Phulbani (Odisha): Advocating unity and peace in society, Vatican representative Salvatore Pennacchio while attending several functions in sensitive Kandhamal in Odisha today said all should work together to ensure brotherhood giving up all ill-feelings.
"We all should work together to ensure greater fraternity and brotherhood in society leaving all ill-feelings," Pennacchio, the Apostolic Nuncio, or diplomatic representative of the Pope to India.
Addressing a meeting at Raikia in Kandhamal held on the occasion of 75th anniversary of establishment of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar diocese, Pennacchio said people from all walks should work jointly to uphold unity and integrity and ensure peace.
The Vatican representative, who lighted ceremonial lamp, delivered sermon to the gathering. A message from Pope Francis was also read out at the function organised at a restored Roman Catholic church damaged in riots. The church at Raikia has been restored at a cost of Rs 18 lakh.
The church was damaged during riots in December, 2007, about eight months before large-scale violence rocked the communally sensitive district following the killing of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati in August, 2008.
As many as 24 bishops and arch-bishops from across the country participated in the function. "We are happy that there is peace and harmony in Kandhamal where people have forgotten bitterness of the past and living together happily," said John Barwa, Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.
Besides Barwa, Archbishops of Delhi, Balasore and former Archbishop Raphael Cheenath took part in the event.
Elaborate security arrangements was made in view of Pennacchio`s visit to the sensitive and tribal-dominated district. "I feel joy to visit Kandhamal," he had said after unveiling a new statue of Mother Mary at the parish here yesterday.