Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pope is competent to speak on religious freedom

A statement by Ivan Cardinal Dias, recently appointed head of the Congregation for the Evanelization of Peoples, responds to criticism in India that the Pope had no business commenting on anti-conversion legislation and constitutionality.

The Cardinal gives a brief overview of the Petrine office, and a detailed explanation of the terms "Holy See" and "Vatican City State", the distinction between the two, and the significance of the fact that the nations send embassies not to the Vatican City State, but to the Holy See.

And then,
Re-reading Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on religious freedom in India - which were made within the context of a speech filled with appreciation of and praises for the Indian nation - one cannot but sense the Holy Father's deep concern at the negative attitude taken by certain politico-religious groups vis-à-vis the innate fundamental rights of the Indian people, which are also enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are guaranteed in the Indian Constitution and reflect the spirit of India's founding fathers. This is fully within the competence of the Pope (Holy See). His observations, however, are all the more relevant when one considers the deep yearning of the Indian soul as expressed in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad: "from untruth lead me to the truth, from darkness lead me to the light, and from death lead me to immortality" (1.3.28). While sincerely appreciating the "seeds of the truth" which are found in all religious traditions and which await their full blossoming, Christians believe that only Jesus Christ can fully satisfy the inner longing of the human heart to pass "from untruth to truth" because He is the Truth; "from darkness to the light" because He is the Way and the Light of the World, and "from death to immortality" because He is Life in abundance. In fact, in reply to a question posed by the Apostle Thomas at the Last Supper, Jesus told His disciples: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" (Jn 14:6). And it was precisely Thomas who, in God's providence, would later bring this Good News of Jesus Christ to the Indian sub-continent.
Well put.

Of course, the howls of "intolerance" and "arrogance" and "superiority" will only increase.

1 comment:

RAYGUN said...

Living in denial... amazing...