Address to the Canberra Islamic Centre, Celebrating the Muslim Open Day
ADDRESS TO THE CANBERRA ISLAMIC CENTRE
ON SATURDAY, 25TH OCTOBER 2014
CELEBRATING THE MUSLIM OPEN DAY AND OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE NEW CIC CAR PARK
ADDRESS: ARCHBISHOP CHRISTOPHER PROWSE
I’m delighted to be with you again on this happy day. Last time I was with you in April it was a very sad day. The vandalism caused by mindless and cowardice acts is something that all of us in Canberra condemned and deplored. It offended our shared humanity and our religious spirit. Unexpectedly, all sorts of wonderful things have arisen from these sad days. Here we are together, so many in number, to support you all and to be in solidarity with you.
All of this shows the great resilience of the Muslim community here in Canberra. We stand in solidarity with you and offer our every encouragement in the times ahead.
I’ve always been attracted to the common expression “Think globally, act locally.” When we think globally at the moment our minds are turned towards the Middle East. Pope Francis has described the situation in many different parts of the Middle East as together forming a kind of Third World War. Many of the Catholic leaders from these communities have been writing to the Bishops of the world indicating that there is some unprecedented aspects of tremendous concern at the moment in that part of the world. Christian de-population is of a particular concern amidst all the inhumanity and despicable acts of cowardice that are happening over there in the name of religion. The Christian population, has for centuries, been interlocqueters for peace amongst the different belligerent factions. Their de-population is a cause of grave concern. We must do all that we can in the international community to create a situation where these communities, and also ethnic communities and Muslim minorities are able to return to their homelands and continue their family way of life once again. Christians over the centuries have been conspicuous in establishing schools, hospitals and orphanages. We must be able to create an environment where they too can return and continue such humanitarian concerns.
At the same time we must try to act locally. Look at what is happening here today! It is a cause of great joy for us to unite together as one Canberra family in supporting those that are fragile and have been the objects of mindless attacks.
So I thank you for inviting us here today. Our support with you is ongoing. We congratulate you for all that is symbolised in the great events of today.