His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, biggest religious leader in the world, should be doing better things for the welfare of the mankind than blessing Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Hindus argue.
According to reports, Pope Benedict will bless Harley-Davidson bikes at a special ceremony at the Vatican next June as a part of its 110th anniversary. Multi-site Harley-Davidson Rome event, from June 13-16, includes “Vatican City activities”.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, suggested that Pope Benedict; leader of about 1.2 billion adherents worldwide, “supreme priest", holder of "Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven", supreme shepherd and teacher of the faithful, “The Holy Father”, "Servant of the Servants of God"; should dedicate himself to interfaith dialogue, defending human rights, helping the helpless, charitable projects, human improvement, ecological responsibility, etc. ; instead of spending time in blessing expensive motorcycles.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that in addition to his Roman Catholic responsibilities, Pope Benedict should we working to bring world religions together for the cause of peace because interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour. Pope, being the leader of the largest religious organization of the world, was best positioned to bring together leaders of various religions and denominations for dialogue and commitment to peace and should take the lead. Religion was the most powerful, complex and far-reaching force in our society, so we all must take it seriously, Zed added.
Rajan Zed pointed out that instead of taking up serious and real issues like the apartheid conditions faced by about 15-million Roma (Gypsies) in Europe, Pope Benedict appeared to be aiding in the mercantile greed of a corporation. If Pope made serious and honest efforts at interfaith dialogue, Hindus would wholeheartedly participate and support his peace mission, Zed indicated.
Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion followers and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.
Milwaukee (USA) headquartered Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles, which reportedly retail as high as $38,599. Keith E. Wandell is President and Chief Executive Officer of its parent Harley-Davidson, Inc