Spread peace & harmony on Diwali: Goa Archbishop

Panaji, Nov 9 (IANS) The influential Roman Catholic Church in Goa in its Diwali greeting has expressed hope that the festival of lights will usher in peace and harmony.

In a statement issued here on Monday, Goa Archbishop Fr. Filipe Neri Ferrao said: “I pray that this celebration may serve to create an environment of peace and harmony, specially today, when the whole world is in turmoil, due to intolerance that creates a reign of insecurity and terror.”

The Roman Catholic Church is an influential organisation in the state which acts as a religious and spiritual guide to nearly 26 percent of the state’s 1.5 million population which is Catholic.

The church, which had been repeatedly accused by the Congress of siding with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2012 state assembly elections, has been of late critical of the incumbent government over issues related to the minority community, especially beef shortage and censure of convent schools.

Urging Hindus and Catholics to unite, Ferrao said: “We – Hindus and Christians – may together with people of all religious traditions and good will, always foster a culture which promotes human ecology.”

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