Interfaith marriage is an opportunity for a “dialogue of words, love and life,” say the Asian bishops in the final draft of a working document they prepared during their eighth plenary assembly last week, reported AsiaNews.
Over the past few days, Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences studied this year’s theme, “The Asian family: towards a culture of life.” The bishops completed reviewing the final draft of the document yesterday and were to vote on it.
In preparing the document, the bishops took into account the recent “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the world,” signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.
Mixed marriages are increasingly a pastoral challenge to the Church in Asia but the document considers interfaith couples as “a chance sent by the Holy Ghost for a humble, respectful, silent, and yet eloquent statement of the Christian faith.”
A group at the conference was devoted to “interfaith dialogue and the family.” An Indian couple, Kalpesh and Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, were asked to speak about their interfaith marriage. Astrid Lobo is Catholic and her husband, Kalpesh, is Hindu.
“We were asked to bear witness as a ‘mixed’ couple,” she said. “We appreciated how attentive the bishops were to what we said.”