A meeting between the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) and an International Jain delegation took place on 31 May 2016 in the offices of the same Council. His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the PCID, and Mr. Nemu Chandaria, Chairman of the Institute of Jainology, led the respective delegations.
This was the third meeting between the PCID and Jain delegation, led by the Institute of Jainology, London, the last two being in 1995 and 2011. Moreover, there have been several contacts between the Jain community and the PCID since 1986. The PCID, in collaboration with the local churches and Jain organizations in India, the UK and the USA, organized Jain-Catholic Dialogue meetings in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
In the aforesaid meeting, held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and friendship, members of the delegations expressed satisfaction with the cordial relations and cooperation that exist between both the Christian and Jain communities in countries where they live in close proximity.
While expressing the desire to further deepen cooperation, the delegations agreed that it must be ever more strengthened at the local level to better contribute towards the common good of society. In particular, they stressed the importance of educating younger generations so that they may be aware of their own traditions, and come to know and better respect the traditions of others.
With an aim to identifying concrete areas of convergence as the basis of cooperation, they discussed the topic of ‘Taking care of the Earth, the home of the human family’ whereby emphasis was given to the need for both Jains and Christians to work together, joining hands with all believers and people of good will to make the earth liveable and peaceable for all.
They reflected on the Jain principle of ‘non-violence’ (Ahimsa) towards all forms of life and that of Christian ‘compassion’ and ‘justice’ for the poorest and most vulnerable people by calling for responsible stewardship of the natural world. They found common elements that can motivate and advance cooperation between Jains and Catholics.
They also recognized that these elements, on a practical level, call upon the followers of both religious traditions to promote respect for the environment, non-exploitation of natural resources, reduction of wastefulness, care for all forms of life, and concern for future generations.
[00921-EN.01] [Original text: English]