A Bishop from Iowa in the United States has brought the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award all the way to India’s Himalayan town of Dharamshala to be awarded to the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Due to travel restrictions faced by His Holiness, the award was brought from US to India.
The journey realized a years-long dream of the interfaith Pacem in TerrisCoalition of the Quad Cities to honor one of the world’s most respected peacemakers. The award’s distinguished recipients – including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Dorothy Day – traveled to Davenport to accept the award.
The organizers required to present the award in person so that the recipients can share their messages face to face. However, in case of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, owing to his travel limitations, they took the opportunity to go to India and honor him with the award.
During the brief meeting between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Bishop Thomas R. Zinkula on March 4 at the former’s residence in Dharamshala, the Bishop read the text inscribed in the framed award that recognized the Tibetan spiritual leader’s vision and commitment to human rights, world peace and non violence.
“The coalition recognizes your vision and your commitment to human rights, world peace and the nonviolent resolution of conflict. It is clear from your words and deeds that you are a person who is deeply rooted in the spirit of peace. Your leadership to promote respect for the dignity and culture of the Tibetan people fills all oppressed people with hope that peace can overcome injustice.”
“Your Holiness, you truly embody the words of Pope John XXIII in his encyclical Pacem in Terris as a ‘spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying leaven’ to your sisters and brothers around the world.”
The Bishop later described about the meeting with His Holiness; “There was a sense of vigor and vitality about him, he gave me his undivided attention while I spoke about the award and presented it to him. He exuded a sense of peace, love, joy and warmth.”