Liverpool: Dalai Lama meets faith leaders

 The Dalai Lama met religious leaders from all faith in Liverpool yesterday. Led by Archbishop Patrick Kelly, Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool and by Bishop James Jones, the city's Anglican bishop, they linked hands with him in a show of solidarity for his calls for religious freedom, mutual respect and religious tolerance. The spiritual leader of Tibetans was in the city as guest of Liverpool John Moores University, where he received a fellowship and gave the 41st Roscoe Lecture. 2000 people gathered at Liverpool Cathedral to hear him. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has lived in exile in India since 1959, and the annexation of Tibet by the communist authorities in China. In reading the citation for his fellowship Lord Alton of Liverpool said that the Dalai Lama is an inspirational symbol of endurance and that the presence of all of the city's religious and civic leaders was another example of "the Mersey miracle." 2004 is Liverpool's "Year of Faith." The Dalai Lama told the audience that every man and woman should cultivate their personal spirituality; that he had been deeply affected by a Spanish Catholic monk, with whom he had spent time meditating on the cultivation of love; and he upheld Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Pope John Paul II as examples of deep spirituality. The Dalai Lama was given an official luncheon by the City's Lord Mayor, Ron Gould, at the Town Hall. Children from the city's Blessed Sacrament School sang for him and in a symbolic gesture of mutual respect he linked hands with the Archbishop and Bishop and leaders of the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Bahai and Buddhist religions. The visit to Liverpool was also marked by the screening of films about Tibetan culture and the city's galleries and museums have organized an exhibition of Tibetan artefacts. Following his time in Liverpool he travelled to London where he held talks at Lambeth palace with the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

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