Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has called on people of all faiths to unite in a shared commitment to promoting peace in a world struggling with the horrors of war, especially in the Holy Land. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
The archbishop was speaking at an Occasion of Common Lamentation and Prayer for Peace at St Mary’s Cathedral on December 6, hosted jointly with the chair of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s Commission for Christian Unity and Inter-Religious Dialogue, Bathurst Bishop Michael McKenna.
The evening of prayer, silent reflection, bell-tolling, candle lighting, solemn music and scripture readings brought together people from many different faith traditions, united in solidarity to lament the horrors and heartache of wars around the world and to pray for a just and lasting peace.
Church leaders from the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches were particularly well represented at the event, including archbishops and bishops from the Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Maronite and Chaldean churches.
The brutality of war can often lead believers to question their faith in God, but it is in these dark times, we can indeed find peace in place of turmoil, Archbishop Fisher said.
“Our hope is not ultimately in human peace processes, important as these are; it is hope in the God who can change hearts, put forgiveness where there is vengeance, peace in place of turmoil, love instead of hate.”
Shafiq Khan, the founder and managing director of Al Faisal Colleges, a group of Muslim schools in Sydney, praised Archbishop Fisher and the Church for its leadership in helping to build bridges between people of faith in such difficult times.
“We certainly need more peacemakers in our world not only at this time, but at all times and I certainly hope we can see more events like this to unite our faiths together in prayer, which is a powerful source of hope and of reconciliation,” Dr Khan said.
Faiths unite for peace in the Holy Land (By Michael Kenny, The Catholic Weekly)