WYD to showcase faith potential to unite world

WYD coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher has called on Australian Islamic leaders to assist in offering facilities for inter-faith forums during next year's World Youth Day in Sydney saying that the event will be an opportunity to demonstrate "the potential of faith to unite rather than divide our world".

World Youth Day 2008 organisers have hosted an information evening for more than a dozen Australian Islamic leaders, organisers say in a statement.

A meeting with Jewish leaders is also imminent, while leaders of other Christian faiths have already received briefings.

WYD08 Coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher OP said the briefing was also a chance to consider ways that the Islamic community might collaborate with the Catholic Church sponsored event, to be held in Sydney from 15-20 July 2008.

“World Youth Day is an opportunity like no other for the renewal of every aspect of faith life in Australia,” Bishop Fisher said.

“Although a Catholic initiative, World Youth Days have historically had a positive impact on all faiths in the countries where they have been held. This was one of the key messages we wanted to convey.”

Bishop Fisher said 17 people attended the briefing including representatives from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and a host of local Islamic schools and mosques.

He asked the leaders to inform their faithful about the event and help minimise any interfaith tension regarding World Youth Day.

“I also asked them to consider taking part in interfaith forums and volunteering facilities such as large halls. Above all, we sought to assure them that World Youth Day is an opportunity for interfaith cooperation and renewal for all people of goodwill.

"Peace and cooperation between people of faith - especially the three great monotheistic traditions of the Book - is an aspiration of most young people and given the tensions in our world, it is an urgent message for us all to hear. World Youth Day will be a wonderful demonstration of the potential of faith to unite rather than divide our world."

Youth Day organisers meet Muslims (The Age, 15/8/07)
World Youth Day 2008 briefs Australia's Islamic Leaders (WYD 2008, Media Release, 14/8/7)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
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