Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, has written a message to Hindus for the feast of Diwali, which this year falls next Friday, on 5 November.
The text, which also bears the signature of Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, secretary of the pontifical council, calls for reflection "on how best we can strengthen our friendship and co-operation by mutually ensuring and enhancing respect and trust".
"Mutual respect", the message reads, is "one of the fundamentals for peaceful and harmonious co-existence as well as progress in society. Trust, on the other hand, nourishes every genuinely human relationship, both personal and communitarian".
"Applying the above to our engagement in appreciating and promoting inter-religious dialogue and relations, we well know that respect and trust are not optional extras but the very pillars on which the edifice of our engagement itself stands".
The message concludes by stating that "the greater our engagement in inter-religious dialogue, the fuller our respect and trust become, leading us to an increase in co-operation and common action. ... As people who hold in common the wellbeing of individuals and communities, may we give greater visibility with every means in our power to a culture that promotes respect, trust and co-operation".