Vatican delegation conducts inter-religious meets in India

February 16, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Inter-religious DialogueIndia, February 13, 2015: A 15-member delegation from the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue in the Vatican is now in India conducting inter-religious meetings with Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims.

They began on Feb. 11 a three-day meet with representatives of the three main Buddhist denominations – Theravada, Vajrayana, and Mayahana – on at Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist site in India’s Bihar state.

Both sides had 15 representatives each and they discussed about “global solidarity” of religions. They also sought ways on how both religions understood family as the “basic cell of society”.

Following this gathering, which is scheduled to conclude on Feb 13, the Vatican delegates will travel to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh for a similar event with Hindu and Muslim spiritual leaders.

Bishop Felix Machado of Vasai, president of the Office for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) and of the Office for Inter-religious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), is present at the event along with Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, apostolic nuncio to India.

“Both of our religious traditions and cultural experiences affirm the beauty of the family,” the prelate said.

“By reflecting on this, our leaders can examine and propose ways to support and revitalise family life in order to make human society prosper.”

“The aim of our dialogue is to support each other in the work of strengthening the family, the basic unit of society, the nation and global solidarity,” Bishop Machado added.

The issue of “The family and children does not touch only Catholics,” he explained. “In almost all cultures of the world, and in most religions, concerns have been raised about attacks against the institution of the family.”

Spiritual leaders are expected to focus in particular on the difficult situations in which many children find themselves.

“My thoughts go to those born out of wedlock who experience depression or develop long term psychosomatic disorders that result from divorce; not to mention the children victim of human trafficking or abuse. In view of this, we intend to look for new ways to help our children,” the Bishop of Vasai said.

Bodh Gaya is a religious site associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex and the Bodhi tree. According to tradition, it is here that Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment and became the Buddha.

– vatican radio

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