Catholic/Jewish dinner

July 4, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Ecumenical Interfaith Commission (EIC) have hosted the annual Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner.

Father Denis Stanley

Father Denis Stanley

A record crowd of over 100 people attending the event at St Kilda Shule.

The highlight of this year’s event was a Q&A type panel featuring three Catholic and three Jewish panelists: Emeritus Prof

Nina Bassat

Nina Bassat

Louis Waller from Monash University, retired Supreme Court Judge Hon Howard Nathan, Principal of Bialik College Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, Assoc Prof Mary Coloe from the Yarra Theological Union, Member for Monbulk and Deputy Leader of the Opposition James Merlino MP, and Christina Kennedy from Catholic Voices Australia.

Questions from the audience and via Twitter were wide ranging, including the Pope and Jewish-Catholic relations, religion in schools, parole board decisions and sentencing, Jewish-Muslim relations, and addressing racial & religious vilification through legislation.

Hon Howard Nathan pointed out that times and relations between the faiths have changed dramatically over the years.  “Thirty years ago, Jews were considered by Catholics as the killers of Christ” and the perceptions have changed dramatically.  Assoc Prof Mary Coloe pointed out that Pope Francis has said recently “it’s impossible for a Christian to be anti-semitic as Jesus Christ was born a Jew, lived as a Jew and died a Jew.”

Nina Bassat, President of the JCCV said that the dinner was a demonstration of the success of dialogue and friendship building across the Jewish and Catholic faiths:  “This was a highly successful event and was highly praised by all who attended.”


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