The Holy See had a few words to say about the Hindu festival:
"Vatican wishes world's Hindus a happy Deepavali"Surprised? Shocked? Cynical? Certain that this letter is a sure sign of the coming Apocalypse?
Catholic News Agency (October 28, 2010)
"The Vatican is wishing the world's Hindus a 'joy-filled Deepavali.'
"In a letter to mark the annual Hindu festival of lights, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran asked that God, 'the Supreme Light,' enlighten minds and hearts and strengthen the bonds of friendship and respect among religious believers...."
But then, I don't expect Cardinals to be like stereotype American fire-and-brimstone preachers. Or cartoon televangelists.
Living In a Big WorldAround 897,000,000 of the 6,768,000,000 or so folks living today hold Hindu beliefs. ("World," CIA World Factbook (last updated October 19, 2010)) That's more than the population of Sauk Centre, Minnesota: or even New York City.
There are many ways of reacting to a world where most folks are 'foreigners.' One is to decide that there are too many people around: and that the foreigners should stop having babies. For their own good, of course. And that's another topic.
I like living in a town with about 4,000 other folks: many of whom look a bit like me. I also liked living in San Francisco. Today, I like living in a world where folks on different continents can communicate in near-real-time.
As for not all folks being just like me? I've discussed unity and diversity from a Catholic perspective before. (August 26, 2010)Matthew 9:10)
Not that today's Hindus are in the same category as tax collectors back then. Which is another topic. I've discussed moral law before. (October 16, 2010, for starters)
I'm not surprised that the Holy See maintains communication with Hindus. Good grief: folks from the Vatican talk to diplomats at the United Nations and the President of the United States from time to time. We're really not all that picky about our associates.
And in the case of that letter to Hindus - I'll get back to that.
Some Kinda Plot?For those whose world isn't complete without some sort of vast conspiracy: here's another excerpt from that article:
"...Cardinal Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, expressed hope that Hindus and Catholics could work together to address 'the grave and unresolved challenges of our times.'...I think many folks who are anything but religious also have a concern for "the well-being of individuals and communities." What makes folks like practicing Hindus and Catholics different is that, in my opinion, we have a firmer grip on 'the big picture.' We realize that there's a spiritual component to human nature.
"...He expressed hope that 'as people who hold in common the well-being of individuals and communities, may we give greater visibility with every means in our power to a culture that promotes respect, trust and cooperation.' "
And that, I think, puts us in a better position to understand what needs to be done.
Speaking of which, Haiti is one of many places that could use help. I put together a list of charities back in January, focusing on earthquake relief. A number of the outfits listed are global, though. No pressure. ("Haiti: About the Earthquake, Relief, and Related Topics," Apathetic Lemming of the North (January 15, 2010))
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