Catholic Parish Promotes Interfaith Understanding Between Anglicans and Muslims

February 26, 2004

Source: Maryknoll Magazine

On February 26, 2004 Maryknoll Magazine (publication of Maryknoll, a U.S.-based Catholic mission movement) ran an article on how one of their parishes in Africa was helping to promote better understanding between Anglican and Muslim neighbors. The article read, "Interfaith respect and cooperation among the religious groups in our town is not something new. It is the result of years of good leadership. Anglican and Catholic friendship strengthened during a 16-year-long civil war, when Catholic priests were not allowed to visit the many small communities in central Mozambique. In the face of such isolation, our bishop, Dom Luís Gonzaga Ferreira da Silva (now retired), encouraged Catholics cut off from pastoral attention to participate in local Anglican worship services. Gonzaga's respect for other beliefs reaches beyond gestures of good faith. He has long been a good friend of the local Anglican bishop, and many Muslim religious leaders also consider him a friend...On several occasions Muslim leaders have asked him to deliver the Koran to a Muslim community that lacked its own copy. He willingly does so, realizing the importance of living in respect and harmony with all faiths."