KUALA LUMPUR: The Catholic church will continue to respect all faiths and will reach out to bigots and fanatics who advocate religious fundamentalism, Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam (pic) said yesterday in a Malaysia where the majority Muslims are advocating more limits.
Pakiam, in quoting the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, said that lasting peace did not arise from a "negotiated settlement, but from the belief that unity is brought about by the spirit of God which can harmonise every diversity".
"He does not suggest a syncretism of religions but a clear and joyful reliance on one’s own religious identity and acceptance of a healthy pluralism," Pakiam said of the Pope's message.
The Catholic Church will continue to respect all faiths and will reach out to all, even bigots and fanatics, who advocate religious fundamentalism, in a Malaysia where some Muslims are advocating more limits.
In calling for Catholics to pray for bigots, Pakiam said: "In all communities, there will be some religious fanatics or zealots who will advocate religious fundamentalism and make hurtful declamations.
"I urge Catholics to pray that God will enlighten the minds and hearts of these bigoted individuals," he said in his speech at the Global Peace Convention 2013 titled "Faith leadership for the greater good: forging unity in diversity based on shared values" in Kuala Lumpur.
The forum was organised by the Malaysian chapter of the Global Peace Foundation in collaboration with the Department of National Unity and Integration in the Prime Minister's Department.
Pakiam said the teachings of the Catholic church called on its people to recognise, preserve and promote all spiritual and moral good things as well as socio-cultural values through dialogue and cooperation with followers of other religions.
He added that the church condemned discrimination or harassment because of race, colour, class or religion.
Pakiam urged Catholics, in keeping with the tradition of "open houses", to make it a point to visit their neigbours during religious festivals, "instead of going away on a family picnic because it is a public holiday".
He encouraged visits to the elderly and home-bound neigbours, saying: "I was happy to hear the story of a humble lady who visits her neighbour, a bedridden stroke patient, elderly Malay, and helps the wife sponge and powder the husband every week. What an edifying example of human solidarity".
Pakiam said the commitment to peace and brotherhood of all mankind was embodied in all religious teaching.
"All religions are taught that God, or by whatever name we address the Almighty Creator, the Shanti, the Brahman, the Maha Guru, Allah Maha Kuasa, created the whole world and all it contains and consequently, all mankind are brothers and sisters."--The Malaysian Insider/HERALD