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International Council of Christians and Jews release Statement on Antisemitism (7 March 2018)
The International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) looks upon the current resurgence of antisemitism with alarm and revulsion. The ICCJ was founded in 1947, following a pivotal “Emergency Conference on Antisemitism” at Seelisberg, Switzerland. That conference was a Christian and Jewish response to the antisemitism that led to and still persisted after the Shoah (Holocaust). In the wake of Seelisberg, numerous Christian churches repudiated past teachings of contempt and labelled antisemitism as a sin against God and humanity. They embarked on an unprecedented effort to dismantle the religious antagonism that had fuelled hostility to Jews for so long and to replace it with theologies promoting interreligious friendship and collaboration.
Frustratingly, this revolutionary reform occurs at a time when religious communities have limited power to reverse the antipathy they helped embed in Western culture...
2018 Annual Shoah Memorial Service (19 March 2018)
annual Christian ecumenical Shoah Memorial Service was held Monday 19
March 2018 at Melbourne Grammar School. The evening was organised by a
joint committee of members of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne
Committee for Interfaith Relations, the Catholic Archdiocese of
Melbourne Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission, and the Uniting Church
Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Working Group on Christian-Jewish
Relations. Approximately 100 people gathered in a
darkened St Peter’s Chapel.
The service is a Christian commemoration of the tragedy
of the Holocaust, but a Shoah survivor is always invited to speak and a
member of the Jewish community recites the Kaddish, the traditional
Jewish prayer for those who have died. This year Philip Bliss OAM, chair
of the Council of Christians and Jews, prayed the Kaddish and Sarah Saaroni
OAM, a child Shoah
survivor, was the voice of memory.
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.
‘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)
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.’
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
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
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.”