Celebrations and Events

 This Seminar took place at the Thomas Carr Centre in Victoria Pde on Sunday 13th November, 2005, to mark the 40th anniversary of the landmark Vatican II declaration on the Church’s relation to non-Christian religions. About 120 people made up the crowd at this event, comprising a goodly number of younger people (something which indicates the contemporary interest in interfaith relations) and a sizable number of guests from other religions (especially Buddhist and Hindu, but also Jewish and Muslim).
The main speaker for the day was the well known human rights lawyer, Julian Burnside QC. Julian graciously gave his time to address us, choosing as his topic a comparison of the political and religious tensions in today’s community to that of England 400 years ago in the time of the Gunpowder Plot. Julian also reprimanded us for keeping Nostra Aetate “a secret”. Not only does the wider community not know about it, but other religions, other Christians, and even many Catholics are completely unaware of the official teaching of the Church in regard to those of other faiths.

The memory of the Shoah (often referred to as “the Holocaust”–the systematic murder of more than 6 million Jews in Nazi Germany) continues to haunt Christians as well as Jewish people today. For that reason, and also to show solidarity with the Jewish community, the Commission’s Sub-committee for Relations with the Jewish Community invited members of the Christian communities to gather together for a “Shoah Memorial Service” at St Francis Church, Lonsdale Street, on the evening of Monday 19th of April, 2004. (The 17th of April is universally recognised as Yom Hashoah, the Shoah Memorial Day).

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