Christians outraged over All Saints prayer for Mohammed

—– Original Message —–

From: Jo

To: Keep l

Cc: Keep

Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 7:42 PM

Subject: Christians outraged over All Saints prayer for Mohammed

It’s amazing that even the Archbishop cannot do anything about this…see below. The question arise…Who controls who!Shippo.

Christians outraged over All Saints prayer for Mohammed

By Jonathan Petre and Hazel Southam

(Filed: 25/11/2001)

THE Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has complained about a prayer on his Church’s official website because it includes Mohammed, the founder of the Muslim faith, among Christian saints and prophets. The prayer, originally written for All Saints Day, says that both Mohammed and Buddha should be “celebrated” alongside the likes of Moses, David and the Virgin Mary because they “led God’s people to God’s light”.

Both the Archbishop and Dr Stephen Sykes, the Church of England’s most senior theologian, have strongly criticised the prayer as theologically unacceptable. Other clerics have called it “blasphemous” and demanded that Dr Carey expunge it.

Yesterday, however, to the Archbishop’s embarrassment, the prayer was still on the website of the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which he is the leader.

The prayer begins by remembering “the saints in the security of our hearts . . . these great women and men of God” who are “the ancient foundation of our faith and our inspiration”.

It continues: “The saints were not those who were perfect. They were parts of God’s creation who struggled and often failed and yet managed to raise up our faith in God and in one another. Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Sarah, Hannah, Joshua, David, Moses, Mary the Mother of Jesus. Buddha and Mohammed and all the prophets of old. They led God’s people to God’s light.”

Dr Carey said the reference to Buddha and Mohammed was “very unfortunate”.

“Although they can be respected, they are not saints who fall within that Christian understanding,” he said. “It’s not Church of England practice to refer to Buddha or Mohammed in prayers.”

Dr Sykes, who chairs the Church of England’s Doctrine Commission, said: “I am very surprised to hear about this prayer and I’m amazed that it has got some official sanction. It is a triumph of good intentions over good theology.”

The Rev George Curry, the chairman of the evangelical Church Society, went further. He said: “It is blasphemous. It is appalling. Any self-respecting Christian will be horrified.

“To have a prayer that implies that Mohammed is a valid prophet of God is encouraging Christians to endorse a false prophet. Dr Carey should be deeply concerned that this error is on this website. He should make sure that it is removed immediately.”

Despite the criticism, however, the senior clerics who run the website from the communion’s London office have refused to expunge the prayer. Canon James Rosenthal, the editor of the Anglican Communion News Service, said staff at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop’s headquarters, had wanted the prayer removed, but he had had no approach from Dr Carey.

He added that the prayer had come from an “official source” – the Episcopal Church in the United States, the American equivalent to the Church of England – and its aim was to “transform this world for the love of Jesus”.