THE State’s most senior Catholic leader was in Joondalup yesterday to talk about diversity, tolerance and respect.
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe addressed more than 150 local high school students and guests at the City of Joondalup’s 2019 Mayoral Prayer Breakfast, which was this year themed Diversity in Communities.
He said while the multicultural and multi-faith nature of the City was something to be “proud of and grateful” for, it was something the community should never take for granted or become complacent about.
“The ongoing success of a respectful multicultural society depends on the willingness of all of us to genuinely make room for each other,” he said.
“Being tolerant is not enough. We also need to be a respectful community.
“It’s good we tolerate each other and live and let live, but it’s much better if we respect each other and allow ourselves to be enriched by each other.”
The Archbishop also turned to the issue of religious freedom and spoke of the many “world views” which compete for space.
“The concept of a ‘world view’ refers to the deepest convictions we, as individuals and communities, cherish about what it means to be a human person in relationship with self, with others, with the world around us and with God,” he said.
He also said he tried to “follow a suggestion made by the past three popes”.
“It is the task of the church to proposed endlessly, but never to impose,” he said.
“In a multicultural and multi-faith environment, a mature society will enable and encourage the expression of a variety of ‘world views’, as long as they are proposed for reflection, discussion and consideration rather than imposed by any kind of intimidation or coercion.”
Joondalup Mayor Albert Jacob said Diversity in Communities was an apt theme for the City of Joondalup with almost 40 per cent of residents born overseas, more than 10 per cent from non-English speaking backgrounds and more than 30 different religious organisations based within its boundaries.
“Having 40 per cent of residents born overseas is a remarkable thing to reflect on,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“Think about what that means in terms of what those people bring to share with the rest of us.
“I’m not sure if that level of diversity is replicated right across the country… but it is a good example of the multicultural nature of our Australian society.”
The breakfast also featured performances from the Sacred Heart College Contemporary Band and Singers, including an Indigenous Our Father and Welcome to Country, and raised more than $2000 for Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren.