In Cordoba it a “cathedral”, not a “mosque”

Something that irks me is the penchant for mainstream media types to refer to this or that city where there is some important shrine for Islam as the “holy city of FILL IN THE BLANK”.  I suppose I could stomach that were they also to refer to the”holy city of Rome”, “the holy Vatican City”, etc.  They don’t.

I am therefore pleased to read this story from CNA:

Bishop requests historic cathedral no longer be referred to as mosque [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

Cordoba, Spain, [Where Sts. Nunilo and Alodia were martyred.] Nov 5, 2010 / 09:58 pm (CNA).- Bishop Demetrio Fernandez of Cordoba, Spain has asked that the city’s historic cathedral be referred to as a Catholic church and not as a “mosque,” in reference to its past.

In an October column, Bishop Fernandez wrote, “Cathedral or mosque? Undoubtedly a cathedral.  It is the main church of the Diocese of Cordoba, where the chair of the bishop is located, thus the name ‘cathedral’.”

The bishop noted that the Cathedral of Cordoba has been a place of Catholic worship for eight centuries. [Long enough to qualify as a cathedral, I’d say. ] Saint King Ferdinand III took over the city without bloodshed on June 28, 1236, and ordered the temple, which had been built as a mosque, to be consecrated, Bishop Fernandez explained.

“It was saved from destruction because of the successful negotiations between Ferdinand and the Muslim occupiers of the city, who wanted to destroy it rather than turning it over.  When the Muslims invaded in 711, it was already a sacred place, as it was the location of the ancient Basilica of Saint Vincent the Martyr.”

The bishop noted that the Muslims destroyed the basilica “so a mosque could be built instead.”

Bishop Fernandez acknowledged the stir caused by his column, telling the Diario de Cordoba that he wrote it because “I knew it would be reported around the world, so that everybody would know that the ancient mosque in Cordoba is today a cathedral[OORAH!] The ones offended are those who think it’s wrong to call it a cathedral.”

“The cathedral has been a cathedral for eight centuries … I don’t mind if it is called a former mosque, but what I don’t want is it to be called just a mosque,” the bishop said, explaining that he does not want to confuse visitors to the city.

“The Catholic Church, and the Bishop of Cordoba, are the first to treat Muslims with respect and friendliness.  I am friends with many in the Muslim world,” he noted, adding he supports inter-religious dialogue in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

“People get upset, but this is for the good of Cordoba,” he stated.

WDTPRS KUDOS to the Bishop of Cordoba.

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  1. Clinton says:

    Would Muslims appreciate it if folks insisted on referring to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
    as the Second (or Third?) Jewish Temple?

  2. Fabrizio says:


    and just in case someone forgot or failed to notice, the destruction of the old Basilica of St. Vincent and its replacement with a mosque were the “consecration” of the Caliphate of Cordoba, a golden age in Islamic literature (of a different metal in reality) and one of Bin Laden’s great myths.

    And in case someone forgot or failed to notice, that destruction and that symbol are precisely the reason why the project for the mosque in NYC was named “Cordoba House”. Southern Europe is full of of the signs of these innocent “mere 1st amendment issues” of these “oppressed minorities”. We had to deal with these mere 1st amendment isssues for 1200 years, soaked in the blood of countless martyrs.

  3. Emilio III says:

    Needless to say, the first to protest the bishop’s “reactionary” stand was the spokesman for the governing Socialist Workers Party. They claim that calling it a mosque is a sign of their great tolerance. The Islamic Council added their protests the next day.

    Apparently current tourist guides and street signage refer to it only as a mosque, which the bishop notes “leads to confusion, sometimes intentionally”.

  4. Robert of Rome says:

    Even if he didn’t have friends in the Muslim world, and even if he didn’t support inter-religious dialogue with Muslims, Bishop Fernandez’s point about the cathedral would be valid all the same.

  5. mike cliffson says:

    Moslems – all of them, most, just the pushy ones and the others don’t stop them , it boots not for living with it- consider anywhere they’ve ever prayed, or lived as some sort of holy ground belonging to them.
    For eternity. By divine right.(Some European pastors who generously lent parish halls or rooms have found this out to their cost. Streets where moslems have lived a bare two decades are no longer public places for church bells or for processions to pass.Not as a cheeky demand, not pushing it, it’s a calm assumption.)
    It’s more than our wistfulness about hagia Sofia, North Africa, even most recently unresolved Cyprus and it’s ancient churches.
    Well , that’s their faith, tho it can become our business when our real estate is involved.
    The MSM’s readiness to go along is another kettle of fish.

  6. Traductora says:

    The lamps in the Cathedral of Cordoba were made by the Muslims out of the bells from the Cathedral of Santiago, which Christian captives were forced to carry to Cordoba (nearly 1000 miles) on their shoulders after the Muslims overran Santiago. Muslims don’t use bells or music, so they melted them down and made lamps for what was at that time the mosque.

