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Mrs Morrison greets interfaith leaders

PM Morrison at Coptic Sydney Mass

Yesterday I met with the National Imams Council and all I could say to them was to express my profound grief to them, as you have done this morning. As Australians right across this country will be doing; in churches yesterday, in temples, on Friday in prayers in mosques, all understanding our human fragility and how in a moment, innocence can be attacked and lost, by an act of hate.

But you know, when you go back to why Father Mina came here 50 years ago, he came here to preach and to gather together a community of hope. A hope established on this very important point, which is a message to all of those who would choose hate and a life of hate; a life of hate only ends in ruin and suffering. He came here to celebrate, as you and I and all Australians do in the faiths that we pursue, a message of love.

It says; “Do not be troubled by the world, because I have overcome them,” you know that scripture. What is meant by that is that Jesus overcame the hate, with love. That is the message of Abrahamic faiths and I believe many others; a message of love for others.

Now I can assure you and those who would seek to peddle hate and culture hate and foment hate, in whatever place they are and for whatever motive it comes from, that hate will never defeat love, because love is the basis of peace.

That is the victory we declare today over these horrendous and despicable events, in of all places, a place called ‘Christ church’, a place called Christchurch. We stand together, I believe as a world today in speaking out against that.

So my prayer this morning – I’ll pray again I understand, in a moment – but the one I particularly want to share with you here is the prayers of St. Francis and I’m sure many of you will know it. It is a prayer for a troubled time, which this is.

It says: “Lord, make me instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Oh divine master, grant that I might not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, and it is in the pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in dying, that we are born to eternal life.”

That was the prayer of St Francis. I can’t think of any better commendation to all of us as to how to respond and I want to thank the Coptic community for the way you have reached out to our Muslim community. That’s what about country is all about – the respect for each other, the care and love for each other  and as I said, this community knows better than most, as well as any other the hurt that they would be feeling now and out of that, we profess love.  – Statement of PM Scott Morrison