Via the Daily Dish, Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s thoughts on the “Ground Zero Mosque,” as told to an interviewer for FOX News:
I told her it is a sign of the value we have for freedom in this country, and for religious freedom in particular. We certainly do not want to support groups that promote terrorism, but there are many American citizens who are Muslim, and they have a right to practice their faith. Having a mosque near the site of the attack can be a very important symbol of how much we value religious freedom in this country.
I compared the situation to a historical situation in Ireland: During the Easter Revolution the Irish were very careful to protect the rights of the Protestants in the Free State. They did not take back their cathedral or close their churches. Instead, they wanted people to see they believed in freedom of religion.