Author: dr-patrick-mclnerney

Catholics host Interfaith Iftar in Sydney

The Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations co-hosted an Interfaith Iftar Dinner on Monday 20 May 2019 at the Cathedral Hall. The iftar dinner is when Muslims, who fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan, break their fast. More than 50 invited guests included representatives of the Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities, politicians, university academics, leaders from other churches and representatives from the Diocese of Parramatta.  It was truly interfaith and ecumenical. The proceedings began precisely at sunset with the Azan (The Call to Prayer) recited by Sheikh...

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To the Muslims of Australia, sorry for the hurt

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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