12/02/2014, 00.00
NEPAL
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For apostolic vicar, Nepal will become "the highest peak" in the Kingdom of God

by Christopher Sharma
Mgr Paul Simick talks to AsiaNews about his mission for the Church of Nepal. In a "very diversified country in religious, cultural, ethnic and linguistic terms country," it is urgent to focus on "dialogue". Admitting to growing spiritual hunger in the country, Catholics must respond "with openness to other faiths" and "share our identity without fear."

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Catholics in Nepal "are not only God's messengers. They are messengers of God in a former Hindu monarchy. Today this country is known for Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. Now we want to make the nation the highest peak in the Kingdom of God," said Mgr Paul Simick.

Speaking to AsiaNews, the prelate is clear about his mission as apostolic vicar to Nepal. Appointed by Pope Francis last April, he has already identified the most pressing challenges the local Catholic Church faces.

"Nepal is a very diversified country in religious, cultural, ethnic and linguistic terms," Mgr Simick told AsiaNews. "For this reason, more than others, it urgently needs dialogue".

However, "The laity must be the engine of dialogue, as the link between government, political parties and other religious groups. Giving them more power can only benefit the nation."

"In order to implement the dialogue I have in mind," he added, "we have to teach lay Catholics the concepts of openness and identity".

"Everyone should be open to other faiths, and be ready to respect their neighbours. At the same time, we must not forget to share our identity, without fear. "

Admitting to growing spiritual hunger in the country, he said, "We should make our just and meaningful presence through works of charity. After we reach people, we can share the Good News but it is God who converts people."

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