10/21/2014, 00.00
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India, Catholics and Hindus "working together against the globalization of indifference"

by Nirmala Carvalho
The President of the Office for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism of the Indian Catholic Bishops Conference, Msgr. Felix Machado, speaks to AsiaNews about the Vatican’s message for the Hindu festival of Diwali: "We must not ignore the differences that separate us, but understand them and accept them. In the footsteps of Pope Francis, we must strive for the common good".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Christians and Hindus "must deepen their mutual respect and friendship, not by ignoring the essential differences that exist between the two religious traditions, but rather by understanding, acknowledging, and accepting them, and thus mutually respecting them. The Catholic Church never imposes the faith on others, and has always been at the service of the poor and marginalized. May our relationship always improve, for the common good", says Mgsr. Felix Machado, President of the Office for Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, commenting to AsiaNews on the message sent yesterday to the Hindu world by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

According to the prelate, who also heads the office for dialogue within the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, India "is a multi-religious and pluralistic society, where the spirit of inclusion has always been promoted by Catholics. The Church encourages dialogue and cooperation with other faiths, for the common good. We must face the many challenges that arise together, because together we can prosper. "

The message of Diwali, says Msgr. Machado, "reflects the thinking of Pope Francis: the globalization of indifference creates a culture of exclusion in which the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalized see their rights trampled upon. Whilst opportunities and resources are allocated to others. Anyone who lives on the margins is used and discarded as if an object. And that woundseveryone. "

On the contrary, "the Indian Catholic Church has always worked for the poor and the marginalized. For Dalits and tribals, women and girls in remote areas of the country, for the unhappy, regardless of religious identity, committed to defeating this globalization of indifference. We are engaged in interfaith and non-discriminatory dialogue, and will continue to cooperate with the state and with society for the common good. Dialogue between Hindus and Christians can become a model for other religions".


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