.- In the annual message of the Holy See to Hindus on the festival of Diwali which represents the victory of light over darkness, which was made public today, Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, stressed the need for Christians and Hindus to work together to fight the evils which afflict underpriveleged children.
The Archbishop pointed out, in the letter entitled "Collaboration between Hindus and Christians with Special Reference to Children," that children participate in the festival of Diwali with great enthusiasm and that Jesus expressed a special love for them, and their "simplicity, their joy of life, their spontaneity, and their faith filled with wonder.”
He discussed evils such as forced labor, forced conscription, breakdown of the family, trafficking in organs and persons, sexual abuse, forced prostitution, AIDS, the sale and use of drugs, that afflict children, especially the underprivileged, and asked "What have children done to merit such suffering?"
Archbishop Fitzgerald urged Hindus and Christians in India to collaborate "in support of underprivileged children, who are often the innocent victims of war and violence, inadequate food and water, forced immigration and the many forms of injustice present in today's world."
In conclusion he writes that he is " fully aware that such cooperation between the followers of our two religious traditions already exists, but we could and should do more, as the problem is serious, indeed it is tragic. Your suggestions as to what could be done to give children their rightful place in society would be most welcome. Our children are our future; they are the future of humanity."