Columban awarded honorary Fellowship

Columban Father, Reverend Doctor Patrick McInerney has recently been awarded the title of Honorary Fellow of Australian Catholic University (ACU). This title acknowledges his outstanding promotion of dialogue, mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between Christians and followers of other religions.

The letter advising him of this award also appreciates Fr McInerney’s interest in the University’s activities and looks forward to his association with the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy and the Asia-Pacific Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue in particular.
Fr McInerney is currently the Director of the Columban Mission Institute in Strathfield, NSW and the Coordinator of its Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations and its Centre for Mission Studies. It is in these capacities that his many and varied activities in interfaith relations have come to the attention of the University and led to this award. Fr McInerney is very grateful to the University for this honorary title and will use it to further promote understanding and friendship between Christians and people of other faiths.
With people of different faiths living, working and playing side-by-side in cities, suburbs and towns throughout Australia, building better relations between them is an integral part of preaching and living the Gospel message in our day. It is also a very important part of building social cohesion in our society. Globally, Christians make up around one third of the world’s population and Muslims one fifth. This constitutes just over half of the world’s population. Thus, building better relations and mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims is vital for promoting world peace.
Although the number of Muslims in Australia is comparatively small (1.7% in the 2006 census), their image looms large in public consciousness because of media reports on events in other parts of the world. However, precisely because we do not have the histories of animosity that can all too easily mar relations between people of different faiths, we in Australia can build new models of multi-faith and multi-cultural living that can be an example for the rest of the world. The lessons that we learn and the practices that we develop here can then become a resource for other countries. The importance of interfaith work is not only important for Australia but for the world.

The award is a tribute to all the staff of the Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations over the past twelve years.

For more information about Christian - Muslim Relations (CMR) please contact:

Rev Dr Patrick Mclnerney
Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations
Columban Mission Institute
Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, NSW, 2135
Phone:+ 61 2 9352 8013

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