Catholics, Muslims Break Bread in New Jersey Mosque

20101021_inq_jmosque24-bA Muslim religious leader chanted Islamic prayers from the Koran as he often does at the Voorhees Islamic Center mosque.

But Thursday’s event was far from the usual prayer ritual.

Sitting near Muslim leader Imam Riyadh Thabata that night was the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden, Bishop Dennis Sullivan, and other diocesan priests.

In the audience, Muslims and Catholics sat side by side.

They gathered for a ceremony praising the new Agreement of Understanding and Cooperation that promotes respect and love between the two religious communities and establishes the Catholic-Muslim Commission of Southern New Jersey.

It was the second interfaith visit that day for the bishop, who earlier met in Cherry Hill with members of the Jewish Federation. The diocese has had a 20-year interfaith relationship with the federation.

“Christians and Muslims should live in peace with one another, and as bishop, I support the commission’s work,” Sullivan said in addressing the mosque gathering. He stood in front of a decorative concave wall of mosaic tiles with the imam alongside.



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