Bishops of Oceania visit local Townsville Imam

During the executive meeting of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania the bishops took time to visit the local Imam and pay their respects and deliver a statement of support for the communities of Townsville and Christchurch.

FCBCO President, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong from Suva delivered the message saying “The recent massacre at the mosques in Christchurch has brought deep grief to all of us. As church leaders of Oceania, we condemn this evil attack and are shocked and horrified that such an atrocity should take place against innocent people. We are equally horrified that it should be perpetrated in a place of prayer and worship, when freedom to worship is cherished in our countries.”

The attack on mosques in Christchurch was particularly close to the Bishops of Oceania as one of the executive members is Bishop Paul Martin from Christchurch, who due to the events was unable to attend the meeting in Townsville.

During the visit Imam Abdul Salik spoke passionately of the communion that all religions have. “I Feel honored that you are here, we feel that we are not alone after this event in Christchurch” he said. 

“I have no words to describe what has happened, I know in the teachings of Islam and every religion of the world that even the animals shouldn’t be treated like this.”

In the statement from the FCBCO Executive they said, “in times like this we should take the time to reflect on the way we treat one another as children of God.”

Imam Salik responded by saying that he was touched by this final comment. “There are a lot of similarities and beliefs that are the same as the Islamic religion, there is no difference that we all believe we must respect, care, love, honour and give and respect the rights of all humans.”

After the Bishop had an opportunity to pray with the Imam, he invited them to stay and enjoy a cup of tea with him in the mosque.


Back to List

More News


Diocesan Safeguarding Audit celebrates achievements

Diocesan Safeguarding Audit celebrates achievements   An independent safeguarding audit of the Catholic Diocese of Townsville has assessed a 100 per cent compliance rating with the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards according to the audit report pub...

Read Full Article

Call to support the Peter’s Pence appeal in 2024

Call to support the Peter’s Pence appeal in 2024 Catholics around Australia are being encouraged to support the Peter’s Pence appeal on June 30, the Sunday after the Feast of St Peter and St Paul.  Donations to the appeal, which goes back to M...

Read Full Article


Today, Fr Dave Lancini has had all charges dismissed by the Magistrate after the prosecution offered no evidence to all charges. In November 2023 Fr Dave was charged with historic offences dating back to 1969. Fr Dave had strongly denied any involvement in th...

Read Full Article

Parish Mass Cancellations

Parish Mass Cancellationsdue to Cyclone Kirrily Due the weather event and expected heavy rainfall and potiential of flodding, the following masses have been cancelled across the Diocese. Cathedral Parish The following Masses have been cancelled across the Pari...

Read Full Article

Bishops pray for lasting peace

PRAYING FOR A LASTING PEACEA statement from Australia’s Catholic Bishops The Australian Catholic Bishops, gathered in Sydney this week, join with the Australian Catholic community in expressing our grief and anguish over the suffering of people in ...

Read Full Article

Easter Message from Bishop Tim Harris

Easter Message - 2023 Easter is the greatest celebration in the Catholic Church because it is the completion of Holy Week that ends with the resurrection of Jesus.  This means that through the Church’s Easter liturgy, the message ‘Do not look ...

Read Full Article

VALE Queen Elizebeth II

Dear Brothers and Sisters, For many of us Queen Elizabeth is the only reining monarch we have known.  It is therefore a profoundly sad moment in our history to hear of her death. Her Majesty has served as our Head of State and Queen of Australia with gr...

Read Full Article

Have your say on religious freedom, Catholics urged

Have your say on religious freedom, Catholics urged Catholics are being encouraged to participate in a nationwide survey on religious discrimination legislation currently before the Australian Parliament and speak up in favour of religious freedom. Last month,...

Read Full Article
More Links in this section