Hindus have applauded Catholic Synod of Bishops, which concluded yesterday at Vatican City, for giving a call for strengthening inter-religious dialogue.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour and Pope Benedict, after recommendation of this Synod, should take the lead in organising one.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that Pope, being the leader of the largest religious organisation of the world, should invite leaders of major world religions and denominations to Vatican and initiate the dialogue.
Rajan Zed also praised the Synod for recommending the admittance of women to the official ministry of lector, or Scripture reader, at Mass. Presently, women cannot be officially installed in such a ministry, which is reserved to males. He also lauded Pope for appointing 25 women to participate in Synod. “These are steps in the right direction”, Zed said stressing that men and women are equal in the eyes of God and religions should respect that.
Zed also commended the proposition of the Synod on ecology, which urged greater pastoral and theological emphasis on the connection between Scripture and current efforts to safeguard the created world. He urged all world religious leaders, religions and denominations to openly bless the environmental causes. Ancient Hindu scriptures, especially Atharva-Veda, were highly respectful of mother nature, Zed added.
Synod is an ecclesiastical gathering for discussion and decision of issues relating to faith, morals, or discipline. XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, held from October five to 26, treated “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church”.
His Holiness Pope Benedictus XVI Joseph A. Ratzinger 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 followers. Moksha is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.