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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...



Heads of Churches in Victoria welcome Archbishop Peter Comensoli (1 March 2019)

On Friday March 1st  some fifteen senior leaders of Churches from across Victoria gathered at Bishopscourt in East Melbourne to welcome Archbishop Comensoli.

Thanks was extended to Archbishop Philip Freier for hosting the event. This was the first such gathering in a number of years and brought together both regional and metropolitan leaders...



2018 Annual Shoah Memorial Service (19 March 2018)

The 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.
 



Reformation 500: Joint Lutheran and Catholic Commemoration in Melbourne (28 October 2017)

A special Lutheran and Catholic joint commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation took place on Saturday night (28 October) at St John’s Lutheran Church Southgate, featuring messages from Archbishop Denis Hart and Bishop Lester Priebbenow and the presentation of a Bach cantata “O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe” (BWV 34). The service was attended by more than 200 local members of the Catholic and Lutheran churches.

According to an historical legend, on 31 October 1517 in the University town of Wittenberg in Saxony, an Augustinian friar and biblical scholar Dr Martin Luther posted the document which later became known as “The 95 Theses”. This document raised questions about the indulgence campaign which was being promoted by the Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg to raise money for the rebuilding of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This scholarly document ignited a movement that became known to history as “The Protestant Reformation”.



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.



Melbourne Catholics and Anglicans look towards a church fully reconciled (Thursday, 1 June 2017)

Yesterday the University of Divinity held a number of events at Trinity College Theological School for the University of Divinity Academic Symposium. The symposium celebrated 50 years of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), a significant collaboration between the Anglican and Catholic colleges of the University of Divinity.
 
The aim of the day was to review and explore the work of ARCIC over the last 50 years, particularly the most recent ARCIC publication Looking toward a church fully reconciled.
 




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.




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