01/23/2015, 00.00
INDIA
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Indian bishop: Beatification of Chiara Lubich, new impetus to interreligious dialogue in Asia

by Nirmala Carvalho
Msgr. Felix Machado comments on the announcement of the cause of beatification of the founder of the Focolare Movement. A "simple, direct, holy woman, who worked for the human family". Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists on the continent appreciate her work.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Asia rejoices to open the cause of beatification of Chiara Lubich. It is a step that will give big boost to interreligious dialogue", speaking as President of the Office for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), Msgr. Felix Machado comments to AsiaNews on the announcement that - given yesterday - about the founder of the Focolare Movement.

The Archbishop of Vasai has personally met Chiara Lubich: " She was simple, straightforward and believed in unity. This unity, she believed, would be offered to people, through the Church. So she remained deeply faithful to the Church and worked for unity of the human family. She did not so much say unity of religions but unity of the human family".

According to Msgr. Machado, "was a very holy person. She always taught the members of Focolare to remain firm in faith but open to others. She was not a theologian but a woman who loved everyone. Her loving and affectionate gestures and words attracted her to people of all religions. Her cause for beatification is no surprise to me.  I am glad the Bishop of Frascati has opened her cause".

The work conducted by Chiara to promote ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, says the Archbishop, " bears testimony to her holiness. In Asia she has built bridges across religious boundaries. For examples, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the Budhists have great admiration for Chiara. Among them there are senior Buddhist monks. In all countries of Asia the Focolare members are very actively promoting "Opera di Maria".

"In India - the prelate says - Chiara and the Focolare are well known, also among Hindus. Her work among Muslims is highly appreciated. People in Asia will also be very happy to have a saint in the person of Chiara".

 

 

 

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