A Roman Catholic priest in Minnesota, United States has apologized for calling Islam the “greatest threat in the world” to the United States and Christianity.
The Rev. Nick VanDenBroeke apologized Wednesday in a statement posted on the website of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnesota for the Jan. 5 comments during a 15-minute homily as pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Lonsdale.
“My homily on immigration contained words that were hurtful to Muslims,” the statement read. “I’m sorry for this. I realize now that my comments were not fully reflective of the Catholic Church’s teaching on Islam.”
The mea culpa followed a request by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to condemn the “hate-filled” remarks, including that congregants “must oppose” Muslims’ religion and worldview.
“Silence on this issue would send the troubling message that the church holds a negative view of Minnesota’s Muslim community,” the civil rights group said in a statement.
While characterizing Islam as the “greatest threat” worldwide to both the United States and Christianity, VanDenBroeke also claimed that Americans do “not need to pretend” that all immigrants seeking to enter the country should be treated equally, according to the civil rights group.
“I believe it is essential to consider the religion and worldview of the immigrants or refugees,” VanDenBroeke told parishioners, according to CAIR. “More specifically, we should not be allowing large numbers of Muslims asylum or immigration into our country.” (New York Post)