Bishop celebrates special Diwali mass in Fiji

Fiji is one of the many countries around the globe that celebrated a special Diwali mass to pay respects to the Hindu festival of light.

In his homily at the Diwali (also called Deepawali or Deepavali) mass, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of Suva spoke of the one God.

The Catholic Church believes and teaches the same God that is present in Christianity is also present in other religions – a belief which is the foundation of interreligious dialogue.

Interreligious dialogue calls for understanding and respect for different religious traditions, which in turn helps us learn more about God, he said.

Turning his focus to Diwali, Loy Chong discussed the festival’s symbolism: the victory of good over evil.

“It is with each Deepawali and the lights that illuminate our homes and hearts that this simple truth finds new reason and hope.

“The Deepawali lights and firecrackers remind us of our commitment to truth and goodness. The Christian Festival of Easter also celebrates the victory of Christ over darkness of sin and death.”

Chong also spoke of the richness and blessings diverse faith communities offer Fiji.

“In the history of humankind, God has revealed divine truths through religious traditions. Divine truths form the basis of a good and just society. Therefore religion and faith have a public value.

“In other words, religion and faith have a public character and, as such, must be valued for their contribution to society. Religion cannot be removed to the private sphere of society.

“Fiji is blessed with a diversity of religious traditions. May our religious diversities be a source of strength, unity and richness,” he said.


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