The RSS and the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC), an organ of the state’s Catholic bishops, welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.
RSS said the meeting bolstered the nation’s prestige while KCBC said the prime minister’s decision to invite the pontiff to India was historic.
The prime minister, who is in Italy to attend the G20 summit, met with the head of the Roman Catholic Church at the Vatican on Saturday and invited him to visit India at an early date.
âWhat is wrong if the head of government meets someone in the civil system existing in the world? We welcome him because we believe in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family). We respect all religions, “said the general of the RSS. Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale told reporters in Bangalore.
He was speaking to reporters on the last day of Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (ABKM) three-day meeting.
“It is a matter of pleasure that the Prime Minister meets the leaders of other nations and increases the prestige of our nation,” Hosabale said.
He also argued that it is up to the head of government to meet with another head of government and that the decision is left to the government he wishes to meet.
KCBC said in a statement: “Inviting Pope Francis to India was a historic decision and it will increase the country’s stature among the nations of the world. His visit will help strengthen diplomatic relations between the two countries. relations between the various sects of Christianity and other religions â,
KCBC President Cardinal Mar George Alenchery said all Indians, especially Christians, were happy to hear about Modi’s invitation.
“We hope that the Pope will visit India soon. The Pope’s visit will pave the way for the promotion of brotherhood and cooperation in a pluralistic India,” Alenchery said.
KCBC thanked Modi for extending the invitation.
It was the first meeting between an Indian Prime Minister and the Pope in more than two decades. In June 2000, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited the Vatican for the last time and met the then Pope, His Holiness John Paul II.
India and the Holy See enjoy friendly relations dating back to the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1948. India is home to the second largest Catholic population in Asia.
The last papal visit was in 1999 when Vajpayee (now deceased) was the prime minister.
(With PTI inputs)