05/16/2018, 12.25
VATICAN-THAILAND
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Pope calls for Christians and Buddhists to ‘grow increasingly closer, advance in knowledge of one another’

Francis receives a Thai Buddhist delegation. Christians and Buddhists "are witnesses in the world of the values ​​of justice, peace and the protection of human dignity". Dialogue and peace in the meeting with a delegation of Dharmic religions.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Buddhists and Catholics need to "grow increasingly closer, advance in knowledge of one another” says Pope Francis in a greeting he addressed this morning to a Buddhist delegation from Thailand, received before the general audience in the Paul VI hall.

"I offer you a warm welcome - said Francis - and I thank you for the precious gift of your Sacred Book translated into today’s language by the monks of Wat Pho Temple. It is a tangible sign of your generosity and of the friendship that we have shared for so many years, a journey made of many small steps. I think in particular of the meeting in the Vatican between Blessed Pope Paul VI and the Venerable Somdej Phra Wanaratana, whose portrait can be seen in the entrance of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which you have visited in these days".

"It is my heartfelt wish that Buddhists and Catholics will grow increasingly closer, advance in knowledge of one another and in esteem for their respective spiritual traditions, and offer the world a witness to the values of justice, peace, and the defense of human dignity”. He concluded “With renewed gratitude for this meeting, I invoke upon on all of you the divine blessings of joy and peace ".

Previously, in Santa Marta, Francis had met a delegation of the Dharmic religions, who participated in the conference on " Dharma and Logos – Dialogue and Cooperation in a Complex Age ", which took place yesterday in Rome. An initiative, Francis recalled, which involves Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.

"Dialogue and cooperation are essential at a time like our own, when complex and unprecedented factors have led to increased tensions and conflicts, accompanied by violence on both a small and a large scale. It is a cause for thanksgiving to God when religious leaders actively foster a culture of encounter by offering an example of fruitful dialogue and by working together effectively in the service of life, human dignity and the care of creation".

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