On 24 February, the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations of the St Columban Missionary Society in Australia hosted a synodal consultation.
Representatives from the Diocese of Parramatta were invited, including members of the Interfaith Commission, priests, youth, religious, members of the chancery and education, as well as the bishop.
“We followed the format provided on the Synod page of the ACBC website, but instead of Communion, Participation and Mission, we focussed exclusively on Interreligious Dialogue,” says Father Patrick McInerney, director of the Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations.
To “make it truly interreligious”, a Jewish rabbi and a Muslim researcher were invited to share ” their hopes and expectations of Catholic attitudes and behaviours towards Jews and Muslims”.
After the presentations, the twenty or so participants engaged in a ‘group spiritual conversation’. The reports of these groups were collected, edited and presented to the Synod of Bishops.
“The more I think about it, the importance of this consultation is not so much the contents of the final submission, but the fact that this type of interfaith conversation took place at all! It was a truly ground-breaking experience that merits being repeated in dioceses across Australia and the world,” shares Father Patrick McInerney.
More information about the meeting can be found at these addresses: