Church sends message of peace to Muslims
The Catholic Church in Australia has marked the Islamic holy month of Ramadan by sending prayerful greetings to Muslims and reaffirming a shared commitment to peace, built on the four pillars of truth, justice, love and freedom.
A media release from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference indicates the local greetings coincide with a message to all Muslims throughout the world from the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
The President of the Pontifical Council, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, said it seemed appropriate to centre this year's message on the need to construct peace, based on Pope John XXIII's landmark letter on peace, issued 40 years ago this year.
"In this letter, entitled, Pacem in Terris, Peace on Earth, it was suggested that peace is an edifice resting on four pillars: truth, justice, love and freedom," Archbishop Fitzgerald said.
"Each of these values has to be present if there are to be good and harmonious relations between peoples and between nations."
Archbishop Fitzgerald noted that the month of Ramadan was not only a time of fasting, but also a period of intense prayer and he assured all Muslims that Catholics are united with them in prayer, particularly for those who have suffered or are suffering on account of armed conflict.
"May the Good God give all of us the strength to be true constructors of peace," he said.
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President, Archbishop Francis Carroll, said he hoped this message of peace for Ramadan would add to the already good interfaith relations in Australia.
"As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan draws to a close, we send our very best wishes to the Australian Islamic community and pray that we can draw on our heritage of faith to bring about a culture of peace in our own lives and our own nation," Archbishop Carroll said
Catholic Church sends message of peace to Muslims (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 19/11/03)
Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue | Message for the end of Ramadan (November 17, 2003)
Bishop shares Catholic experience at end of Ramadan dinner (18/11/03)
Vatican official sends Ramadan greeting, urges joint peace effort (26/11/02)
20 Nov 2003