Cardinal Says India Can Aid Universal Church
Calls Multireligious Context an Aid to Learning About Dialogue
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ROME, DEC. 18, 2007 (Zenit.org).- India has something to contribute to the universal Church especially a characteristic ability to appreciate other faiths and religions, affirmed the archbishop of Bombay.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, who is also president of that nation's episcopal conference, recently received the red hat from Benedict XVI. He spoke with ZENIT about his mission and the task of his country, characterized by a rich religious heritage and cultural diversity.
"I hope that Christians can move to the center of their faith from the periphery," he said. "India should make a contribution to the universal Church. It has much to offer from our own spirituality and our ancient traditions."
The Catholic Church in India follows the Latin rite and two Eastern rites, the Syro-Malabar and the Syro-Malankara.
The Church in India, noted the 62-year-old cardinal, is a living reality with a wide variety of resources for evangelization and "other churches from all around the world can be enriched by Indian philosophy and thinking."
Furthermore, he said, "the ability to dialogue, to understand and appreciate other faiths and religions, the ability to tell the story of Jesus in a multireligious and multicultural society is something unique to India."
With regard to his vocation and task for the future, the newly elevated cardinal underlined the call to "make religion relevant" and "make the community a place to experience and express love."