• Vatican official stress on dispelling ‘ignorance’ at inter-faith meet

    By: Babu Thomas
    It is not differences between religious traditions and social customs that lead to conflicts, but ignorance, says Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.
    Cardinal Tauran was addressing an inter-religious meet last week at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. 

    “Conflicts arose not because of the differences between traditions and ways of life but due to deficient understanding of others teachings and their different ways of life,” Cardinal Tauran, who heads the office of the Catholic Church for the promotion of interreligious dialogue, expressed on Thursday. 

    “We are to be prophets of hope. Let differences enrich our life,” he said, as he spoke to the crowd of about 300 men and women from different religious traditions. 

    The Nov. 10 meet was held with the theme “In the spirit of Assisi: Believers Builders of Peace and Harmony”. 

    The chief guest was Salman Khurshid, Minister for Law and Minority Affairs. 

    “Peace is a human concern and ours is a dialogical society. This inter-religious meet at national level can foster dialogue at all levels especially in families,” Khurshid said. 

    He expressed appreciation at the effort of bringing people belonging to various religions together on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s birthday. 

    He affirmed that dedicating oneself for peace was the most worthy way of celebrating diverse faiths. 

    Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), in his welcome address emphasized on the need for peace through dialogue for a harmonious society. 

    “We meet today as pilgrims of peace and justice and we have the responsibility to construct peace and harmony,” he said. 

    Archbishop of Delhi Vincent Concessao opined that every man and woman on earth is a pilgrim who comes from God and goes back to God. 

    The image of a pilgrim drew the attention of the participants to the common heritage of the human family. 

    The Archbishop maintained that peace and harmony were the fruits of right relationships between people of varied religious traditions, who are called to be builders of bridges between traditions and cultures. 

    Leaders of the Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim and Bahai faith as well spoke on the occasion, stressing for more dialogue efforts. 

    The inter-religious meet was organised by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and the Archdiocese of Delhi.
    Source:  Christian Today India
    Date: November 14, 2011 

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