Vatican official cancels visit to Nepal, apparently hoping to avoid provocation
A Vatican official has cancelled a visit to Nepal, apparently because of an internal political controversy in the Asian country.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, had been scheduled to visit Nepal from September 15 to 19. But the country’s foreign ministry reportedly decided that the timing of the cardinal’s visit was inopportune.
Nepal has been locked in a tense debate about a proposed new constitution, and particularly about the treatment of religious freedom in that document. The country’s Hindu majority is pressing for recognition of their faith as the official religion of Nepal, while religious minorities—including Christians—hope to preserve the country’s secularity.
The proposed visit by Cardinal Filoni, apparently, was seen as a potential focus for religious rivalries. The Nepalese government has been fearful of such confrontations since August, when riots sparked by Hindu protests caused dozens of casualties.
By Catholic World News