Cardinal Toppo at the Christ The King Rally in Ranchi on Sunday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo left for Rome on Sunday evening to attend the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
The four-day conference, which begins at Vatican City on Monday, will be attended by bishops, major archbishops and cardinals from across the globe. It will conclude on November 28.
The plenary assembly will reflect on the current state of interreligious dialogue in various parts of the world and the role of the Christian community to promote better ties with members of other faith.
Toppo alone will represent India and talk about activities undertaken by him and the Church to promote good interreligious relations.
“India serves as an example of how various religions and communities can coexist in peace. Though there have been instances of communal violence in the subcontinent, people of different faith celebrate all festivals with same fervour. I will recall all my good experiences at the plenary,” Toppo told The Telegraph before he boarded the flight to Vatican City via New Delhi.
This will be the Cardinal’s second visit to Vatican City within a month.
“I have had a busy schedule. I had been to the Vatican on October 17 to attend an official meeting with Pope Francis. After the meeting, I travelled to Germany to take part in various religious functions. I returned to Ranchi on October 28,” he added.
Before leaving for Delhi, the Cardinal led the Christ the King Rally in Ranchi on Sunday afternoon.
The rally, flagged off from St Mary’s Cathedral on Purulia Road, wended its way through Albert Ekka Chowk, Lalpur Chowk, Dangratoli Chowk before converging at Loyola grounds, adjacent to Archbishop House — the official residence of the Cardinal.
More than 40,000 faithful were present at the Loyola grounds to hear the Cardinal speak. “We are almost at the fag end of 2013.We will be beginning a new liturgical year from tomorrow. It is the time to reflect on our actions and move closer to God,” said Toppo.
The procession is organised on the last Sunday of the liturgical calendar every year to mark the beginning of a new year.