Interfaith Relations group meets in Palmerston North

Published on 10th Mar, 2023

Nick Wilson

From 04 to 05 March 2023, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Committee for Interfaith Relations (NZCBCIR) met in Palmerston North.

Every diocese in Aotearoa New Zealand has one representative on this Committee who is also member of the local Interfaith Council which is made up of representatives from different religious traditions.

Bishop Michael Dooley from Dunedin liaises with the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

The work of this council comes from the Vatican II Council Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, also known as Nostra Aetate. Interfaith work is dialogical and acknowledges those things that we have in common across faith traditions. For example, a common issue across faith traditions is care for the environment. This is one of the many topics we dialogue in, as it is something that affects all of us.

The committee meets twice a year, and there are many regional interfaith groups that are open to everyone.

Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium states: “Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and so it is a duty for Christians as well as other religious communities. This dialogue is in first place a conversation about human existence or simply, as the bishops of India have put it, a matter of ‘being open to them, sharing their joys and sorrows’.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 250. 2013)

For more information on the NZCBCIR or to find out about your local interfaith committee, please contact: [email protected].


Other links that might be of interest:

NZCBC Interfaith Relations Committee –

Interfaith Relations –

NZCBCIR contact: [email protected]

Nostra Aetate Link:

Palmerston North Interfaith Co-Chair: Julie Randall [email protected]


left to right:

Nick Wilson (Palmerston North), Christopher Longhurst (Wellington), Colin MacLeod (Dunedin), Adele Churchman (Christchurch/Timaru), Beate Matthies (Auckland), Teresa Fernandez (Hamilton) and Bishop Michael Dooley.
Missing on the picture: Matthew Gardner (Christchurch)


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