The White House
On Sunday, many around the world will observe the anniversary of birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism. I send my best wishes to all those observing this extraordinary occasion. This is also an opportunity to recognize the many contributions that Sikh Americans have made to our nation, and to reflect on the pluralism that is a hallmark of America.
Sikhism’s principles of equality, service, interfaith cooperation and respect are principles shared by all Americans. As Sikhs celebrate the birth of Guru Nanak, people of good will everywhere can identify with his teachings on the equality of all humankind and the need for compassion in our service to others.
PONTIFICIUM CONSILIUM PRO DIALOGO INTER RELIGIONES
18 November 2010
Dear Sikh Friends,
Cordial greetings of peace and joy to you from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Office of His Holiness the Pope Benedict XVI for the promotion of relations with people of different religious traditions, as you celebrate on 21 November this year the Birth Anniversary of Siri Guru Nanak Sahib.
Occasions such as this offer us both Christians and Sikhs who believe in the Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of all human beings, the opportunity to expand our reach out and extend our engagement towards the well-being of all.
Promotion of the common good of humanity is, in fact, one of the many avowed goals of all world religions. This goal, as we know, is inextricably linked to the recognition of the dignity of human persons. “The duty to respect the dignity of each human being, in whose nature the image of the Creator is reflected, means in consequence that the person cannot be disposed of at will” (Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the World Day of Peace, 2007). In essence, it means total and unimpeded respect for the other no matter what creed, colour, culture, or social condition he or she may belong to. Evidently, it is both a right and a duty as well. We, as believers, therefore rightfully uphold ideas and works that are based on mutual respect and that generate brotherhood, joining hands to promote the common good.
In a world best with lack of respect for human persons and violations of their fundamental rights, we, Christians and Sikhs, along with people of other religious traditions and persons of good will, share the huge responsibility to serve in society as catalysts that promote respect for human dignity because peace is in danger when human dignity is not respected and when social coexistence does not seek the common good.
Wishing you, once again, a Happy Prakash Divas of Siri Guru Nanak Sahib!
Jean-Louis, Cardinal Tauran (President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue)Archbishop Pier Luigi, Celata (Secretary, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue)