A Scottish cathedral has been criticised for allowing the reading of a passage from the Quran which was aimed at promoting understanding between the two faiths.
St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow during a Eucharist service last week marked the feast of the Epiphany by including a guest reader who read from Surah 19 (verse 19) in the Quran.
“The decisions which have led to the situation in St Mary’s Cathedral are a matter for the provost and the cathedral community but the Scottish Episcopal Church is deeply distressed at the widespread offence which has been caused,” said Church Primus, the Most Rev David Chillingworth, in an online post on Sunday (15).
“We also deeply regret the widespread abuse which has been received by the cathedral community. In response to what has happened at the cathedral, the Scottish Episcopal Church will bring together all those who are involved in the development of interfaith relations,” he said.
Members of the Glasgow’s Muslim community had been invited to join Epiphany celebrations at the church last week.
It provoked criticism because Muslims revere Jesus as a prophet, but not the son of God.
The cathedral’s provost, the Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth said the reading was aimed at promoting understanding between the two faiths.
Some church leaders, including the Right Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, feel the reading in a church setting as “ill-advised”.
“Christians should know what their fellow citizens believe and this can include reading the Quran for themselves, whether in the original or in translation. This is not, however, the same thing as having it read in Church in the context of public worship,” he said.
Police are reportedly also investigating instances of online abuse related to the issue.