ISKCON Leader calls on Pope Francis in Lisbon, Portugal


( – ISKCON News | ISKCON Leader calls on Pope Francis in Lisbon, Portugal

AUGUST 4- Yudhistir Govinda Das, ISKCON Communications Director for India and a member of the global ISKCON Communications Leadership Team, called on Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See (Vatican Embassy) in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier today.

A small delegation of eight religious leaders representing different traditions was invited to a private meeting with Pope Francis by the KAICIID Dialogue Centre, an intergovernmental organization focusing on interreligious dialogue. The Holy See is a Founding Observer to the Centre, which began in 2012.

Pope Francis is currently in Lisbon to preside over the Roman Catholic Church’s World Youth Day celebrations, welcoming over 350,000 young pilgrims from at least 143 countries, according to the event organizers.

“In greeting the delegation, the Pope expressed his gratitude for the visit and addressed a few words to those present on the value of fraternity and dialogue and the danger of monologue and proselytizing,” read the Holy See Press Office statement.

Delegation of faith leaders and diplomats meeting with Pope Francis.

“While Pope Francis is still recovering from his recent surgery, he shared that he was enlivened to meet our group of faith leaders,” said Yudhistir Govinda Das, “He stressed the need for people of faith and believers in God to be united to counter the problems faced in today’s world. He also spoke on the need for faith communities to engage in dialogue without any fear and threat of proselytization.” In addition to being a KAICIID Fellow, Yudisthir Govinda Das is a Zonal Supervisor for parts of Kerala, Temple President of ISKCON Medchal, and is based in New Delhi, India.

Apart from the eight-member delegation, also present in the meeting were the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Ayuso Guixot, the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary General of KAICIID, along with senior members of the pope’s entourage.

“It was a kind gesture on behalf of the pope to take the time to meet with different faith leaders despite having a very busy schedule in Lisbon. It also sends a message to people worldwide about the value and importance of such dialogical exchanges. He appreciated the work and activities of each of us in the group, especially in promoting religious harmony,” added Yudhistir Govinda Das.

The meeting concluded with a request by the pope to faith leaders to pray for him, and he promised to also pray for each of them. In parting, he presented Yudhistir Govinda Das and other delegates with a Vatican momento.

Gift from Pope Francis to Yudhistir Govinda Das.

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