Published: Monday 6th July 2015
Message from Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven
Winter mornings in Canberra are usually cold occasions. However there was a special warmth inside Old Parliament House when Australian Catholic University hosted the inaugural Federal Parliamentary Interfaith Prayer Breakfast on June 17.
Politicians from the main parties in both Houses of Parliament joined together with community leaders from 30 different faiths and ACU stakeholders in a celebration of diversity and tolerance.
ACU's Mission and engagement within the Catholic Intellectual Tradition was clearly evident at the interfaith prayer breakfast.
The Prayer Breakfast was a real opportunity for leaders from across the political and religious spectrum to share a meal together and reflect on the bigger picture.
It was an invaluable experience and signaled a unity of spirit that exists across political and faith boundaries.
It also provided an opportunity for our civic leaders to reflect on the important role prayer and faith play in the lives or all Australians and in informing public debate.
It was a joy for ACU to create a community event in which our leaders could break bread and join us in our morning prayers.
We were privileged to be joined by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott together with the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten who both spoke about faith in their public and private lives.
Abbott praised the work faith leaders do for the common good and said that it was valuable to have a faith to provide support through difficult times at ACU’s inaugural federal parliamentary interfaith breakfast held in Canberra last week.
Faiths represented at the breakfast included leaders from Australia's Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Baha'i communities. Leaders from Christian churches were also there including Baptist, the Salvation Army, the Uniting Church, Coptic Orthodox, Assemblies of God the Wesley Mission and other denominations.
It was significant that the inaugural interfaith prayer breakfast occurred midway through World Refugee Week, and the 50th anniversary year of Vatican II's ground-breaking Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate).
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