Fr. Damian MacPherson SA, Director for Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs for the Archdiocese of Toronto, recently spent a full study day in conversation on the theme of Islam with clergy, including 116 priests and the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Vancouver.
In a series of four power point presentations Fr. Damian offered the priests a basic understanding of commonly held tenants of the faith of Islam. He also traced the historical response of the Roman Catholic Church to Islam and the changing attitudes and understanding which have occurred with Vatican II up to the present day.
Time was spent sharing the successful bridge-building initiatives set in place within the Archdiocese of Toronto. The final session offered an open opportunity for questions, observations, general comments and suggestions going forward. A number of positive responses toward the entire day were expressed. Within the Archdiocese of Vancouver there are 430,000 Roman Catholics and approximately ninety thousand Muslims.