Hindus have welcomed call for dialogue by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and have asked him to take the lead in organizing one.
In his annual address to the members of diplomatic corps accredited to Holy See on January seven in Vatican City, Pope reportedly said: “… building peace through dialogue is no longer a choice but a necessity!”
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, termed Pope’s stress on building peace through dialogue as a “step in the right direction”.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour and Pope should take the lead in organizing one.
Rajan Zed argued that Pope, being the leader of the largest religious organization of the world with about 1.2 billion followers, should invite leaders of major world religions and denominations to Vatican City and initiate the dialogue.
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, Zed pointed out.
After intensive deliberations, this 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, Rajan Zed added.
Zed further says that in our shared pursuit for the truth, we can learn from one another and thus can arrive nearer to the truth. This dialogue may help us vanquish the prejudices, caricatures, etc., passed on to us from previous generations. As dialogue brings us reciprocal enrichment, we shall be spiritually richer than before the contact.
Pope 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 moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.