The Catholic community on Friday made a congratulatory announcement to Buddhists days ahead of Buddha’s Birthday, which falls on May 17, seeking peace and harmony between the two religions.
“Pope Francis, at the very beginning of his ministry, has reaffirmed the necessity of dialogue of friendship among followers of different religions. I wish to voice that the Catholic Church has sincere respect for your noble religious tradition. Frequently we note a consonance with values expressed also in your religious books: respect for life, contemplation, silence, simplicity.
“Our genuine fraternal dialogue needs to foster what we Buddhists and Christians have in common, especially a shared profound reverence for life,” Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, said in an address to Buddhists for the feast of Vesakh through the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea.
They acknowledged that while each religion’s methods were different, the lessons were similar at their core.
“The cornerstone of your ethics lies in loving kindness to all beings. We Christians believe that the core of Jesus’ moral teaching is twofold; love of God and love of neighbor. I think, therefore, that it is urgent for both Buddhists and Christians on the basis of the genuine patrimony of our religious traditions to create a climate of peace to love, defend, and promote human life.
“Dear Buddhist friends, let us continue to collaborate with a renewed compassion and fraternity to alleviate the suffering of the human family by fostering the sacredness of human life,” they said.
The Catholic community has released the annual congratulatory message to Buddhists, who are mainly Asians, since 1997.
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org