3 Cardinals Invite Pope to Visit India

NEW DELHI, India, MAY 2, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has special interest in India and its culture and in continuing dialogue with other religions, says Cardinal Telesphore Toppo.

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The archbishop of Ranchi and president of the country’s episcopal conference confirmed that he and the two other Indian electors in the recent conclave — Cardinals Varkey Vithayathil and Ivan Dias — have invited the new Pope to India.

«But he may not visit very soon. It will depend on his engagements,» he clarified.

In a statement published by the Indian episcopal conference, Cardinal Toppo said that he «had the opportunity to meet the new Pope personally three times after his election.»

«I am proud to say that on the three occasions, Pope Benedict XVI showed keen interest in India and its rich heritage,» he noted.

To the question about the future of interreligious dialogue under the new papacy, Cardinal Toppo said it would continue without hindrance.

The cardinal described the new Pope as an «intellectual giant,» and yet a «very humble and simple» person. Moreover, the Indian prelate said Benedict XVI’s election in such a short period of time «is a sign of the unity of the Church throughout the world.»

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