VATICAN CITY, 16 OCT 2009 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, has written a message to Hindus for the feast of Deepavali, which is being celebrated during the month of October. The message, published today, is entitled: "Christians and Hindus: Committed to Integral Human Development".

"In the process of integral development, protection of human life and respect for the dignity and fundamental rights of the person, are a responsibility of everyone, both individually and collectively", says the text, which also bears the signature of Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, secretary of the pontifical council.

"Respect for others therefore implies the recognition of their freedom: freedom of conscience, thought and religion".

Cardinal Tauran and Archbishop Celata conclude by stating that "integral human development also requires the political will to work towards ensuring greater protection of human rights and peaceful co-existence. Development, freedom and peace are inextricably linked together, and they complete one another".

CON-DIR/DEEPAVALI/TAURAN:CELATA                              VIS 091016 (170)

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