Vatican Stresses Mutual Respect in Hindu Relations

Calls for Greater Interreligious Trust, Cooperation

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 28, 2010 ( The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is underlining mutual respect as a quality that should mark Catholic-Hindu relations.

This was one focus of a message sent by the council on the occasion of the Hindu feast of Diwali, the festival of light, which will be observed Nov. 5.

The message, titled «Christians and Hindus: Toward Enhancing of Mutual Respect, Trust and Cooperation,» was signed by the council president and secretary, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata.

They offered a reflection «on how best we can strengthen our friendship and cooperation by mutually ensuring and enhancing respect and trust.»

«Respect is the proper regard for the dignity which naturally pertains to every person irrespective of any external recognition,» the message stated.

It continued, «Dignity implies the inalienable right of every individual to be protected from any kind of violence, neglect or indifference.»

«Mutual respect, therefore, becomes one of the fundamentals for peaceful and harmonious co-existence as well as progress in society,» the council leaders affirmed.

«Trust, on the other hand, nourishes every genuinely human relationship, both personal and communitarian,» they noted.

«Mutual trust, besides creating an environment conducive to growth and the common good, shapes a shared conviction that we can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose,» the message stated.

The council leaders added that in the area of interreligious dialogue and relations, «we well know that respect and trust are not optional extras but the very pillars on which the edifice of our engagement itself stands.»

They continued, «The greater our engagement in interreligious dialogue, the fuller our respect and trust become, leading us to an increase in cooperation and common action.»

The message concluded, «As people who hold in common the well-being of individuals and communities, may we give greater visibility with every means in our power to a culture that promotes respect, trust and cooperation.»

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