Hindus have welcomed His Holiness Pope Francis’ stress on openness, inclusivity, mercifulness and change in his interview to Italian Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica released on September 19.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Pope’s reference to “healing wounds” and “warming hearts” was a refreshing approach.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated that he sided with Pope’s view that Roman Catholic Church should come out of “small things”, and added that it, being the largest religious organization of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents, should dedicate itself to larger issues facing the mankind; like peace, poverty, human improvement and ecological responsibility.
Rajan Zed further said that although Pope mentioned that “feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions”, but he did not clearly address the issue of women clergy in this extensive interview. Church should reconsider favorably the ordination of women priests as women could disseminate God’s message as skillfully as men and deserved equal and full participation and access in religion. Holy See thus should show exemplary leadership in women equality to the rest of the planet, Zed argued.
Zed urged Pope to lead efforts at interfaith dialogue and creating harmony among world’s diverse religions. He hoped that Pope Francis would bring transparency, maturity, accountability and modernization to Church; besides being more open to reforms.
Rajan Zed also asked Pope to come up with a detailed worldwide White Paper on the global child abuse scandal engulfing the Church.
Pope should also seriously take-up the issue of apartheid faced by about 15-million Roma (Gypsies) of Europe, whose traces in Europe went as far back as ninth century CE, Zed pointed out.