News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool
LIVERPOOL CATHEDRAL CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
- A LOOK BACK AT OUR COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE
We were recently blessed on the Isle of Man with a visit from Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald. He had been set to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation with us in January but that visit was cancelled due to ill health, with candidates dropping out with Covid. His visit also fulfilled a promise to address the Island Spirituality Network.
An ecumenical body, the Island Spirituality Network suggested the Cardinal might reflect on a lifetime living and working with Muslims. A fluent Arabist, he had lectured Muslim students at university level on the Koran. As the Vatican’s leading expert on relations with Muslims, he served as secretary and then president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious dialogue. He went on to be the Papal Nuncio (ambassador) to Cairo for six years. Many of you will have met him in his current role as assistant priest at the Liverpool inner-city parish of Saint Vincent de Paul.
Asked by someone attending the Island Spirituality Network what kept him going, he replied: ‘Good people.’ He spoke of the number of genuinely holy Muslims he had met and explained how the primary focus of true dialogue was to share and not to convert.
The second reading for Sunday 7 August is taken from the Letter to the Hebrews. It tells the story of Abraham. ‘It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call to set out for a country that was the inheritance given him and his descendants, and that he set out without knowing where he was going.’
That is a wonderful metaphor for the faith journey of each of us. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are known as the ‘Abrahamic Faiths’. We are all his descendants. In the words of the First Eucharistic Prayer, we are proud to call Abraham ‘Our Father in Faith’.
He went on to be the Papal Nuncio (ambassador) to Cairo for six years