Today in Croke Park Archbishop Dermot Farrell delivered an address on behalf of the Catholic community to wish our Muslim brothers and sisters a happy and holy Eid Festival on the occasion of the Eid Al-Adha, or Eid of Sacrifice, when Muslims celebrate the sacrifice of Abraham
Inspired by the example of Pope Francis, we acknowledge the rich diversity of faith communities in our country and the important contribution of the Muslim community to our society.
Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has been actively engaged in dialogue with Muslims. A recent example of this has been the signing in 2019 of the Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of the Al Azhar Mosque.
Our faith as Christians teaches us that respect, tolerance and love of neighbour are the corner stones of an integrated country. We appreciate the contribution of the Muslim community in Ireland and pray that the merciful and compassionate God will guide, bless and protect them during this important expression of their faith. See full address below:
Address to the Muslim Community on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha or Festival of the Sacrifice
I would like to express my deep gratitude to Dr Umar al-Qadri Chairperson of the Islamic Peace and Integration Council for his kind invitation, for the warm welcome which he has given me in the name of the Muslim community in Ireland, and, in particular, for his gracious introduction.
I am delighted to accept the invitation to speak on “Togetherness” the theme of this year Eid Al-Adha gathering, when Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Alha.
Togetherness reminds me of the Islamic notion of Ummah and the Christian notion of Community of Believers. Both are very important concepts in our two religious traditions.
For Muslims your tradition teaches that the believing community has been appointed “a middle nation” (Ummatan wasaṭan), (Quran 2:143) to be “witnesses for humankind.”
For us Christians, this notion of community is expressed in our Holy Scriptures where we were told that the newly-founded Christian community “… devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts of the Apostles 2:42).
Witness, fellowship, sharing and prayer are all important pillars (Arkaan) of the believing community which we as Christians share with you.
You have come from many different countries and linguistic traditions to live and work in and Ireland which also has a long history of witnessing, fellowship, sharing and prayer.
We the Catholic community are happy to be partners with you in promoting a society which respects each person’s religious tradition and which encourages all to share with the poor and the most vulnerable.
We know that and appreciate that the sharing of the sacrificed meat with the poor and other charitable offerings (Zakaat) are an essential part of your ‘Eid tradition.
Our faith as Christians teaches us that respect, tolerance and love of neighbour are the corner stones of an integrated country. We appreciate the contribution of the Muslim community in Ireland and pray that the Merciful and Compassionate God will guide, bless and protect you during this important expression of your faith.
As you continue on your journey to seek the One and Unique God who is compassionate and merciful to all, I wish you all a very happy Eid Al-AdHa Eid Mubaarak.
- Archbishop Dermot Farrell is Archbishop of Dublin
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