“The Church urges her sons and daughters to enter with prudence and charity into discussion and collaboration with members of other religions. Let Christians, while witnessing to their own faith and way of life, acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths among non-Christians, also their social life and culture”. Pope Paul VI, Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions), 1965, n.2
The Catholic Church in New Zealand is committed to strengthening relationships between people of different faiths present in New Zealand. In 2009 the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) established the Committee for Interfaith Relations to assist them in their interfaith work.
The Committee consists of up to eight members and is responsible to the NZCBC Commission for the Church in Society. The Committee looks to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) for leadership in the field of interfaith relations.
The aim of the Committee is to further understanding, mutual respect and dialogue between Catholics and members of other world religions in New Zealand, and to work with people of other faiths for the good of the whole community. For this reason, the Committee is also registered with the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme.
At the New Zealand Diversity Forum held in Wellington in 2009 Archbishop John Dew launched the revised edition of the Statement on Religious Diversity, which offers a framework for national discussion on religious issues.
The Committee provides advice and recommendations to the bishops on relationships with people of other faiths; develops networks with other religious communities; takes part in and encourages New Zealand Catholics to engage in national interfaith dialogue at all levels: national, diocesan and local, and liaises with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
A number of Catholics are involved with national and regional interfaith forums. More information on these and other interfaith events is available on the New Zealand Interfaith Group website.
Contact the Committee for Interfaith Relations
Sr Catherine Jones SMSM (Chair)
PO Box 1937
(04) 496 1337