ministers at the presidential inauguration used the name of Jesus over and over in their prayers. One went so far as to use the Gloria Patri.

Shouldn't Christians let go of the Holy Name of Christ in Interfaith and no-faith services so as not to offend anyone who may not pray through Christ our Lord? 

My own feeling is that if I am asked to give a prayer in an ecumenical or interfaith service, that I would  be respected as a Catholic priest who represents the Catholic Church and Jesus Christ the sole mediator between God and man. I would not attend an interfaith service where Jesus Christ is disrespected or neutralized or religious differences are falsely neutralized.

I would expect a Jew to pray as a Jew does, a Muslim as a Muslim does and any other world religions to pray the way they pray. If I disagree with these kinds of prayers, then I would not go. But if all are respectful and respect the purpose of the prayer service, than so be it.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Rather than, "so as not to offend" might better be expressed, "so as to respect the other."

An interfaith event is not the same as a Christian event. If a person is not able/willing to participate in a way that is respectful of others, he/she should decline the intervention.

We as Catholic can do this without giving up our own beliefs or offending others by trying to impose our beliefs.

Similarly, if a non-Christian participant says, "You can't use the name of Jesus in this event," then the non-Christian should examine his/her own role.

It's not that difficult, really.

GenXBen said...

Doesn't the Bible repeat lay warn us to avoid mentioning Jesus when it's impolite or awkward?

Rood Screen said...

I agree with Father Kavanaugh on this one. Everyone knows that Catholic priests believe in Jesus Christ, but not everyone believes in Jesus Christ.

What's entertaining is listening to a Unitarian minister, or an LCWR nun, trying to offer a comprehensible prayer at a public gathering!

TJM said...

But using the name of Allah is just swell because cowards don't want to get their heads cut off! That being said, it is probably better to refer to God or our Creator.

Gene said...

If it is an inter-faith event, then all faiths should be mentioned, especially the Christian faith since it is the only true faith, worshipping only the one true God. Incarnate of the Virgin Mary in Christ Jesus. Tough stuff if they are offended. What is it that the Bible says about "refusing to confess me before men"...Kavanaugh, maybe you can tell us.

Gene said...

Dialogue, re: "everyone knows that Catholic Priests be;lieve in Jesus Christ..." Not so fast...I would wager that a good many of them do not and are only remaining in the Priesthood because they are not hiring down at Universal Wheel and Brake or Wal Mart.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The female bishopess of the Episcopal. Athedr with crozier in hand gave the final blessing with the Sign of the Cross: may almighty God bless you, the Creator, Sanctifier and life Giver. Of course materialistic Christians thank God for what He/She/it accomplishes rather than Who God is.

Rood Screen said...

Gene makes a good point that, if it's "interfaith", then the prayers should fully reflect the various faiths, especially the true one.

But there should also be a Rastafarian smoking dope, and some shaman slaughtering a chicken!

Gene said...

When praying, Christians should not acknowledge the false Gods of other religions, rather pray for the conversion of those lost souls to the true faith. This PC BS about being "open" to other religions is heresy. There is one true faith. Too bad for the rest of you guys.

Anonymous said...

If someone requests that an authoritative member of a Christian faith offer a prayer, I would assume they expect the name of Jesus to be mentioned. If someone requests a Catholic priest offer a prayer, why would anyone be shocked or offended if that priest uses the name Jesus?

TJM said...

If want to see what happens to a faithful Churchman for defending his Church's beliefs:

Anonymous said...

Breitbart....? Isn't that the website whose former CEO stated that it was the platform for the alt-right?

Alt-Right? Isn't that the euphemism being tossed around for the neo-fascist, neo-Nazi, and "America First" groups like The American Policy Institute, headed by Richard Spencer, the white supremacist?

Yes, that's it.