Pope to Buddhists: ‘Let’s work together for a more inclusive world’

By Lisa Zengarini, Vatican News

Click here to read Pope Francis’ address.

Pope Francis receives a delegation of Buddhist monks from the Wat Phra Cetuphon temple (also known as the Wat Pho) of Bangkok, one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand, and encourages them to continue fostering dialogue and cooperation for a better world.

Pope Francis on Monday reiterated the importance of a closer collaboration between the Church and Buddhists to address the pressing challenges facing our broken world today.

Welcoming a delegation of some 100 Buddhist monks from the Wat Phra Cetuphon temple of Bangkok, in Thailand, he expressed his deep gratitude and appreciation for their “enduring friendship” and willingness to work together “to bring a ray of hope” to our wounded humanity.

Healing a wounded humanity and earth together

In his address to the monks, Pope Francis recalled “the extraordinary welcome and hospitality “ he received during his Apostolic Journey to Thailand in 2019 and, more recently, the Seventh Buddhist-Christian Colloquium held in Bangkok, in November last year. which brought together more than 150 participants from various parts of Asia to reflect on the theme “Karuna and Agape in Dialogue for the Healing of a Wounded Humanity and the Earth”.

He referred in particular to the final statement of the colloquium in which the participants “deeply rooted in their respective religious traditions” committed “to working together with everyone” to “ bring a ray of hope to a desperate humanity“ in the midst of “dark clouds” overshadowing the world today.

No one is saved alone

Pope Francis mentioned three key points highlighted during the Colloquium, the first of which being that “no one is saved alone and that “we can only be saved together, since we are interconnected and interdependent”.

In light of that truth, he urged the monks “to continue working together with everyone”: civil society, members of other religions, governments, international organizations, academic and scientific communities and all other stakeholders “to promote a friendship that sustains peace and fraternity and builds a more inclusive world.”

Caring for one another and for the environment

The Colloquium in Thailand further stressed the importance of educating everyone, especially young people and children, “in caring and sharing relationships with one another and the environment” and also of prayer and meditation that “can turn things upside down by purifying our hearts and minds; generating loving-kindness, mercy and forgiveness where there is hatred and vengeance creating a spirit of respect and care for the other and the earth”.

Continue to foster dialogue and cooperation with the Catholic Church

In this regard, Pope Francis commended a prayer event ttey will join on Tuesday in the Roman in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Concluding, the Pope warmly thanked the Thai Buddhist for their visit and encouraged them “to continue fostering dialogue and cooperation, especially with the Catholic Church in Thailand, in a spirit of lasting friendship.”