Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Card Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples*, is currently undertaking a visit in South Asia. For Catholic leaders in Nepal, his visit to Nepal "will bring stability to the country’s political situation as well as comfort to the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck the country”.
Speaking to AsiaNews, they added that they “know that the prefect wants to meet with civil society leaders.” For them, “his presence will help revive talks on the secular constitution."
Today and until Sunday, the cardinal is in Bangladesh. Here he will lead celebrations for the Jubilee of the Diocese of Rajshashi, visit Church-run facilities for the sick and the disabled and meet local bishops, clergy and laity.
On Monday and Tuesday, the prefect will visit the Archdiocese of Kolkata (India) where he will meet with the local Catholic community, clergy, teachers, seminarians and novices. On Tuesday morning, he will celebrate Mass at the tomb of Blessed Mother Teresa.
The last leg of his ten-day trip, from 15 to 19 September, will be in Nepal. On the "roof of the world," Filoni will visit camps for people who survived last 25 April’s massive earthquake. The cardinal will also meet with local Catholics and other Nepalis.
"He will visit the affected areas and bring comfort to those who are suffering. He will listen to their stories and demands,” Sister Monica told AsiaNews. “The cardinal will pray with us for the nation’s peace, solidarity and stability."
"We hope that his presence helps reduce the tensions of these days and induce political parties to negotiate,” said Bino Gurung, president of the Nepal Catholic Society. “We want Nepal to have a secular constitution, the only way to lead the nation to peace.”
"We are happy to welcome Card Filoni to Nepal,” Tourism and Aviation Minister Kripasur Sherpa told AsiaNews. “We hope that his visit will help, even revive tourism. We are writing a new constitution and the prefect’s presence will help us rebuild solidarity among the country’s various religious groups."
* Formerly known as the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide