May marks the third anniversary of the signing of the historic Muslim-Catholic Agreement of Understanding and Cooperation. The document, believed to be the only one of its kind in the world, was signed May 5, 2003 by local Muslim and Catholic leaders, including Bishop Matthew H. Clark.
The agreement pledged the Diocese of Rochester and the Council of Masajid (Mosques) of Rochester to affirm rights of free speech, thought, conscience and religion; to reject religious and ethnic intolerance; to promote and encourage a deeper knowledge of and respect for the history, traditions and sensitivities of the two faiths; to promote collaboration in providing services to those in need in the Rochester community; and to implement the agreement jointly.
In honor of the agreement’s third anniversary, the Rochester Diocese and the Rochester Council of Masajid have planned a May 5 presentation titled “Religious Symbols and the Limits of Free Speech.” Presenters will be Karen Franz, general manager/editor of the Catholic Courier, and Dr. Mustafa Abushagur of the Islamic Center of Rochester. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. at the Islamic Center of Rochester, 727 Westfall Rd. Refreshments will be served after the program.
The event is free and open to the public.