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Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP gives the Rabbi Apple lecture at Sydney’s Great Synagogue (The Catholic Weekly/Alphonsus Fok)

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has called for people of all faiths to band together in fraternity, declaring that “all children of Abraham” share a common bond of brotherhood. Source: The Catholic Weekly.

Speaking to a large crowd at the Great Synagogue in Sydney as a guest of the NSW Council of Christians and Jews, Archbishop Fisher delivered a keynote address paying tribute to the late Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, who passed away earlier this year. 

Rabbi Apple, who led the Great Synagogue from 1972-2005, was instrumental in founding the Christian-Jewish Luncheon club in Sydney the 1970s and was patron of the Australian Council of Christians and Jews. 

During his tribute to Rabbi Apple, whom the archbishop described as the “trailblazer of Judeo-Christian relations in Australia,” Archbishop Fisher called for Christians and Jews to always walk together and stand shoulder to shoulder, quoting the words of Solomon, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born to share adversity” (Prov 17:17).

“Because the ‘Abrahamic’ religions grew up beside each other, with so many family resemblances, we might also think of Jews and Christians as siblings,” Archbishop Fisher said.

He used the opportunity to highlight the updated guidelines and recommendations on Christian/Jewish relations which were published last year, titled Walking Together: Catholics and Jews in the Australian Context. 

Released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 30 years after the original document Rabbi Apple dubbed “the Australian Nostra Aetate,” Archbishop Fisher applauded the work as a seminal update in the view of society’s changing circumstances.   

“It reminds Christians of the ‘Jewishness’ of Jesus, encourages deeper appreciation of theological overlaps and differences, calls for greater liturgical sensitivity, and proposes various collaborations,” Archbishop Fisher said. 

Chief Minister of the Great Synagogue, Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton, spoke of the mutual responsibility Christians and Jews have together to ensure that we remain united in the face of religious discrimination.


Archbishop Fisher: Christians and Jews are still walking together (By Marcus Middleton, The Catholic Weekly