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Minnesota Catholic Priest Apologizes For 'Hurtful' Homily Slamming Islam As The 'Greatest Threat' To America

Minnesota Catholic Priest Apologizes For 'Hurtful' Homily Slamming Islam As The 'Greatest Threat' To America

Father Nick VanDenBroeke of Londale, Minnesota offered a formal apology on January 30 after a controversial homily in which he called Islam the "greatest threat in the world" to U.S. Christianity.

On January 5 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, VanDenBroeke delivered a 15-minute homily in which he stated:

"I believe it is essential to consider the religion and worldview of the immigrants or refugees. More specifically, we should not be allowing large numbers of Muslims asylum or immigration into our country."

On the subject of whether all immigrants should be treated equally, VanDenBroeke said Americans do "not need to pretend" they should be.

The Priest has now issued an apology, which says:

"My homily on immigration contained words that were hurtful to Muslims. I'm sorry for this. I realize now that my comments were not fully reflective of the Catholic Church's teaching on Islam."

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations described the remarks as "hate-filled" in a statement.

"Silence on this issue would send the troubling message that the church holds a negative view of Minnesota's Muslim community."

The church's Archbishop Bernard Hebda described the serious discussion he had with VanDenBroeke about the incident.

"He has expressed sorrow for his words and an openness to seeing more clearly the Church's position on our relationship with Islam. The teaching of the Catholic Church is clear."

Hebda continued by describing how the church "looks to esteem with muslims."

"I am grateful for the many examples of friendship that have been offered by the Muslim community in our region and we are committed to strengthening the relationship between the two communities."

Perhaps most egregious is the fact that VanDenBroeke delivered his offensive remarks on "Immigration Sunday," a day set aside by the Catholic diocese to celebrate immigrants since 2009.