Religious leaders gathered in Dubai on Thursday to salute Bishop Paul Hinder’s contribution and welcome his successor as head of the Catholic faith in the region.
Diplomats and government officials were also present to greet Archbishop Paulo Martinelli, who took over as the Vatican’s top representative to the UAE and the GCC.
Around 100 people gathered at the Sikh gurdwara – or temple – in Dubai to celebrate Bishop Hinder, who announced his retirement earlier this year as Vicar Apostolic for South Arabia after 18 years of defending ties closer between religions.
Bishop Hinder said meeting people of different faiths over the past two decades has taught him acceptance and enriched his life.
“Having participated in interreligious dialogue helped me to deepen my own faith and above all made me discover that we are one human family with different religious backgrounds and roots,” he said. The National.
“It has helped me to accept others into their brotherhood because we accept ourselves as children of the same God who created us.
“I hope this experience will not only mark the rest of my life, but also help others to have similar experiences in the future.”
The rally was organized by Surender Kandhari, president and founder of the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple in Dubai’s Jebel Ali district.
“We want to continue to promote interreligious closeness and humanity – that is what Archbishop Hinder has done in this part of the world,” Kandhari said.
“He would come to any office we held and it is important for us to honor him and welcome the new bishop.
“In the Sikh religion, we respect the otherness of others and believe that we are children of one God, so we must support each other.
“This is an opportunity for us to show respect for each religion and give society the commitment that we are all one.”
For Bishop Martinelli, this was his first visit to the Sikh temple.
The highest Vatican representative in the Gulf recalled the signing of the Document on Human Brotherhood and Fraternity by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb, Grand Iman of Al Azhar, three years ago.
“It makes us responsible for making this country a capital of tolerance or a world capital of human fraternity,” he said.
“Religious leaders are partners in building a better human family. I stand with people of all faiths and religions in this country as a friend and a brother.
“All religions must work together for the common good and for the promotion of goodwill.
“Different religions can contribute greatly to societies around the world by promoting peace, love and justice.”
Updated: September 23, 2022, 03:51