ASIA/ARAB EMIRATES - Bishop Martinelli's singular "lesson on harmony" during the inauguration of the Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi

Saturday, 24 February 2024 middle east   dialogue   creation   franciscan   hinduism  

Abu Dhabi (Agenzia Fides) - Speaking about the good and harmonious project of God the Creator, the wound of sin and the "new harmony" that entered the world with Jesus, in front of an audience of Muslim dignitaries and brothers and sisters belonging to other faith communities. This is what happened to Bishop Paolo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi as the culminating event of the "Day of Harmony" (February 15).
In the speech delivered on this occasion and in this context, Bishop Martinelli, following the "common thread" of harmony, was able to explain in a simple way the characteristics specific to the Christian faith in the face of the mystery of creation and the history of salvation.
"According to the Christian faith" the Apostolic Vicar began, "God created all things in order and harmony, arising as the fruit of distinctions: between heaven and earth, light and darkness, night and day, waters and dry land, plants and animals and so on". Even the creation of man and woman - remarked Bishop Martinelli, quoting Genesis - "is characterized by distinction. But all are called to live in harmony".
In the harmony which characterizes the order of Creation", continued the Apostolic Vicar, "the position of the human is unique". Human beings have "the task to care and cultivate in the harmonious creation " and are answerable to God for all their actions. Obedience to God is the condition for living in harmony with all creation. Indeed, "human beings are not the Creator but one among the creatures. Only by depending on the Creator, they can truly safeguard the harmony of all creation".
The disobedience of humans, "which the spiritual tradition calls ‘sin’", continued the bishop, reproposing in simple terms the dynamic of original sin as recognized by Christian doctrine, leads "to the breakdown of harmony with God, which results in a disordered relationship among the creation. The loss of harmony caused by humans in an attempt to put themselves in the place of God, resulted in violence and the environmental crisis".
For the Christian faith, the new harmony arises from God's intervention in history to free human beings from sin. An intervention awaited and announced by the Prophets like Isaiah, and which happens in "Jesus crucified and risen" which makes "forgiveness and reconciliation possible. In the Christian vision", emphasized the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, "harmony can be achieved only by welcoming God's forgiveness, which makes us new creatures". It is Jesus who reveals "the ultimate destiny of all creatures: to enter divine life". In Christian theology "God presents himself as the infinite harmony between the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit". And the first great Christian authors - Bishop Martinelli recalled, citing Basil in particular - "call the Holy Spirit itself the Harmony in an absolute sense". Their teachings recognize that "the Spirit of God is always at work in the cosmos and souls to achieve harmony among all living creatures".
Bishop Paolo, who is a Capuchin Franciscan, proposed Saint Francis of Assisi, author of the Canticle of the Creatures, as a "great example of harmony", who "experienced harmony in the universal brotherhood: every human person and every creature is a brother and sister". Then, at the conclusion of his speech, the bishop expressed "the joy of the Catholic Church at the inauguration of this new temple in Abu Dhabi". The new Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, underlined the Vicar Apostolic "represents a contribution to harmony based on the relationship with God. Every place of worship reminds people that without God, human beings are lost. With God, humanity can be born again. This new temple is a place for my Hindu brothers and sisters to pray and strengthen the harmony with God". The opening of the new temple - added Bishop Martinelli "also expresses the freedom of worship in the United Arab Emirates, where tolerance and coexistence are considered as fundamental values, encouraging believers of various faiths to dialogue and commit to building a more fraternal world in peace and harmony". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 24/2/2024)