Should Catholics be told to visit mosques?


My weekly parish bulletin requested that parishioners visit a mosque and read some of the Qur’an and the Hadith in order to understand our Muslim nieghbor. I’m all for peaceful relations but I feel this request goes too far. I had started reading the Qur’an before this request, only to be angered at what I perceived to be a genuine hatred of Chistians and Jews. Is this a sanctioned request by our Pope or some sort of deviation from Catholic teaching, generally speaking?


So far as I know, Pope Benedict XVI has never told Catholics to go to mosques and to read Muslim holy books. Although he did visit a mosque during a papal trip to Turkey, he did so not as a layman (which he isn’t) but as head of the Catholic Church.

I agree that it is imprudent of your parish to recommend to Catholics that they not just visit a Muslim mosque but that they immerse themselves in Muslim holy books. Far better would it be for the parish to teach the parishioners their Catholic faith and teach them what the Church has to say about Islam (e.g., Nostra Aetate) than to possibly give the appearance of indifferentism.

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