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Pell says Catholics reject race war

Speaking at a gathering of religious leaders in the NSW Parliament yesterday, Sydney's Archbishop George Pell affirmed the Catholic Church's support for racial and religious tolerance.

The leaders, including Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen and Muslim leader Sheik Tajjadine El Hilaly, came together to sign a statement condemning terrorism.

Archbishop Pell said that in "these new and challenging times", Australians should acknowledge their history of racial harmony, stressing that the nation has prospered in a climate in which different traditions have been protected.

He suggested that challenges to racial and religious harmony internationally "can be surmounted by strength at home".

"We Catholics, deriving from many nations, are proud and grateful Australians," he said. "We reject any notions of racial and religious war. We commit ourselves once again to respect the ancient rule of law, to celebrate and protect legitimate diversity, to pursue truth and faith, to foster generosity and compassion, to practise good will towards all our fellow Australians, whatever their race or beliefs."

Religious and political leaders call for tolerance (AAP)
Religious and political leaders join in calls for 'unity in adversity' (Anglican Media)

Catholic Communications (Sydney)