Dear Editor: I am a Muslim New Yorker who reads The Tablet from time to time, and of course your front page headline “Muslim Baby Dropped Off a Catholic Church” (The Tablet, Dec. 1, 2018) compelled my attention. First, I believe anyone must appreciate the decency and compassion with which the pastor and staff of Our Lady of Refuge responded to this emergency human need. May God bless them.
On a spiritual level, one might hope that the child will be able to be informed of his or her identity and have access to choice regarding religious doctrine and practice. God is surely guiding those who responded with grace, but there may be others involved whom may or may not have some rights in the current situation.
The reason I am writing to The Tablet is because your article ends by saying, “It is not an out of this world idea for this Muslim Pakistani family to seek refuge at a Catholic Church named after the Mother of God.”
Using this last phrase, while consistent with your theology, is quite opposed to Islamic tradition, as it would be understood as challenging the essential un-created nature of God. Muslims reverence Mary as a Prophet, a messenger of God’s Grace, and indeed one chapter of the Quran is named after her. We love her. But I worry that using this phrase in reporting on such a sensitive family matter will provoke complaint. While there are many, many perspectives that Muslims and Catholics share, we do use different languages of spirituality.
Be that as it may, let me conclude with prayers for all involved, not least the foundling baby: “For unto us is born a child… “ May this blessing be for all the people.
R. Adem Carroll
Editor’s Note: P. Adem Carroll is a member of the Flushing Interfaith Council.