Vatican Invites Hindu Partnership in Development

Sends Message for Diwali Religious Festival

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is sending a message to Hindus on their celebration of Diwali, inviting their collaboration in promoting integral human development.



Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran affirmed this in a message sent today for the Hindu festival of lights, which will be celebrated Saturday.

The message, titled "Hindus and Christians: Committed to Integral Human Development," was also signed by the council's secretary, Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata.

It noted that these religious festivals "enable us to revitalize our relationship with God and one another."

The prelate affirmed, "May this Festival of Lights, while elevating our minds and hearts towards God, the Supreme Light, strengthen fellowship among us and bless us all with happiness and peace."

He underlined the "need to work together for integral human development."

"Integral human development," the message explained, "implies the advance towards the true good of every individual, community and society, in every single dimension of human life: social, economic, political, intellectual, spiritual and religious."

This type of "authentic development" requires "a shared responsibility for one another" through "seriously engaging in collaborative action," it affirmed.

The cardinal underlined the individual and collective responsibility to protect human life and respect "the dignity and fundamental rights of the person."

He noted that this also implies "the recognition of their freedom: freedom of conscience, thought and religion."

This will ultimately shape "a more peaceful social order conducive to development," the message stated, calling for a "political will to work towards ensuring greater protection of human rights and peaceful co-existence."

The message ended by expressing the hope that this festival will be "an occasion to celebrate our friendship and boldly proclaim the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and work together to bring about an era of true freedom 'for all' and integral human development 'of all.'"

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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-27225?l=english