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Interfaith

Council of Christians and Jews: A Panel Discussion on Voluntary Assisted Dying (Sunday 29 October 2017)

On Sunday 29 October 2017, approximately 50 people gathered at the Eva Besen Centre in Caulfield (home of the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia - Victoria) to hear presentations from four speakers on the topic of Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide. This was a timely discussion as the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 has been passed by the lower house of the Victorian Parliament and is about to be debated in the Upper house this week.
 
The four speakers were Rev. David Brooker, Rev. Associate Professor John Dupuche, Raphael Dascalu, and Rabbi Kim Ettlinger.
 



Multifaith Statement on Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 (11 October 2017)

Today, representatives of Victoria’s leading religions gathered on the steps of Parliament to deliver a joint statement to Deputy Premier, James Merlino, regarding the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.

The ‘Multifaith Statement’ is signed by Sheikh Isse Abdo Musse (President, Board of Imams Victoria), Phra Khru Kampee-panya-withet (Abbot, Melbourne Thai Buddhist Temple), Makarand Bhagwat (Victorian Director, Hindu Council of Australia), Rabbi Daniel Rabin (President, Rabbinical Council of Victoria), Jasbir Singh Suropada (Chairman, Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria) and Bishop Peter Danaher (President, Victorian Council of Churches).

Kawalpreet Singh, from the Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria, stood next to the Deputy Premier as he read the statement before the faith representatives each said their names in support of the shared announcement.

Asking the Parliament to reject the proposed assisted dying legislation, the statement highlighted the shared beliefs of the religious leaders.



Annual Ecumenical Holocaust Memorial Service (May 3, 2016)

The annual Christian Holocaust Memorial Service was held on Tuesday night (3 May 2016) at Our Lady of Sion College in Box Hill. During the service, Grace, a student of the College, said:

‘At a Holocaust Memorial Service it must be asked: What have we learned and what must we do? The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. From those who were not indifferent, we can learn what we can achieve if we stand up for people in need and be a voice for others who do not have one.’

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Service. In May 1991, the late Sr Verna Holyhead sgs gathered a small group of Christians and Jews together in the wind and the rain outside the Jewish Memorial in Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney for a Holocaust Memorial Service.




First Buddhist and Catholic Luncheon (October 31, 2015)

Thursday 5 November 2015
Media and Communications Office.

DHAMMA SARANA Temple in Keysborough played host to an ecumenical event last week, as the inaugural Buddhist Catholic Interfaith Luncheon took place in Keysborough. Under a rainy sky, people from both faiths gathered at the temple to share a meal and learn a little about each other’s faiths.



So what happens at a JCMA Text Group meeting?

By David Schütz, August 2015

 

You have possibly heard about a new activity sponsored by the Jewish Muslim Christian Association (JCMA): Text Groups.

 

The idea of a Text Group is based on the common interreligious dialogue activity of reading one another’s scripture texts together. However, in a JCMA Text Group, we take things further: we share any text that is of personal interest to a member of the group, religious or secular. Of course, given the nature of JCMA, we like to take the opportunity of sharing texts that say something about one another’s faith, but a text need not be sacred scripture in order to have spiritual meaning.

 

As an example, let me share what we read last week in the group I lead, the 10:00am to 11:30am meeting on the second Tuesday of the month in East Melbourne. The suggestion for the day was that we each bring along a piece of poetry.




The 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate: The Past, Present and Future of the Christian-Jewish Relationship

Dr Raymond Canning, Executive Secretary of the Bishops Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations, meeting Pope Francis.

Towards the very end of the final session of the Second Vatican Council, the document Nostra Aetate, the “Declaration on the Church’s Relation to Non-Christian Religions,” received definitive approval from the Council Fathers meeting in Rome. At the heart of the declaration is the relationship of the Church to the Jewish people, “the descendants of Abraham” (NA 4).

The approved text of the “Declaration on the Church’s Relation to Non-Christian Religions” promulgated on 28 October 1965 was intended to put an end to every form of anti-Semitism within Christianity and to express the Church’s acknowledgment of its own Jewish roots. The Declaration shows that, on the basis of sound biblical and historical arguments, the Church was able to set aside centuries of traditional animosity towards the Jews, and also to create a space for genuine interreligious dialogue more broadly. It was fitting then that the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) should hold its 2015 Conference in Rome to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that landmark document, Nostra Aetate.



"Maintaining Social Cohesian in Australia" - JCMA Peak Bodies Seminar (31 May 2015)

On the last day of autumn, when Melbourne's weather was at its most unwelcoming, a diverse group of some 100 people met at the Cardinal Knox Centre in Melbourne next to St Patrick's Cathedral for a community forum on "Maintaining Social Cohesion in Australia". The afternoon forum was at the initiative of the Jewish Christian Muslim Association and sponsored by various government bodies and more especially by representative councils within these three faith traditions: the Victorian Council of Churches, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria and the Islamic Council of Victoria.



Pope Francis: “Religion must never be abused in the cause of war.” Speech to religious leaders in Sri Lanka

(Vatican Radio, 13/01/15) Pope Francis underlined the significance and urgency of interreligious and ecumenical dialogue in a nation, like Sri Lanka, that is undergoing a process of reconciliation after civil war. Speaking on the first full day of his apostolic journey to Sri Lanka, Pope Francis addressed an interreligious and ecumenical gathering and reaffirmed the Church’s deep and abiding respect for other religions. “For the sake of peace” the Pope said, “religious beliefs must never be allowed to be abused in the cause of violence and war.”



Pope makes surprise visit to a Buddhist Temple in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (Crux, 14/01/2015) — On Wednesday evening in Sri Lanka Pope Francis made an impromptu visit to a Buddhist temple in the country’s capital city. Francis was shown a room with a statue of the Buddha and two other holy figures in Buddhist tradition. His hosts also showed him a jar containing relics that are only opened occasionally, but which they opened for him. There was also singing, during which the spokesman said the pope “listened respectfully.” The unscheduled stop lasted roughly 20 minutes.



One Buddhist nun's thoughts on Pope Francis

Manila, Philippines, Jan 18, 2015 (CNA/EWTN News).- A Buddhist nun who experienced Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines voiced her gratitude to the pontiff for his efforts at unity and dialogue among religious communities. “We see that the pope has brought a blessing and also unity,” said Ven. Miao Jing of the Buddhist Fo Guang Shan community

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