20 January 2018
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  • » 02/15/2017, 14.55

    THAILAND

    Thai cardinal offers cooperation to new Buddhist patriarch for the nation’s peace

    Weena Kowitwanij

    The archbishop of Bangkok and president of the Bishops' Conference met Umporn Umparow. The cardinal said that the common goal is "peaceful coexistence" and making Thailand a "model" for other nations. Catholics admire the new Patriarch for his "irreproachable behaviour".

    Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Card Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovidhavanij, archbishop of Bangkok and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand (CBCT), sent a message to the new Supreme Patriarch of Theravada Buddhism on the occasion of his investiture.

    In his letter, the prelate says that Thai Catholics are "ready to cooperate" with Buddhists and the believers of the country’s other religions in order to "build peace and stability in the nation" through "dialogue, as brothers and sisters”. He also notes that the ultimate goal is "peaceful coexistence" so that Thailand can be "a model for other nations."

    "May God grant” Taan Chao Khun Somdej "abundant wisdom and good health,” writes Card Kovidhavanij so as to "lead Buddhism to continued growth in Thailand."

    Yesterday afternoon, on behalf of Thailand’s Catholic bishops and community, the cardinal, leading a delegation of bishops, gave his letter to new Supreme Patriarch Umporn Umparow during a meeting at the Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram royal temple.

    This is the same place where John Paul II met with the 18th Buddhist Patriarch Somdej Phra Ariyawongsagatanana on 10 May 1984 during his apostolic trip to Asia.

    On 7 February, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha made official the appointment of the new Supreme Patriarch of Thai Buddhism by King Rama X.

    Led by King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangku, the investiture ceremony was held last Sunday (12 February) at the Phra Sri Rattana Sas-sadaram temple, the country’s “sacred place", home to the Emerald Buddha. 

    Card Kovidhavanij conveyed "the joy of all Catholics" for the choice of the new patriarch, who is "admired" for his "irreproachable" behaviour, and for his "humble" and "respectful" attitude, which is appreciated "even by the believers of other religions".

    Thanks to the wise and loving leadership of various Thai King, "Christians have enjoyed for five centuries a happy life with their Buddhist brothers and sisters."

    Buddhism is Thailand’s main religion, about 93.6 per cent of the population, primarily centred on the Theravada school. About 4.6 per cent is Muslim, mostly in the country’s southern provinces on the border with Malaysia. Christians are just over 1 per cent.

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    See also

    08/02/2017 15:45:00 THAILAND
    Thai King appoints new Supreme Patriarch of Thailand’s Theravada Buddhism

    Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong, 89, abbot at a royal temple, a great expert in education and a scholar, will become the 20th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand’s Theravada Buddhism. His investiture by the monarch is set for 12 February.



    17/11/2008 THAILAND
    Thai Church honours the memory of the late Princess Galyani Vadhana
    Masses and prayers are held in all of the country’s dioceses for one of the most beloved members of the royal family who passed away last 2 January. The archbishop of Bangkok stresses her commitment to the Thai people and the many initiatives she personally promoted. A Catholic government official remembers her profound respect for Catholic places of worship.

    11/02/2013 INDIA
    Allahabad: 36 people die crushed by 150 thousand Maha Kumbh Mela pilgrims
    The incident took place last night at the city's railway station. Police and staff took no action to stop the fleeing crowd, nor to help the wounded. The victims were mostly elderly and children.

    15/01/2013 INDIA
    The Maha Kumbh Mela, a spectacle of extremism and violence
    This was stated by Lenin Raguvanshi, a lay activist in Varanasi. He denounces the participation of Naga sadhus, ascetic warriors who parade armed with swords and tridents, "militarizing" a religious moment as important as that of the Kumbh Mela. It is "urgent and necessary" to prohibit the participation of these individuals, and stand against the caste system, "to give dignity" to Dalits and tribals.

    11/05/2017 18:05:00 THAILAND
    Vesakh Bucha: Thais celebrate the Buddha’s birthday

    Considered Buddhism’s main observance, it draws believers across the country to rituals that follow local ancestral traditions. King Maha Vajiralongkorn led a ritual ceremony. A conference on the Buddha’s teachings was held in Bangkok. “[L]et us celebrate the wisdom of Lord Buddha by taking action for others with a strong spirit of solidarity,” said UN secretary Antonio Guterres.





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