“We will continue our work. What is our work? It is to spread the joy of the Gospel without offending anyone. There is no compromise on that,” Cardinal Baselios Cleemis said at the inauguration of Gurgaon, the world’s largest diocese in geographical terms, with its headquarters in the Indian national capital.
Thousands of people along with political and religious leaders braved hot and sultry weather to witness the installation of Gurgaon’s first bishop Mar Jacob Barnabas assembled at St Mary’s Cathedral Church in Neb Sarai, a south Delhi suburb.
The dignitaries present included India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Vatican Ambassador Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio.
The Delhi chief minister began his speech by expressing sadness over the recent attacks on churches in the national capital. “Whoever have done it, they have not done the right thing,” Kejriwal said. He prayed that God remove all malice from their hearts and fill them with love for others.
He regretted that the world has many people who are ready to fight for their religions, but few want to follow their teachings. He urged people to learn to respect other religions and co-exist with others. “If I am a Hindu and if keep quiet if a church in my street is burning, then I am not a good Hindu,” he said.
He also warned that unless people learn to coexist with each other, neither the nation nor humanity would survive. He said India would progress much if people learn to live together respecting each other.
Kejriwal also noted that the best source of spiritual nourishment for Indians is the preamble of their constitution, which speaks of equality of all, justice and harmony. “This is what Christ, Mohammed, Krishna and Buddha have taught us,” he added.
The chief minister also claimed that it was God allowed formation of his Aam Aadmi Party (common man’s party) to spiritualize Indian politics. “We were nothing three years ago, now we are in power. It is the common man’s party,” he said.