    I think the Spanish clergy are getting a bit more outspoken, and I think Benedict’s visit to Santiago and Barcelon this weekend was meant to encourage them. The bishop of Cordoba has been under a lot of pressure from both the Muslims and the secular press and authorities, who essentially want him to turn the Cathedral over to the Muslims.

  7. newyork says:

    This week an article in the New York Times about the Cathedral and its history as a mosque somehow found it convenient not to mention the earlier history of the Christian basilica destroyed by the Muslims.

  8. Kerry says:

    On a tangent with this discussion, let me recommend the book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind by Robert R. Reilly. (How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis). The main theme is the dehellenization of Islam. Quotes: “The dehellenization of Islam had its roots in a particular idea of God that took definitive shape in the ninth century, though a large portion of Islam had embraced a version of it far earlier. The struggle over reason involved a profound disagreement about who God is. Each side in the dispute had certain prerequisites for who God must be, originating in or confirmed by t heir distinct readings of the Qur’an. On one side was God’s will and power, and on the other his justice and rationality. The argument, precipitated and exacerbated by the encounter with Greek philosophy, took place over the status of reason in relation to God’s revelation and omnipotence. The questions involved: What has reason to do with man’s encounter with God? Is there any relationship between reason and revelation? Does reason have any standing to address God’s revelation, or must reason remain outside of it? And perhaps most importantly, can reason know the truth?” And the foreward, written by Roger Scruton, ” Reilly offers a cogent explanation not of what went wrong but of why it went wrong. He locates the source in a deformed theology gestated in the ninth and tenth centuries and in the dysfunctional culture that emerged from it. The Ash’arite orthodoxy, he argues, has bequeathed to modern Islam ‘the wrong concept of God’ “.
    Read the whole thing. “IHS”

  9. ray from mn says:

    I think we should start referring to the Turkish “Blue Mosque” museum in Istanbul as either the “Cathedral Basilica of Constantinople”, or as the “Hagia Sophia.”

  10. Fr. Basil says:

    The Blue Mosque in Constantinople is not the same building as Hagia Sophia (properly rendered as Holy Wisdom, not St. Sophia), but your point is well taken, ray.

  11. dcs says:

    Would Muslims appreciate it if folks insisted on referring to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
    as the Second (or Third?) Jewish Temple?

    But the Dome of the Rock isn’t the Jewish Temple. It is a mosque built on the Temple Mount.

    FYI, the Blue Mosque faces the Hagia Sophia. I do believe that most refer to the Hagia Sophia as just that (it is not used as a mosque any more, but as a museum, and some of its mosaics have been uncovered).

  12. TJerome says:

    The anti-Christian, left-wing media promotes this type of nonsense and disengenuous reporting. Good for the Bishop!

  13. Maltese says:

    “This week an article in the New York Times about the Cathedral and its history as a mosque somehow found it convenient not to mention the earlier history of the Christian basilica destroyed by the Muslims.”

    Fascinating; good catch newyork.

  14. Jayna says:

    I would actually not be surprised to find out that there were tourists who went to the cathedral having absolutely no idea that it was indeed that. To me, this isn’t even a political issue, it’s just practical. It was a mosque, and now it isn’t. So…don’t call it a mosque anymore. Simple, right?

  15. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    What is also left out is that when the “invaders” built their house of worship, that “new building” encompassed the ORIGINAL Cathedral of Cordoba. That CHURCH dated back to the Second Century (and remained standing inside the other structure), so the site has been a Christian (Catholic) place of worship for OVER a Thousand years “total.” As opposed to 300 years under the rule of an Invading people.

    [Been there, done that, but I did not buy a t-shirt.]

  16. Supertradmum says:

    Such a confusion of language, done on purpose so as not to offend the Muslims, is the proverbial head of the camel in the tent. Let the head in, and then the shoulders, hump, and the entire animal takes over. Why are politicians and the media so apt to not offend the Muslims, at the expense of offending Catholics?
    The answer is, of course, gross anti-Catholicism.

    If we do not stand our ground, we shall lose it.

  17. Y’all are missing the point…. The nickname of the Cathedral, for a long long time when there were no Muslims anywhere near Cordoba, has been “La Mezquita” or even “La Mezquita-Catedral”. The nickname probably had a good bit of triumphalism in it, sorta like Santa Maria sopra Minerva.

    The archbishop is saying that, now that Muslims and dislikers of Christianity are continually referring to Cordoba’s cathedral as really a mosque, instead of a cathedral that took over a mosque that had taken over the old cathedral, he’s asking Christian people to stop using the nickname in order to deny the misusers a chance to snipe and brood. And that’s reasonable. A nickname for a Christian reclamation that’s amusing when Islam isn’t a local worry is less amusing when Muslims are pulling all kinds of crud to try and claim it for their own property.

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