Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic letter on the Year of Faith was directly addressing the situation in India making mention of crisis of faith and I see the crisis of faith all around ": So says Mgr. Felix Machado, Bishop of Vasai in an interview with AsiaNews he calls "the Year of Faith a gift in response to the climate of lack of faith and an impetus for interreligious dialogue."
Msgr. Machado said: " Every family in my diocese with receive two booklets - Pope Paul VI's Creed of the People of God and the Porta Fidei.. In it the pope mentions that in the crisis of faith is the origin of everything -and hence it is vital that we need to return to our roots of faith. "
" I see this crisis all around me - adds the bishop -, regrettably, people are living their lives as if it is only the apparent the criterion for our meaning of our lives. The over emphasis on securing this earthly life, which I accept is not always easy and is fraught with tensions and struggles, yet without the dimensions of Faith, our living itself becomes a heavy burned. "
" The meaning of our life should be based on faith and not just what we apparently experience and what we apparently see and human beings have become materialistic, taking seriously only that which is in front of them . Materialism has made people forget that there exists a reality beyond this physical reality -this is a crisis of faith".
"The Year of Faith - he adds - is a God-given gift to revitalize our faith and so in that direction I convened a meeting of all the clergy in my diocese and presented them with the Message of the Porta Fidei.We are gifting every family in our diocese".
Bishop Machado is also the President of the Bishops Conference Committee on ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. In this regard, he states that in Porta Fidei there are important indications for interreligious dialogue.
"The Year of Faith will strengthen dialogue and ecumenism. If each of us, living with integrity the integral message of our Christian Faith, automatically people will be attracted and drawn towards this Faith we live and celebrate and profess".
"As Christians we must allow the light of Christ shine: we are all called to light the lamp of our faith."
"Mother Teresa epitomes Interreligious Dialogue through her Witness of Christ. Mother Teresa was loved an revered by people of every religion even by atheists, Mother was a living witness of Faith, Mother boldly announced that She was serving the poor, because of her love for Jesus.
"The Holy Father has made a reference to Mother Teresa in Porta Fidei. Mother Teresa never compromised her faith, and through her works of love, brought all people together - even in death - her funeral was a gathering of people of every religion, far outnumbering the Christians present at her funeral".
"This Year of Faith - Bishop concludes - is so timely and it is the opportune time to re confirm and strengthen our faith, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction."