Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, reflects on war and terror, peace and hope, in a new book.
Anthony Fisher’s years as a bishop have paralleled the era of modern terrorism. On too many occasions he has had to preach at liturgies following fresh acts of terrorism and violence, such as the Lindt Café siege in Sydney, and on the anniversaries of earlier atrocities and military battles including Gallipoli.
Released in time for ANZAC Day, his new book, War & Terror, Peace and Hope: Reflections on Solidarity and Compassion, contains a collection of homilies and talks he has given on such occasions.
In Part One, ‘War and Terror’, he addresses contemporary terrorist attacks such as those in France and in Martin Place, Sydney, as well as historic events such as the Armenian genocide. He highlights the attempt by those who commit atrocities to create fear and anger, and seeks to understand something of the causes and effects of this.
While not shying away from the horrors of war and terror, Archbishop Fisher finds hope in the goodwill at the heart of humanity and the conviction that we do not have to buy into the endless cycles of recrimination, that more and better responses are possible.
Part Two, ‘Peace and Hope’ explores the ‘more and better’. He calls for respectful dialogue, honest ecumenism and just legal frameworks. He affirms that it is only in solidarity and compassion that people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds can find the wherewithal to build a lasting peace.
He explores the psychology and spirituality of maintaining Easter hope amidst Lenten experience. While religion is often seen as a root cause of war and terror, he insists that true reverence for God and the things of God helps build community rather than divide.
Anthony Fisher OP is Archbishop of Sydney and was the third Bishop of Parramatta.
War & Terror, Peace and Hope: Reflections on Solidarity and Compassion, by Anthony Fisher OP (Published by St Pauls Publications: Strathfield) http://www.stpauls.com.au/product/9356