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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.
When Bishop Māriu died in 2005 at the age of 53 his loss was felt deeply by Māori and the wider Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, iwi, hapu, whānau and by the other bishops.There are three Catholic Māori secondary schools, all providing boarding facilities.These colleges have great historical significance, with St Joseph’s Māori Girls College in Napier the first to be established, opening in 1867.The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) established the Committee for Interfaith Relations to assist them in their interfaith work.
The Committee is responsible to the NZCBC Commission for the Church in Society and looks to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) for leadership in the field of interfaith relations.
The Conference has a Secretariat located in Wellington, and a number of agencies and offices to assist the bishops in carrying out functions together. It has two Commissions, the Commission for the Church and the Commission for the Church in Society, both made up of bishops. The visit of Pope St John Paul II to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1986 was a time of great significance for Māori, as he was the first Pope to explicitly recognise their identity within the Church.