Author: Dr Patrick Mclnerney

Choosing friendship over fear

Published Full Article As a Catholic priest, Fr Patrick McInerney reflects on his experience of Muslim hospitality at iftar meals during Ramadan and its positive contribution to building better interfaith relationships.  In these challenging times, he chooses friendship over fear, to be “with” rather than “against”.     “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the...

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To the Muslims of Australia, sorry for the hurt

To the Muslims of Australia, I wish to say “sorry” for the hurt caused to you and your families by the poll reporting that 49% of Australians want to stop Muslim immigration. Those 49% do NOT represent me, my family, my colleagues, my relatives or the many people of good faith and good will in this country.  This is what the Catholic Church teaches about our attitude towards Muslims: “The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has...

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Fasting & Feasting getting popular

It was a wonderful month.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I was out most nights. I met lots of old friends.  I made new friends.  We shared meals.  We had a great time.  But we didn’t drink any wine!  What am I talking about?  Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.  Muslims fast from dawn to dusk – no food, no drink, no arguing, no swearing, no sexual activity.  As the sun sets in the evening, they gather with family and friends for the iftar meal (literally, “breaking” the fast).  I am a Catholic priest.  I am not...

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Calling people by what they are

Half a century ago, the Catholic Church released a ground-breaking document.  It was entitled: Nostra Aetate, Latin for “In Our Day”.   The rest of the title was, “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions”.  The body to implement this radical new teaching was called, The Secretariate for Non-Christian Religions.  At the time, no one questioned the name “non-Christian”. However, slowly the awareness dawned that it is  inappropriate to call people by what they are not.  Muslims are Muslims; they are not “non-Christians”.  Buddhists are Buddhists; they are not “non-Christians”.  Hindus are Hindus; they are not...

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