8-November-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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Message To Hindus For The Feast Of Diwali

Vatican City, 8 November 2012 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, has written a message to Hindus for the celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights, which this year falls on 13 November. The message is entitled, "Christians and Hindus: Forming the Young Generation into Peacemakers". The message also bears the signature of Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.J., secretary of the council.

"At this point in time in human history, when various negative forces threaten the legitimate aspirations in many regions of the world for peaceful co-existence, we would like to use this cherished tradition of sharing with you a reflection to explore the responsibility that Hindus, Christians and others have in doing everything possible to form all people, especially the young generation, into peacemakers", reads the English-language text.

"To form young men and women into people of peace and builders of peace is an urgent summons to collective engagement and common action. If peace is to be authentic and enduring, it must be built on the pillars of truth, justice, love and freedom. ... Furthermore, in all education for peace, cultural differences ought surely to be treated as a richness rather than a threat or danger.

"The family is the first school of peace and the parents the primary educators for peace. ... In schools, colleges and universities, as young people mature by relating, studying and working with others from different religions and cultures, their teachers and others responsible for their training have the noble task of ensuring an education that respects and celebrates the innate dignity of all human beings and promotes friendship, justice, peace and cooperation for integral human development. With spiritual and moral values as the bedrock of education, it becomes their ethical imperative also to caution the students against ideologies that cause discord and division.

"While States and individual leaders in the social, political and cultural fields, generally have their own important roles to play in strengthening the education of the young, religious leaders in particular, by reason of their vocation to be spiritual and moral leaders, must continue to inspire the young generation to walk the path of peace and to become messengers of peace. Since all means of communication greatly shape the way people think, feel and act, those involved in these fields must, to the utmost possible extent, contribute to promoting thoughts, words, and works of peace. Indeed, young people themselves ought to live up to the ideals they set for others, by employing their freedom responsibly and by promoting cordial relationships for a culture of peace".

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