On his maiden visit to the city,Cardinal William Joseph Levada spoke on the challenges of conversion,the Supreme Court ruling on Graham Staines murder and Indias cultural diversity. On the issue of conversions,Cardinal Levada,who is the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,said,India is not the only place where we see these attacks. Anyone who has a good understanding of humanity will agree that we are all a part of one human family and that we should live in peace with one another. However these attacks are something that is not in our hands. All we can do is pray for the ones who have lost their lives in the attacks and also for the ones who perpetuate these attacks so that they can realise that violence is not the way.
Cardinal Levada was at St Patricks Cathedral on a goodwill visit. Earlier,he met theologists in Bangalore and spoke on issues concerning Christianity in India. On the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Graham Staines murder,he said,I havent read anything about the Indian courts so that will be more a matter of the local leaders and the religious representatives. From that point of view conversion is not aimed at harbouring any wrong feelings. We do recognise everybodys freedom of conscience and freedom to make the religious choices that they are convinced they should make. In fact these are basic human rights that should be granted in every country.
Keeping the Vatican principle intact we live in one culture and its with globalisation coming in it is important that we also embrace these new cultures. It may offer challenges to adjusting our religious symbolism but then that is what is important.It is very encouraging to see that religious feelings in India are so strong. They should be channelised without any violence. The issue of diminishing minorities is something that is very common in West Asia and Africa but the best way to deal with them is through dialogue and patience in those particular countries. I dont think anyone like me or anyone can come in and impose things from the outside, he said.
On the Roman Catholic Churchs traditional opposition to contraception,Cardinal Levada said,The holy father was talking to a German journalist about his remarks may or may not be misinterpreted. People should practise an understanding of sex that is not promiscuous but a gift of god. The whole point is their use is accepted only in exceptional cases where the lives of the individuals is not endangered. The Church still believes that changing attitudes to sexuality is the proper way to combat HIV/AIDS.