DUBLIN (ChurchMilitant.com) - Ireland's top prelate joined Muslims in celebrating a key Islamic festival which falsifies the Bible by declaring that the patriarch Abraham took Ishmael, not Isaac, to be sacrificed on Mount Moriah.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who denounced a Dublin church for offering public Masses during the Wuhan virus lockdown, showed solidarity Friday with 200 Muslims observing Eid al-Adha at the iconic Croke Park Stadium.
Despite Abp. Martin being invited in advance, the communications officer for the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference, Martin Long, told Church Militant Tuesday they were "not aware of any details for this event or of any bishops attending."
A source informed Church Militant earlier that the news was being kept "under wraps."
Wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing, the worshippers rolled out their prayer mats on the same football grass pitch which hosted Pope Francis on his visit to Ireland in 2018.
"Today marks a new chapter in the history of Croke Park," Abp. Martin said. "Today our celebration is a gesture of recognizing publicly the place of the Muslim community as an integral part of the family of the Irish and to recognize the contribution of your Muslim community to the Ireland of today and to the Ireland of tomorrow."
Speaking to Church Militant, eminent Islamic scholar Robert Spencer lamented that while "the Catholic faithful still are in many places deprived of the sacraments and subject to immense and unprecedented restrictions on their worship, the bishops wouldn't dare miss an Islamic celebration."
"It is all the more unconscionable that they would be celebrating Eid al-Adha, the day on which Muslims sacrifice animals in honor of Abraham sacrificing Ishmael — not Isaac," Spencer noted.
"This story is yet another instance of Islam correcting Judaism and Christianity and holding the Judeo-Christian tradition to be corrupted and erroneous," he explained.
Spencer, author of over 22 books on Islam, elaborated:
What's more, the Qur'anic Abraham says there will be "animosity and hatred" (Qur'an 60:4) between the Muslims and non-Muslims until the non-Muslims believe in Allah alone. The Abraham of Genesis, the "father of many nations," is inverted into a symbol of hatred and supremacism. And the bishops are complacently reinforcing these attitudes.
Church of Ireland Anglican primate Abp. Michael Jackson, who joined Martin in the Islamic celebration, said the "silence" created by the pandemic and the lockdown has been filled with the sounds of "neighborliness."
"The unknown person next door became a neighbor. Care quickly began to go both ways. While many of us had been taught from our youth that it is more blessed to give than to receive, we all learned the positive lesson of humility and of otherness to the effect that it is just as blessed to receive as to give," he observed.
Ignoring the cognitive dissonance between the Old Testament and the Qur'an in marking the Muslim festival, Jewish Rabbi Zalman Lent said that, at a time of so much anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic feeling, "it is special we can all sit here together ... as brothers."
"This disgraceful event shows the priorities of the Catholic hierarchy today and of leftist clerics in general. Islam is the preferred religion of the Left, and that holds true even when the leftists in question are clerics of different faiths," Spencer remarked.
Organizer Dr. Umar Al-Qadri's boasted that Friday's event was the first complete broadcast on state television of an Eid prayer service in a non-Muslim majority country.
"Which place is most iconic and symbolic? Of course it is Croke Park," Al-Qadri said.
The stadium is named after Thomas Croke, archbishop of Cashel and strong supporter of Irish nationalism.
A day before the event, Ireland's premier Micheál Martin limited numbers taking part in the prayers to 200 despite a request from Muslim organizers that the 500 who had booked be allowed to take part.
Shaykh Al-Qadri, chair of the Irish Muslim & Peace Integration Council, said he was requesting an exemption for Muslims to hold the event "similar to the precedent set by outgoing premier Leo Varadkar following a plea made by Abp. Diarmuid Martin."
Following the Catholic archbishop of Dublin's request, the State granted exception "to churches and mosques to increase the number [attending public worship] from 50 to 100 with the justification that many churches were able to accommodate larger gatherings while maintaining social distancing requirements," Al-Qadri argued.
"Eid at Croke Park can certainly accommodate 500 people while maintaining social distancing," he insisted.
However, Ireland's premier pointed out that the exemption granted Abp. Martin referred "to indoor places of worship with large capacity and where additional measures are imposed. This applies to all places of worship — churches, mosques, synagogues, etc., but does not apply to mass gatherings at other events, for example football stadiums."
In June, Abp. Martin forced the Church of the Guardian Angels in Dublin to close after he discovered that the parish was allowing people to attend daily Mass.
Fr. Gerry O'Connor, spokesman for the Association of Catholic Priests said the Blackrock parish was in "breach of the solidarity contract between communities, the State, charities and the churches that has served Ireland well over the past number of weeks of the pandemic."