ON Wednesday 19 November 2014, approximately 80 people – mainly Catholic, but also Anglicans and Lutherans – gathered in the Cathedral Room of the Cardinal Knox Centre to hear Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission member Associate Professor Nasir Butrous speak about the current situation in Iraq and the implications of the conflict for Christian-Muslim relations in Australia.
Nasir is a Chaldean Catholic and a native of the city of Mosul (Biblical Nineveh) in Iraq. He is the Associate Professor of Management at the Australian Catholic University (Faculty of Law and Business) in Melbourne. Nasir was previously a member of the Commission for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relationships in the Archdiocese of Brisbane. He has regularly spoken on his perspective on Islam from his lived experience of Catholic–Muslim relations both in Iraq and in Australia.

In interfaith dialogue, everyone enjoys meeting one another and sharing good times. But the quality of interfaith dialogue and the relationship between dialogue partners is often best gauged by the way and the extent to which they are able to discuss issues of sensitivity and disagreement.

The Symposium held at the Temple Beth Israel synagogue in St Kilda on Sunday 29 April 2012 - "A Cross Too Heavy: Pius XII and the Jews of Europe" – therefore testified to the health and maturity of the Christian Jewish dialogue in Melbourne. Hosted by the B'nai B'rith Melbourne Mitzvah Lodge and the Council of Christians and Jews - Victoria, it addressed an issue that has been of great concern to both Jews and Catholics for some time now.

Approximately 300 people, the majority from the Jewish community, attended the event to hear Sydney-based historian Dr Paul O'Shea speak. The author of the book "A Cross Too Heavy: Eugenio Pacelli: Politics and the Jews of Europe, 1917-1943", Dr O'Shea is the Dean of Mission at Rosebank Catholic College and has also taught for Jewish centres of education. Following his presentation, Rabbi Fred Morgan of Temple Beth Israel and Mr David Schütz, the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, both spoke briefly on issues pertaining to the topic.

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