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Tasmanian priest urges Ramadan fast for Catholics in Lent

A parish priest in Tasmania has urged Catholics to adopt a Ramadan fast for the Fridays of Lent to promote tolerance, reconciliation and understanding between Christians and Muslims.

Fr Michael Tate of Bridgewater/Brighton will formally make his call for the solidarity gesture at 10:30 tomorrow morning on the lawns of Parliament House in Hobart.

He said Pope John Paul II has called for the world religions to prayerfully engage in actions to advance the cause of world peace.

Fr Tate is a former Federal Government minister who was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Hobart two years ago.

"The importance of fasting, in any form, is to encourage us to examine our consciences - to reflect deeply on how we live our lives, and where necessary, to change our hearts and our actions," Fr Tate said.

"In this time of turmoil and division, such a fast should be seen as an act of solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are adherents of Islam in Australia," Fr Tate said.

"This Lent would also be a good time for Australians to collectively assess how we are meeting our moral obligations as a nation."

The Acting Iman for Tasmania, Mr Sabri Samson, has enthusiastically endorsed the event and will take part.

Catholic Media (TAS)