Congratulating Jorge Mario Bergoglio on his election as the 266th Pope Francis, Hindus?hope that the he will be more open to reforms and lead efforts at interfaith dialogue.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, hoped that the new Pope would intensify the Roman Catholic Church?s efforts at interfaith dialogue and creating harmony among world?s diverse religions; be more open to reforms; and bring transparency, maturity, accountability and modernization to Church.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged the new Pope to come up with a detailed worldwide White Paper on the global child abuse scandal engulfing the Church.
Rajan Zed suggested that new Pope; leader of about 1.2 billion adherents worldwide, ?supreme priest”, holder of “Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven”, supreme shepherd and teacher of the faithful, ?The Holy Father?, “Servant of the Servants of God”; should dedicate himself for defending human rights, helping the helpless, charitable projects, human improvement, ecological responsibility, etc.
The new Pope should also seriously take-up the issue of apartheid faced by about 15-million Roma (Gypsies) of Europe, whose traces in Europe went as far back as ninth century CE, Zed stated.
Moreover, he should reconsider favorably the ordination of women priests as women could disseminate God?s message as skillfully as men and deserved equal and full participation and access in religion. Church could hold a referendum among its congregations worldwide to learn about the feelings of Catholics on the subject. Holy See being the largest religious organization in the world should show exemplary leadership in women equality to the rest of the planet, Rajan Zed argued.