- Issued By: Correspondent
- City / State: Nevada, US
- Submitted: November 13, 2010 11:28 am
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nevada, US, November 13, 2010:
(From our Correspondent) “Evidence of a close connection between a relationship with God and the ethics of love for everyone is found in many great religious traditions”, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his “Verbum Domini” (The Word of the Lord) apostolic exhortation released at Vatican City on November 11.
Talking about “dialogue with other religions”, he voiced Catholic Church’s respect “for the ancient religions and spiritual traditions of the various continents. These contain values which can greatly advance understanding between individuals and peoples. Frequently we note a consonance with values expressed also in their religious books, such as…in Hinduism, the sense of the sacred, sacrifice and fasting…”
This about 200-page document is addressed to the bishops, clergy, consecrated persons and the lay faithful.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, welcomed Pope’s overtures on interreligious dialogue and suggested him to invite world Hindu leaders to Vatican City and enter into a comprehensive dialogue as he had done with few other religions in the past.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour. Religion was the most powerful, complex and far-reaching force in our society, so we must take it seriously. And we all knew that religion comprised much more than our own particular tradition/experience.
After intensive deliberations, this proposed meeting of Catholic-Hindu leaders should come up with a concrete plan about the common religious concerns like human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social & economic development, etc. Maybe this gathering could become an annual feature after that, Rajan Zed added.
Zed further says that in our shared pursuit for the truth, we can learn from one another and thus can arrive nearer to the truth. Dialogue may help us vanquish the stereotypes, prejudices, caricatures, etc., passed on to us from previous generations. As dialogue brings us reciprocal enrichment, we shall be spiritually richer than before the contact.
Rajan Zed stressed that in the spirit of Synod of Bishops 2008 which recommended “strengthening inter-religious dialogue”, Pope should visit a Hindu temple in the near future to promote mutual understanding and respect between the faiths.
Zed applauded Vatican for including well-known verse from Brahadaranyakopanishad (“Lead me from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality.”), line from Tagore’s Gitanjali (“Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.”), and reference to Mahatma Gandhi in “Way of the Cross at the Colesseum” Meditations and Prayers on Good Friday 2009 led by Pope and put together by Vatican Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.
Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about a billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.
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