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» 02/26/2014
INDIA - USA
American priest in India: Faith in Christ will help us find respect for other religions
by Nirmala Carvalho
Father Leo D. Lefebure, of the Archdiocese of Chicago, is in India for a series of lectures . He talks about his mission, founded on relations with Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus. We can learn something from every belief if we give up our negative attitudes towards others.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "The greatest contribution that India can give to interreligious dialogue is to promote reconciliation with Pakistan and try to resolve the situation in Kashmir". The speaker is Fr. Leo D. Lefebure, an American priest, who is touring the Asian country giving a series of lectures. A native of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Fr. Lefebure is engaged in inter-religious. He is a professor of theology at Georgetown University and is an emeritus member of the World Parliament of Religions. During his visit to India, the priest gave a lecture at Jamia Millia Islamia, the historic Islamic university in New Delhi. Here he spoke of Paul VI and the new spirit that the pope has brought to relations between Christians and Muslims. He spoke to AsiaNews about the meaning of his mission and what he has learned from dialogue with people of other religions.

Where does your passion for inter-religious dialogue come from?

My faith in Jesus Christ pushes me to pursue respectful and harmonious relations with the followers of other religious traditions. Unfortunately, many religious traditions are too often in conflict in many regions of the world today, and many Americans have negative attitudes towards other religions, particularly towards Islam. I draw my energy and my support from so many wonderful colleagues that I have met in various interfaith activities.

What would you see as India's contribution to Christian-Muslim dialogue in a global context?

The biggest contribution that India can give is to promote reconciliation with Pakistan and try to resolve the situation in Kashmir. This would have a global impact and would be a wonderful model for dialogue and inspiration for others.

What have you learned from dialogue with people of other religions and people who do not profess any belief in particular?

For a long time I have been involved in Jewish-Christian dialogue, in which I learned a lot about the Jewish roots of the Christian faith, of the tragic history of Christian anti-Semitism, the need to change Christians' attitudes towards the Jews and Judaism.  Any changes in this relationship have important ramifications for all other forms of interreligious dialogue. I learned so much about meditation from Buddhism, which has greatly enriched my life as a Catholic. Right now I am involved in "Vaishnava - Christian" dialogue and I am learning more about this strand of the Hindu tradition. I have never been involved in a formal dialogue with people who do not belong to any specific religion, but I learned a lot from the writings of intellectuals who are non-believers.

 


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See also
11/15/2010 INDIA
In Kerala, a Catholic centre promotes inter-religious harmony
by Santosh Digal
04/05/2011 SOUTH KOREA
Lent, a ‘bridge’ for interfaith dialogue in Seoul
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
03/22/2006 India
Goa, murderers of fr. Ferrao arrested
03/20/2006 INDIA
Murdered: Goa parish priest who spoke out against inter-faith violence
07/25/2009 INDIA
Orissa, Hindu nationalist party opposed to "Peace and Harmony" day
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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