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Multifaith prayers restricted.

BERLIN -- Catholic children should not be expected or forced to pray with children of other faiths at church-run celebrations, according to Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne.

A series of statements in early December, which effectively bar Catholic schools in Meisner's archdiocese from, hosting any multifaith celebrations, has caused an uproar from Germany's Catholics and demands for an explanation from Germany's Central Council of Muslims.

But Meisner stood by his statements, and Dec. 11 received the support of the German Council of Bishops.

Meisner first caused the uproar when he issued the order against multidenominational religious celebrations. He followed up Dec. 8 by stating that Catholic and Muslim children could not pray together at celebrations.

Meisner insists his new policies are not anti-Muslim and that he respects everyone's right to pray to their god. He noted that while Pope Benedict XVI appeared to pray recently with Muslims in Turkey, in reality each had stood silently while the other prayed to their respective god.
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Title Annotation:WORLD BRIEFS
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Dec 22, 2006
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