Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vatican Message for Hindu Feast of Diwali

"Toward Enhancing of Mutual Respect, Trust and Cooperation"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 28, 2010 ( Here is the message sent by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the occasion of the Hindu feast of Diwali, the festival of light, which will be observed Nov. 5.

The letter is titled "Christians and Hindus: Toward Enhancing of Mutual Respect, Trust and Cooperation." It is signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the president of the dialogue council, and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, its secretary.

* * *

Dear Hindu Friends,

1. As in the past, we join you in the celebration of Deepavali, sending you our sincere greetings and congratulations on behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. May God, the Supreme Light illumine your minds, enlighten your hearts and strengthen the human bonds in your homes and communities! We wish you all a joy-filled Deepavali!

2. On this occasion, I would like to reflect on how best we can strengthen our friendship and cooperation by mutually ensuring and enhancing respect and trust.

3. Respect is the proper regard for the dignity which naturally pertains to every person irrespective of any external recognition. Dignity implies the inalienable right of every individual to be protected from any kind of violence, neglect or indifference. Mutual respect, therefore, becomes one of the fundamentals for peaceful and harmonious co-existence as well as progress in society.

4. Trust, on the other hand, nourishes every genuinely human relationship, both personal and communitarian. Mutual trust, besides creating an environment conducive to growth and the common good, shapes a shared conviction that we can depend on each other to achieve a common purpose.

5. This shared conviction creates in individuals and communities a readiness and willingness to enter into productive cooperation not only in the area of doing good in general, but also, addressing the grave and unresolved challenges of our times.

6. Applying the above to our engagement in appreciating and promoting interreligious dialogue and relations, we well know that respect and trust are not optional extras but the very pillars on which the edifice of our engagement itself stands. This engagement involving all of us, believers and people who seek the Truth with a sincere heart, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, is "…together to become artisans of peace, in a reciprocal commitment to understanding, respect and love." (Address to the delegates of other Churches and Ecclesial communities and of other Religious traditions, 25 April 2005).

Thus, the greater our engagement in interreligious dialogue, the fuller our respect and trust become, leading us to an increase in cooperation and common action. Pope John Paul II, of happy memory, on his first visit to India, said: "Dialogue between members of different religions increases and deepens mutual respect and paves the way for relationships that are crucial in solving the problems of human suffering" (Address to non-Christian leaders, Madras – Chennai, 5 February 1986).

7. As people who hold in common the well-being of individuals and communities, may we give greater visibility with every means in our power to a culture that promotes respect, trust and cooperation.

Once again, most cordially, I wish you a happy Deepavali.

Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran

Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata

The letter is appealing to men of good will, though Christ came to divide and hostility towards those who have converted to Him is inevitable.
Asian News: Pope: the one human family also includes brothers who emigrate
In his message for the next World Refugee Day, Benedict XVI highlights migration as part of a globalized society, which emphasizes the unity of mankind. The "dutiful gesture of human solidarity" in welcoming migrants. Those who emigrate must "assume the rights and duties existing in the country that receives them, contributing to the common good, not to mention the religious dimension of life."

Zenit: Pope's Message for World Migrant and Refugee Day [2010-10-26]
Theme for the Day: "One Human Family"

The road is the same, that of life, but the situations that we pass through on this route are different: many people have to face the difficult experience of migration in its various forms: internal or international, permanent or seasonal, economic or political, voluntary or forced. In various cases the departure from their Country is motivated by different forms of persecution, so that escape becomes necessary. Moreover, the phenomenon of globalization itself, characteristic of our epoch, is not only a social and economic process, but also entails "humanity itself [that] is becoming increasingly interconnected", crossing geographical and cultural boundaries. In this regard, the Church does not cease to recall that the deep sense of this epochal process and its fundamental ethical criterion are given by the unity of the human family and its development towards what is good (cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Caritas in veritate, 42). All, therefore, belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded.

"In an increasingly globalized society, the common good and the effort to obtain it cannot fail to assume the dimensions of the whole human family, that is to say, the community of peoples and nations, in such a way as to shape the earthly city in unity and peace, rendering it to some degree an anticipation and a prefiguration of the undivided city of God" (Benedict XVI, Encyclical Caritas in veritate, 7). This is also the perspective with which to look at the reality of migration. In fact, as the Servant of God Paul VI formerly noted, "the weakening of brotherly ties between individuals and nations" (Encyclical Populorum progressio, 66), is a profound cause of underdevelopment and -- we may add -- has a major impact on the migration phenomenon. Human brotherhood is the, at times surprising, experience of a relationship that unites, of a profound bond with the other, different from me, based on the simple fact of being human beings. Assumed and lived responsibly, it fosters a life of communion and sharing with all and in particular with migrants; it supports the gift of self to others, for their good, for the good of all, in the local, national and world political communities.

Venerable John Paul II, on the occasion of this same Day celebrated in 2001, emphasized that "[the universal common good] includes the whole family of peoples, beyond every nationalistic egoism. The right to emigrate must be considered in this context. The Church recognizes this right in every human person, in its dual aspect of the possibility to leave one's country and the possibility to enter another country to look for better conditions of life" (Message for World Day of Migration 2001, 3; cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Mater et Magistra, 30; Paul VI, Encyclical Octogesima adveniens, 17). At the same time, States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host Country, respecting its laws and its national identity. "The challenge is to combine the welcome due to every human being, especially when in need, with a reckoning of what is necessary for both the local inhabitants and the new arrivals to live a dignified and peaceful life" (World Day of Peace 2001, 13).

In this context, the presence of the Church, as the People of God journeying through history among all the other peoples, is a source of trust and hope. Indeed the Church is "in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race" (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 1); and through the action within her of the Holy Spirit, "the effort to establish a universal brotherhood is not a hopeless one" (Idem, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 38). It is the Holy Eucharist in particular that constitutes, in the heart of the Church, an inexhaustible source of communion for the whole of humanity. It is thanks to this that the People of God includes "every nation, race, people, and tongue" (Rev 7:9), not with a sort of sacred power but with the superior service of charity. In fact the exercise of charity, especially for the poorest and weakest, is the criterion that proves the authenticity of the Eucharistic celebration (cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Mane nobiscum Domine, 28).

If human flourishing requires that one be part of a community, is entitled to join any community one wishes?