Card Oscar Gracias attended the event organised by the Lokmat Media Group. “India is home of many religions,” said the cardinal, “and is the flag-bearer of the Vasudhaiva kutumbakam,” the idea that the world is one family.
Nagpur (AsiaNews) – A one-day National Inter-Religious Conference was held in Nagpur yesterday, bringing together prominent figures presenting the views of different religions and sects.
“All religions have their own denominations,” said Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, “but tolerance and inclusion are common to them.”
Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay (Mumbai) shares that view, stressing the decisive role of extensive and constant inter-faith communications.
“Let us not focus only on the differences, but on what unites us,” said the cardinal, adding that “India is home of many religions and is the flag-bearer of the Vasudhaiva kutumbakam,” the idea that the world is one family.
“We have a rich legacy of people from different traditions who have lived together” for centuries,” the cardinal explained. “It is the noble responsibility of spiritual leaders to preserve and promote it.”
For Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living Foundation, “human life demands diversity, but hatred against it stems from our lack of understanding.” Now “there is a need to walk together and respect one another as all communities are important.” Indeed, “God loves diversity, so our country also needs diversity.”
Fr Neil dos Santos, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Bombay, was present at the conference. Speaking to AsiaNews, he underlined the importance of ecumenical moments like this one to enable leaders of major religions to meet.
Noting Card Gracias’s happiness after the conference, he said that the prelate “was received with warmth and respect by all religious leaders, not only as Archbishop of Bombay, but above all as a representative of the Pope. Joy and fraternity were visible on the faces of the religious heads who greeted the cardinal.”