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Shared faith?

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 Contents - Feb 2013AD2000 February 2013 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: AD2000 25 years on: the challenges remain - Michael Gilchrist
Royal Commission: The Church in Australia faces moment of truth - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
Adoration: Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration embraced by Brisbane parish - Kate Hobbs
Parish Renewal: New springtime for Catholic faith at St Mary's, South Brisbane - Jenny Davies
Marriage: UK Family Court judge: why marriage is worth fighting for - Madonna Brosnan (ed.)
Events: iWitness Retreat: a celebration of young adult Catholic faith - Br Barry Coldrey
Religious freedom: The widows of Kandmahal: anti-Christian violence in India - Babette Francis
Schools: Drawing pupils to God through the true, the good and the beautiful - Rosemary Anderson
Grace: Indulgences: relics of the past or still Church teaching? - John Young
History: Parish life in the Middle Ages (Part 2): living under canon law - Frank Mobbs
Pilgrimage: Christus Rex Pilgrimage 2012: from Ballarat to Bendigo - Patrick Doyle
Letters: Church unity? - Richard Congram
Letters: Royal Commission - Arnold Jago
Letters: Shared faith? - John Frey
Letters: Secularist creed - Fr Bernard McGrath
Books: THE PASSION OF PERPETUA AND FELICITY, by Thomas J. Heffernan - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: TAI CHI, REIKI: A Guide for all Christians, by Br Max Sculley FSC - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Fighting Fund: 2012 Fighting Fund update
Books: Order books from
Reflection: The cathedral: symbol of Christ's authoritative teaching - Bishop Michael Kennedy

For the celebration of the month of Ramadan, a recent meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference suggested the following prayer be included in the Prayers of the Faithful. "For our Muslim brothers and sisters, that by the bodily discipline of fasting and the spiritual devotion of their hearts, they find grace and favour in God's eyes" ( Catholic Weekly, 16 December 2012).

As to the concept of brotherhood, both the Church and the Koran agree that the basis of brotherhood is shared faith. In the Koran, Sura 9:10, it is said of unbelievers: "If they repent and take to prayer and render their alms levy, they shall become your brothers in the faith."

According to Pope Benedict the Christian is the brother of his fellow Christian but not of the non-Christian (Joseph Ratzinger, The Meaning of Christian Brotherhood 1993: p. 65). That means there is no brotherhood across the border of either religion.

Part of the proposed prayer, that "they find grace and favour in God's eyes", directed my attention to Europe, where there are over 10,000 mosques and de-christianisation is in progress. It also reminded me of the persecution and martyrdom of fellow Christians in many Muslim countries, and of the fact that there are irreconcilable doctrinal differences between the Church and Islam.

The suggested prayer gives a mighty boost to the already high self-confidence of Islam, which claims to be the only true religion and aims at world domination (Sura 2:193). Moreover, it is a sad reflection on our own faith crisis.

In the spirit of Matthew 28:18-20, we should rather be praying for the conversion of Muslims.

Keiraville, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 26 No 1 (February 2013), p. 16

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