Calling Muslim guests to the church “angels“, the Bishop later took to her official blog to explain that removing Christian symbols from the church and preparing the building for Muslim prayer doesn’t make a priest any less a defender of the faith. Rather, to do any less would make one “stingy towards people of other faiths”.
The bishop insisted this wasn’t an issue, after all airports and hospitals already had multi-faith prayer rooms, and converting the dockyard church would only bring it up to speed. Regardless, the announcement has aroused protest.
Father Patrik Pettersson, one of the priests in her diocese and active in the same parish as the Seaman’s mission church has hit back in a blog of his own, complaining there is no way you could equate a consecrated church with a prayer room, remarking “I should have thought a bishop would be able to tell the difference”.
How novel. Oh, by the way, the Bishopess is also the world’s first openly lesbian bishop. I wouldn’t bet on Muslim being as reciprocating…
Discovery News is reporting:
Islamic State extremists have blown up the famous Arch of Triumph in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, the country’s head of antiquities said Monday, as the jihadists press their campaign to tear down the treasured heritage site.
“We have received news from the site that the Arch of Triumph was destroyed yesterday (Sunday). IS bobby-trapped it several weeks ago,” antiquities director Maamun Abdulkarim told AFP.
IS has carried out a sustained campaign of destruction against heritage sites in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq, and in mid-August beheaded the ancient city’s 82-year-old former antiquities chief.
The jihadists have already destroyed the shrine of Baal Shamin and the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel, regarded as Palmyra’s masterpiece, since overrunning the citadel in May.
The Arch of Triumph, situated at the entrance of the ancient ruins’ historic colonnaded street, was an “icon of Palmyra,” Abdulkarim said, warning that IS fighters have already laid explosives in other monuments.
“This is a systematic destruction of the city. They want to raze it completely,” he said.
“They want to destroy the amphitheatre, the colonnade. We now fear for the entire city,” he added, calling on the international community to “find a way to save Palmyra.”…
I’m afraid it may already be too late for the site by now.