Friday, December 19, 2014

Victims of Violence December 2014






Victims of Violence

As a Christian and follower of 'The Way" of Yeshua of Nazareth I must also add to my invocation for eternal peace
Man Haron Monis
The Taliban Soldiers who massacred the children in Pakistan
The person who killed the children in Manoora
Mt 5:38-48
[Jesus said to his disciples:] “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Popular Catholic Forum Mocks Islam

http://www.catholica.com.au/about.php
Catholica is an Australian based online news and discussion  site with a banner declaring: Welcome to an excitingly different way of looking at faith and spirituality.


It seems that mocking Islam is an accepted practice in the discussion forum. 

Here is part of the discussion from a thread headed The Moslem community in Australia

The Moslem community in Australia (Main Forum)

by HelenThe other side of Australia, Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 19:08 (3 days ago) 
Is there anyone out there who knows about how a person (always a man?) gets to be an imam or a sheikh?
From what I have heard on the radio, it only takes being male with an ego to become an Imam.

In response to Helen I suggested:

Perhaps you should change your radio station if this is you primary source of information Is it Radio Bolt?
As a regular contributor to this forum I think it is not unrealistic to expect that you have some skills in sourcing material online. Why could you not do a google search before you hit your keyboard?
You might like to take the time to read this article.
And by the way, it's not all bad being a man!!

At the time of posting this blog item the posters to the forum have all moved onto other issues. I find it astounding that none, including the editors seem to be disturbed by the content of Helen's post. Well, Catholica is a long way from my expectations of an "excitingly different way of looking at faith and spirituality."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Images That Open Your Eyes; Sydney Siege 2014


In this image:Rabbi Zalman Kastel Sheikh Wesam Charkawi, and Father Patrick McInerney 

It is important, given the situation that has played out today, that we remain united and show solidarity with each other. 

Extremists cause panic to cause division in our society. Let's not give the extremists what they want.#illridewithyou #sydneysiege #letspraytogether

Yesterday evening Columban Fr Patrick McInerney (of the Centre for 
Christian-Muslim Relations) attended a multi-faith prayer vigil for peace at Lakemba Mosque. 
Photo: #SydneySiege May our prayers be heard and accepted. Sheikh Wesam Charkawi, Father Patrick McInerney and Rabbi Zalman Kastel offered prayers tonight for the hostages and for our nation.

Mass for Victims of Siege at Martin Place


‪#‎illridewithyou‬ and I will wear my prayer cap in solidarity with my sisters and brothers of Islam

Tonight I will join my neighbours and friends at the Holland Park Mosque in prayer and solidarity.
As a Christian in the Catholic tradition I stand with my sisters and brothers of Islam, united in our commitment to live as people of peace and non-violence.
I pray with all who believe that prayer is an act of the human spirit that opens us to power beyond ourselves yet within ourselves.
As an Australian I offer my hand in welcome and my arms in embrace all who come to our shores with their rich heritage of diversity of language, religion and all that contributes to build our culture.‪#‎illridewithyou‬
Mosques, synagogues and churches are inviting the public to gather tonight to pray for a peaceful resolution to the hostage situation in Sydney, for unity, and against...
EEPURL.COM

Monday, December 15, 2014

Praying During Sydney Seige



Tonight I will join my neighbours and friends at the Holland Park Mosquei n prayer and solidarity.
As a Christian in the Catholic tradition I stand with my sisters and brothers of Islam, united in our commitment to live as people of peace and non-violence.
I pray with all who believe that prayer is an act of the human spirit that opens us to power beyond ourselves yet within ourselves.
As an Australian I offer my hand in welcome and my arms in embrace all who come to our shores with their rich heritage of diversity of language, religion and all that contributes to build our culture.

MONDAY 15 DECEMBER 2014
MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release

Mosques, synagogues and churches open to pray for Sydney hostages and national unity
Mosques, synagogues and churches are inviting the public to gather tonight to pray for a peaceful resolution to the hostage situation in Sydney, for unity, and against violence, fear and hatred of all kinds.

Mosques, including Lakemba Mosque (63-65 Wangee Rd, Lakemba) and Auburn Gallipoli Mosque (15-19 Gelibolu Parade, Auburn) in Sydney, Omar Bin Alkhatab Mosque (658 Marion Rd, Park Holme) in Adelaide and Holland Park Mosque (309 Nursery Rd, Holland Park) in Brisbane will join with churches and synagogues across Australia in opening their doors from 8pm for prayer and as a show of community solidarity.

"In times of great adversity it is imperative that we remain calm, united and stand together in solidarity. Our hearts and prayers are with the hostages and their families," said Samier Dandan, President of the Lebanese Muslim Association.

“We are calling on all those who believe in prayer, to pray for the safety of the hostages, and that our nation will not become hos
tage to fear and hatred," said Jarrod McKenna, National Director of Common Grace and Westcity Church Teaching Pastor. St George's Anglican Church in Paddington and St Mark's Darling Point are among those that have already opened their churches to the public to pray.

Ali Kadri, President of the Holland Park Mosque in Brisbane said, "One of the greatest strengths of our nation is that we come out stronger from every calamity - and we will come much stronger out of this and strengthen our country through our unity and diversity"

In Adelaide, faith leaders from a range of traditions and denominations will gather at Omar Bin Alkhatab Mosque from 8pm to pray for those being held hostage and for national unity.

"At times like this, there is a clear choice before us: unity or division," said Pastor Brad Chilcott, "We can put our arms around each other and share our common fears, or we can turn on one another because of them. It is the choice for unity that will build a healthy future."

"Our clear message is that hate and prejudice only add evil to evil, and violence to violence. Don't buy into it," he said.

In Melbourne, the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation synagogue will open for prayers from 7pm (572 Inkerman St, North Caulfield) and in Canberra, the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre will host an interfaith prayer service from 730pm (180 London Circuit, ACT).


For more information or interviews please contact

Pastor Brad Chilcott 0410 548 637 (Activate Church Pastor, Welcome to Australia National Director)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Catholic Bishops’ statement in Lima on the road to Paris (And other interesting reading)

On Wednesday, December  10 while the UN discussed reducing emissions and adapting to climate change at this year’s COP20 negotiations in Lima, Peru, a group of Catholic bishops issued a statement calling for world governments to “put an end to the fossil fuel era.” Planet Experts Report
Monsignor Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón, Archbishop of Ayacucho, and president of the Peruvian Bishops' Conference, said: "We bishops from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe have engaged in intense dialogue on the issue of climate change, because we can see it's the poorest people who are impacted the most, despite the fact they've contributed the least to causing it.BBC News
The statement came Wednesday from nine bishops from four continents and five countries, primarily from the Global South, with five from host country Peru. That included Archbishop Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón of Ayacucho, president of the Peruvian bishops’ conference.NCR Online
Read the full statement here 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Australian Catholic Bishops: Human Rights Day: Time for Australia to Take Stock


9 December 2014

Human Rights Day: Time for Australia to Take Stock

On Human Rights Day, the Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council has called on Government to take stock of its human rights performance.

“Recent developments in Indigenous affairs and immigration policy give cause for anyone concerned about human rights to ask, ‘What’s happening to our nation?’” Bishop Christopher Saunders said.

“What’s happening in a nation willing to outlay billions of dollars in on- and offshore immigration detention that undermines human dignity and causes irreparable harm? The cost of running the Manus Island and Nauru facilities alone is over $1 billion annually.

“At the same time, Commonwealth and State governments seem unwilling to scrape together a small fraction of that amount to provide basic services to remote Indigenous communities. Anywhere up to 150 remote towns in Western Australia face closure because the State Government says it can’t find a meagre $90 million to fund municipal and essential services that were recently offloaded to the states by the Commonwealth Government. Aboriginal communities in South Australia are also at risk,” Bishop Saunders said.

“It seems that Australia’s human rights record is being undermined by policies aimed at denying people sanctuary.

“People in the cities and regional centres of Australia see it as their right to have basic municipal services. How can we possibly say that Australian citizens in remote communities do not have the same right?

“Last week’s changes in Australia’s asylum legislation strike out most references to the Refugee Convention – the international human rights standard for the treatment of asylum seekers, including our basic obligation to ensure no one is deported to danger.

“As always, the benchmark of a country’s human rights performance is seen in how it treats the most vulnerable. Australia is failing the test for First Australians seeking to maintain connection with their traditional, ancestral homelands and for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution in their homelands,” Bishop Saunders concluded.

For further information:
Bishop Christopher Saunders 0418 260 155
Mr John Ferguson (02) 8306 3499

AUSTRALIAN ♦ CATHOLIC ♦ SOCIAL ♦ JUSTICE ♦ COUNCIL
24 – 32 O’RIORDAN STREET ALEXANDRIA NSW 20 1 5
Tel: +61 (0) 2 8306 3499 Fax: +61 (0) 2 8306 3498
Email: admin@acsjc.org.au Website: www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au

Friday, December 05, 2014

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.call for Day of Solidarity with the Christians of the Middle East

Sunday 7 December 2014 has been designated a Day of Solidarity with the Christians of the Middle East by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
The Australian Bishops received a letter of request from the Conference of Bishops and Representatives of the Middle Eastern Apostolic Churches in Australia and New Zealand seeking the support of the Australian Catholics. Read full text of the statement here.
On 14 December 2014, a delegation of Australian Catholic Bishops will visit refugees in Kurdistan, Iraq and Lebanon to offer spiritual support and humanitarian aid. The delegation will comprise Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Christopher Prowse, the Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous, the Melkite Archbishop Robert Rabbat, the Chaldean Archbishop Jibrael Kassab and the Maronite Archbishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay.Contact details for messages of goodwill for this visit are here
My hope is that Australian Catholics including members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will read and rake on board the Official Statement of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. It should be essential reading for the Bishop in the December 14 delegation.
7/30/2014
In the midst of all destruction which is taking place in the Middle East and with the recent events like killings and displacements which affected Christians and others, and in the midst of the conflicts in Syria and the attack on Gaza, we hear some officials of Western governments giving  declarations from time to time or publishing some “studies” to express their unreal empathy with Christians of certain areas and showing their solidarity with them, describing their circumstances in a way that supports the logic of minorities. But the most recent of these declarations  is that of the French government regarding its readiness to accept the Iraqi Christians and granting them a political asylum, in addition to the study issued by the American Ministry of Foreign Affairs that describes the presence of the Christians in the Middle East as “a shadow of its former  status”.
We, in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East, would like to confirm that the difficult circumstances in the East do not justify  anybody’s attempt to misuse them as “Trojan Horse” to empty the East from its Christians, declaring  that what Christians are confronting in the East is similar to what is happening to religious or ethnic minorities in other places of the world. We believe that helping the  inhabitants of the East, Christians or Muslims, starts with  uprooting terrorism  from its homeland and  stop nourishing the movements of extremism and Takfirism(religious prejudice) , whose financial resources  are very well known as well as  the states and the governments that offer them  the ideological, logistic and military support through undeclared international alliances. The best way to help Christians and Muslims in the East is  by restoring peace through dialogue and political solution, and through practical rejection of all resources that nourish the reasons of this extremism, refusing the injustice towards Palestinians, adapting an  honest Media that shows the active role of the Christians in the life of their homelands away from any statistical division of people.
We say it to all: the only embracing place for Christians and Muslims of this area is their homelands, in which they have been living together for many centuries, building a unique civilization recognized  by a real partnership; a civilization that transferred to the  West the human heritage and  enriching it. We, the Christians of this land, will not accept to be treated through the logic of minorities which is imposed on us from abroad, and we reconfirm that we were and are still committed to the message of our Gospel, which has arrived to us from our ancestors 2000 years ago. Our forefathers carried and transferred this message to us  enduring numerous afflictions.  And we will keep this seed which we have  received here in the East, growing it and being loyal to it.