Melbourne bishop builds bridges with Muslims

Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Prowse has told a gathering of Muslims in Melbourne that he is a "better person" since he has started to "become friends" with the city's Muslim community.

Kairos Catholic Journal reports that a body of the Melbourne Islamic community invited Bishop Prowse to address its conference on the 'Birth of the Prophet Mohammed.' The occasion marked the first time in Melbourne that a Catholic Bishop was invited to speak at such an event.

Bishop Prowse told the Conference that the city's Catholics and Muslims have moved beyond the stage of comparing doctine to a breaking down of stereotypes, implying that the friendship is making a positive contribution towards the elimination of enmity.

"It is not simply a matter of comparing theological notes with each other, although this does have its place," he said. "After so many centuries we are really beginning to break down the stereotypes and ignorance we have had of each other. I am beginning to develop strong contacts with Muslims. I am a better human person for this fact. We are becoming friends."

He told the Muslim Community that the Catholic Church has a high regard for the "manner of life and conduct" and the "precepts and doctrines" which, while different from Catholic teaching, "often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men".

Building the future (Kairos Catholic Journal 24/7/05)

21 Jul 2005