The Cardinal was not amused. When Gerhard Richter, one of the world’s most expensive living artists, designed an abstract stained glass window for Cologne Cathedral, Cardinal Joachim Meisner could barely conceal his anger. “It belongs in a mosque or another house of prayer, not this one,” fumed the city’s Catholic Cardinal, who chose to attend an engagement in Poland when the window was unveiled. “If we are going to have a new window, then it should be one that reflects our faith, not just any faith.”
Fair enough comment, but Cardinal Meisner has been immediately accused of "stirring up trouble towards Islam."
Apparently the atmosphere is raw in Cologne because of the popular opposition to a new mosque for the city’s 120,000 Muslims. The plans include high minarets that could visually challenge the towers of the cathedral, which reach a height of 157 metres. The Cardinal has gone on record about that too: “It leaves me with an uneasy feeling.” The new window is garnering widespread praise, from the mayor, Protestant churchmen and art critics. Only the Cardinal, who has to celebrate Mass in the cathedral, has qualms.
It strikes me only the Cardinal has the guts to speak out.