Vesakh message from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue emblem

Today marks the celebration of Buddha’s birth, Enlightenment and death, sometimes referred to as Vesakh (or in the Tibetan tradition “Saga Dawa”, and Nepali tradition “Buddha Jayanthi”). In the spirit of promoting religious harmony and good relations between people of different faiths, we at Diamond Way Buddhism UK are happy to pass on the kind message we recently received from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue marking the occasion.

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) is an interfaith group of the Catholic Papacy. It has an interesting, historically informed view of interfaith work:

The future lies in the respectful coexistence of diversity, not in the uniformity of a single thought, theoretically neutral. We have seen throughout history the tragedy of  the uniformity of thoughts. It therefore becomes essential to recognize the fundamental right to religious freedom, in all its dimensions.
Pope Francis

The PCID’s message emphasises fraternity as “an essential human quality”, quoting Pope Francis that a “lively awareness of our relatedness helps us to look upon and to treat each person as a true sister or brother”. We affirm the assessment made by PCID’s President, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and its Secretary, Father Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, that the Buddhist tradition “inspires the conviction that friendly relations, dialogue, the sharing of gifts, and the respectful and harmonious exchange of views lead to attitudes of kindness and love which in turn generate authentic and fraternal relationships.”

We also concur with the message that as Buddhists and Christians, we live in a world all too often torn apart by oppression, selfishness, tribalism, ethnic rivalry, violence and religious fundamentalism. We must rise to the task of “defending our shared humanity” in a spirit of cooperation with other people of good will by “drawing upon our different religious convictions”.

Entitled “Buddhists and Christians: Together Fostering Fraternity”, the full text can be found here.

Like Pope Francis and the PCID, we also hope that interreligious dialogue will contribute to fostering a sense of unity and fraternity among all the human family and we share the belief that it is vitally important to join forces to educate each other and work toward this noble goal. Thank you Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and happy Vesakh /Saga Dawa/Budhha Jayanti to everyone!

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply