November 4, 2001
MUSLIMS AND CATHOLICS
COME TOGETHER FOR MASS IN REDFERN
Catholic Community of St Vincent's at Redfern celebrated
a MASS OF COMPASSION AND SUPPORT for those who drowned while
attempting to come to Australia on the SIEVX (Suspected
Illegal Entry Vessel X) in October 2001, for those suffering
the loss of their loved ones in that disaster and for all
of our Muslim brothers and sisters who have suffered abuse
and harassment in Australia.
One of the organisers, Mary McMahon, said
today that the Redfern Catholic community, including the
Aboriginal community wished to express deep sorrow for the
refugees who drowned while attempting to reach Australia
"We were so horrified by the apparent
callousness, the lack of simple human kindness and disregard
for the suffering of those who have lost so much, exhibited
by various politicians, that we felt that we had to make
an effort to contact the Muslim community and offer our
support and sympathy. For us, the most fulfilling way of
doing this is to offer a mass in which the congregation,
Catholics and Muslims, can join in mutual support and understanding.
We hope that our action will be seen as uniting the community
rather than dividing it," she added.
Muhammad Al Musawy spoke on behalf of
the families of the victims of the tragedy: "I know
that my wife's spirit and the spirits of her three beautiful
nieces, who all drowned in the tragedy, will find more peace
knowing that their tragic fate has brought our communities
The Mass was attended by the Mufti of Australia,
Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilaly and members of Sydney's Moslem
communities who read from the Koran. "I appreciate
your message of support and solidarity, may God bless you
all," said the Mufti.
Father Ted Kennedy, parish priest and Father
John Ford were the main Catholic celebrants.
Ted's homily for the occasion may be found
November 3, 2002
PEOPLE OF MANY FAITHS
COME TOGETHER IN REDFERN
An Interfaith service was held at St
Vincent's on the anniversary of the Mass of Compassion
for the Muslim community in Australia.
The theme was one of creating a space
for friendship, celebrating diversity, coming together
in peace and harmony.
Spokesperson Mary McMahon said: 'At
this time of sadness and suffering in the Australian
community following the massacre in Bali, we remember
the innocent who have died violently including those
who have tried to come to Australia in search of peace.
We are also supporting all in our community who are
being mistreated because of their race,
religion or colour.'
Members of the Muslim community,
Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians from many denominations
attended the unique Interfaith Service which concluded
with a shared meal.
The Uniting Church's Rev Dorothy
McCrae-McMahon wrote the liturgy, with its emphasis
on children and young people and building bridges
of friendship, support and community, in consultation
with the various faith communities.
THIS IS NOT AN ECUMENICAL
numerous representations by Mary McMahon and others,
Neocat parish priests Prindiville and Sudla doggedly
refuse to allow St Vincent's to be used as the venue
for another Interfaith Service. The Community's wishes
have been dismissed with a perfunctory "This
is not an Ecumenical Church". See news article
No accord on inter-faith
George Pell, with your track record
in ecumenical and interfaith activities, how can you
continue to unconditionally support these Neocats?
Postscript: The Ecumenical and Interfaith
Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne has
advised Church Mouse that the terms "interfaith"
(or "inter-religious" as it is also called) and
"ecumenical" are not the same. "Interfaith"
relates to relationships with other religions, and "ecumenical"
to relationships with other Christians.
The confusion in the minds of Prindiville
and Sudla is consistent with their display of intolerance
not only of other religions and other Christians, but also
of Catholics who do not travel the Neocatechumenal Way.