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ON Wednesday 19 November 2014,
approximately 80 people – mainly Catholic, but also
Anglicans and Lutherans – gathered in the Cathedral Room of the Cardinal Knox
Centre to hear Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission member Associate Professor
Nasir Butrous speak about the current situation in Iraq and the implications of
the conflict for Christian-Muslim relations in Australia.
a Chaldean Catholic and a native of the city of Mosul (Biblical Nineveh) in
Iraq. He is the Associate Professor of Management at the Australian Catholic
University (Faculty of Law and Business) in Melbourne. Nasir was previously a
member of the Commission for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relationships in the
Archdiocese of Brisbane. He has regularly spoken on his perspective on Islam
from his lived experience of Catholic–Muslim relations both in Iraq and in
In interfaith dialogue, everyone enjoys meeting one another and sharing
good times. But the quality of interfaith dialogue and the relationship
between dialogue partners is often best gauged by the way and the extent
to which they are able to discuss issues of sensitivity and
The Symposium held at the Temple Beth Israel synagogue in St Kilda on Sunday 29
- "A Cross Too Heavy: Pius XII and the Jews of Europe" –
therefore testified to the health and maturity of the Christian Jewish
dialogue in Melbourne. Hosted by the B'nai B'rith Melbourne Mitzvah
Lodge and the Council of Christians and Jews - Victoria, it addressed an
issue that has been of great concern to both Jews and Catholics for
some time now.
Approximately 300 people, the majority from the Jewish community,
attended the event to hear Sydney-based historian Dr Paul O'Shea speak.
The author of the book "A Cross Too Heavy: Eugenio Pacelli: Politics and
the Jews of Europe, 1917-1943", Dr O'Shea is the Dean of Mission at
Rosebank Catholic College and has also taught for Jewish centres of
education. Following his presentation, Rabbi Fred Morgan of Temple Beth
Israel and Mr David Schütz, the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical and
Interfaith Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, both
spoke briefly on issues pertaining to the topic.