The Vatican is wishing the world’s Hindus a “joy-filled Deepavali.”
In a letter to mark the annual Hindu festival of lights, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran asked that God, "the Supreme Light," enlighten minds and hearts and strengthen the bonds of friendship and respect among religious believers.
Deepavali is celebrated on Nov. 5 this year. The holiday marks the lunar new year in the Hindu calendar.
Cardinal Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, expressed hope that Hindus and Catholics could work together to address "the grave and unresolved challenges of our times."
This requires, he added, "mutually ensuring and enhancing respect and trust."
"Respect and trust are not optional extras but the very pillars on which the edifice of our engagement itself stands,” he said. And the greater the engagement of the two religions, he explained, "the fuller our respect and trust become, leading us to an increase in cooperation and common action."
He expressed hope that "as people who hold in common the well-being of individuals and communities, may we give greater visibility with every means in our power to a culture that promotes respect, trust and cooperation."