.- Cardinal Paul Poupard is in Goa, India this week to promote what he calls, a sincere and authentic intercultural and inter-religious dialogue carried out in mutual respect, openness and charity, he told a press conference yesterday.
The cardinal, who serves as both the prefect of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, is in Goa to preside at a four-day meeting of Church-run cultural centers in India, reported the Indian Catholic News Service.
The tiny Indian state of Goa contains a relatively high proportion of Catholics compared to the rest of India. While just over 2% of Indians are Christians, Nearly one third of Portuguese colonized area of Goa are Christian. The state is seen as a foothold from which the minority Indian Christians can establish greater respect nationwide.
The four-day-meeting begins today at Pilar Theological College on the theme: “Catholic Cultural Centres: Cultural Resources for Living the Christian Faith in Dialogue with the Traditional Cultures in the Context of Evolving Cultures.”
Representatives of 40 cultural centers from across India will attend. These centers are engaged in promoting Catholic culture as well as inculturating the Christian faith in non-Christian environments.
Yesterday, the cardinal inaugurated the Kristu Kala Mandir Art Gallery at Old Goa.
Archbishop Felipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and Daman and other church dignitaries were present in the episcopal palace where the art gallery is housed.
The archbishop described the gallery as “a splendid and unique treasure of contemporary Christian art” which also features contributions from non-Christian artists from India and abroad, reported the Navhind Times.
He said he looked forward to seeing the gallery turn into a “place of dynamic inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, through the medium of the visual arts, over one single subject: Christ.”
At a press conference after the inauguration, Cardinal Poupard spoke of the Church’s promotion of interfaith and intercultural dialogue and collaboration, reported the Navhind Times.
The Church exhorts that its members “through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, [they] recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values among these men,” he was quoted as saying.
He said the Church is engaged in a dialogue fully open to the best demands of the cultures of our times: unity and plurality, particularity and universality, truth and modernity, beauty and practicality.