Welcoming Pope’s espousal of interfaith dialogue, Hindus urge him to organize one

May 13th, 2009 - 11:29 am ICT by Sampurn Wire  

Welcoming Pope Benedict’s reported affirmation of the importance of interreligious dialogue in the pursuit of peace in Jerusalem yesterday, Hindus have urged him to take the lead in organizing one.

Serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed pointed out in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, and added that Pope Benedict, being the leader of the largest religious organization of the world, should invite leaders of major world religions and denominations to Vatican and initiate the dialogue.

Pope reportedly said during Jerusalem visit that “the particular contribution of religions to the quest for peace lies primarily in the wholehearted, united search for God.”

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that religion was the most powerful, complex and far-reaching force in our society, so we must take it seriously. And we all knew that religion comprised much more than our own particular tradition/experience.

Rajan Zed further said that after intensive deliberations, this proposed meeting of world religious leaders should come up with a concrete plan about the common religious concerns like human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social & economic development, etc. Maybe this gathering could become an annual feature after that, he added.

Zed argued that in our shared pursuit for the truth, we could learn from one another and thus could arrive nearer to the truth. This dialogue might help us vanquish the stereotypes, prejudices, caricatures, etc., passed on to us from previous generations. As dialogue brought us reciprocal enrichment, we should be spiritually richer than before the contact.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal. -Sampurn Media

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