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The statement, released by the episcopal vicar for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for the archdiocese of Melbourne, was published in commemoration of the Islamic month of fasting and prayer. Known as Ramadan, the month of fasting and prayer begins when the new moon is sighted, with the end occurring when the next new moon is sighted. The archdiocese's statement claims the "Holy Qur'an...had a special purpose."
"The Holy Qur'an was first revealed in the month of Ramadan," the advertisement reads, "and had a special purpose: 'And we send down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers'….The Prophet Muhammad was also sent as an instrument of God's mercy."
ChurchMilitant.com spoke with Robert Spencer, director of JihadWatch.org, regarding the statement from the Archdiocese. In an article regarding the statement, Spencer poses the question.
Does the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, then, believe that the Qur’an was revealed by God, and that Muhammad is a true prophet?...But then why not speak precisely, rather than sow confusion by making what appear to be affirmations of Islamic faith? And when have the Melbourne Archdiocese Muslim partners in “interfaith dialogue” ever made affirmations of Christian faith in a likewise generous and ecumenical spirit? Why, never, of course. They’re more careful, and more aware of what the purpose of the “dialogue” really is.
Spencer then highlighted that Christians are being murdered every day in the middle-east by Muslims who pledge allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad.
"What’s more," Spencer continues, "the issuance of such a fulsome and fatuous message, with no reference whatsoever to the Christians being exiled and massacred by believers in the Qur’an and Muhammad and in accord with their teachings, is nothing short of obscene."