Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
On January 29, 2012, hundreds of protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge against a citywide ban that, if passed, will prevent religious groups from renting space in public schools for worship.
Set to begin on Feb. 12, the ban will force a number of churches to relocate. The ban originates from a court case between Bronx Household of Faith and the city, of which the United States Court of Appeals ruled in June that the city can prohibit churches from gatherings at public schools. Later in December, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, accepting the ruling.
The city says it will keep church and state separated, but protesters call it wrong and unfair. Standing by the ban, the city says it's a matter of making sure that the city doesn't become classified with one faith.
"It's unnecessarily discriminatory against Houses of Worship in New York City," City Comptroller John Liu told amNewYork, "It's hard to fathom why they've been so steadfast in pushing this, the school spaces should be available for the public without discrimination."
Protester Jeffrey Tavarez, 30, of the Bronx, said people of all faiths should protest the ban.
"I come from a Christian church, and it doesn't even matter that I'm Christian or not, it's about all denominations that are getting affected," Tavarez said. "Once they start attacking the churches they will go out for others."
The NYPD said there were no arrests during the march.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.