India Objects to Pope's Comments

May 24, 2006

Source: Deccan Herald

On May 24, 2006 Deccan Herald reported, "India on Tuesday told the Vatican that it disapproved Pope's criticism against banning conversions and his remarks of religious intolerance in the country. In a firm response to Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on religious intolerance in India, the Centre has expressed its 'displeasure' and said the Holy See was not properly briefed on the situation. Responding to a statement of [the Bhartiya Janta Party's] Ravi Shan-kar Prasad in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said the [United Progressive Alliance] government had expressed its disapproval. 'The government had summoned the Charge d'Affairs to the Holy See in Delhi and told him that the Government disapproved Pope's statement,' Mr. Sharma said. 'There are disturbing signs of religious intolerance which have troubled some regions of the nation and the reprehensible attempt to legislate laws to ban conversions is clearly discriminatory impinging on the fundamental right of religious freedom,' the Pope told the new Indian ambassador to the Vatican when the latter presented his credentials on May 18."