panorama  › Vatican 24

Vatican opens door to new Christian-Hindu dialogue

by Carlo Marroni

A “new beginning” that “takes us towards a new series of possibilities in the field of dialogue,” opening the door to “further initiatives and future steps,” said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue's first Hindu-Christian conference in Italy, according to the Osservatore Romano, the Holy See's official newspaper.

According to Tauran, a cardinal considered ‘very close' to the Pope, “each interreligious dialogue, if carried out with the right intent, should shed light on our shared values. These have been occasions for reciprocal understanding and spiritual enrichment.”

Because, as he concluded, “when we who follow different religions meet each other, we feel the need to grow ever more respectful, compassionate, and appreciative of other peoples' lives and faiths, and this contributes to our society's development and overall harmony.”

Furthermore, he stated that, “these wonderful exchanges help us deepen our own faith,” and “each authentic exchange of our lives and faiths, such as this, enriches our life-styles and ways of being.”

Later on, during a session dedicated to the theme of “Promoting peace in a globalized world: challenges, opportunities, and hope,” this prospective policy was discussed by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States. He encouraged the attendees to not be afraid to get their hands dirty in politics, which aren't intrinsically evil, especially if you consider that in the end they serve to help the common good.

The Pope's ‘foreign minister' pointed out that, on a global scale, the main tool for promoting peace is diplomacy. But, he warned, “good diplomacy requires good politics since diplomacy, when used unscrupulously to gain undeserved advantages or concessions, can simply become an alternative form of war or be used to incite wars.”

In summary, according to the archbishop, our role models should be St. Thomas More rather than Machiavelli's The Prince.