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Idaho Catholic leadership repudiates setor's anti-Hindu views

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

New York, March 21: The Catholic Church’s leadership in Idaho state has declared that a state setor’s denunciation of Hinduism runs counter to the teachings of the church and Pope Francis’s support for inter-religious dialogue.

When Universal Society of Hinduism President Rajan Zed said the opening prayers for the state sete’s March 3 session in Boise, Setor Sheryl Nuxoll boycotted the invocation because she said she believed the United States is a Christian tion and “Hindu is a false faith with false gods”. Her opinions “do not represent the opinions or teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, (Boise) Bishop Peter Christensen or even our Holy Father, Pope Francis, who has been an outspoken supporter of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue,” said a statement from the Boise Diocese provided on Friday by communications director Michael Brown. “Sen. Nuxoll’s comments reflect her own persol opinions.”

Nuxoll, who is a Catholic, was one of three Republican setors to boycott Zed’s prayer, although the Republican Sete President Pro-Tem, Brent Hill, had invited Zed to be the guest chaplain. Zed’s prayer was non-denomitiol and Hill said, “It refers to ‘deity supreme.’” After the sete prayer, Zed met the Boisie Catholic Diocese’s Vicar General for Clergy, Monsignor Joseph A. da Silva, and Chancellor Marcella Wilske. Zed said they they had “a dialogue on various interfaith issues.”

Jewish and other religious leaders have demanded an apology from Nuxoll. “Being a public official who is expected to represent all citizens, it is highly ippropriate and insensitive for Ms. Nuxoll to unnecessarily label a major religion as ‘false,’ as there are about 3 million Hindus in USA, including some in Idaho,” said a letter signed by 28 clergy members and others last week. According to The Jewish Daily Forward, Rabbi Daniel Fink of Boise’s Jewish Congregation Ahavatah Beth Israel organised the letter campaign through the Idaho Interfaith Equality Coalition. The US constitution is secular and prohibits the establishment of official religion. According to the newspaper, Nuxoll said she received many emails “running me down”, but also some supporting her. She singled out one email backing her “from a lady who said she had lived with the Hindus”. Nuxoll said that the woman wrote “there was a great amount of infanticide and abortion.”(IANS)

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