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» 04/05/2005
THAILAND - VATICAN
The Pope, an inspiration to perfection, says Buddhist monk
by Weena Kowitwanij

Bangkok (AsiaNews) – A man who "dedicated his life to the world", "who inspires perfection", this is how Chao Khun Rajchavijitra describes and honours Pope John Paul II. For Rajchavijitra, a monk and deputy dean in the Suthattheapwararam Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Buddhism teaches that "having reached full development in his previous existence [the Pope] has become an inspiration to lead towards perfection". But he regrets the loss of a 'good man'.

"I closely followed the news reports about the Pope's condition. And I just told Buddhists on the radio about the great example given by Christians who are still praying for the Pope in St Peter's Square in Rome. I, too, am praying for him because I believe in the power of prayers".

The day after the Pope's death, Card Michael Michai Kitbunchu, Archbishop of Bangkok, celebrated a mass for the soul of the Pontiff. "We felt very sad for the lost of such a great man who brought love, friendship, solidarity and peace to the world", he said during the homily. "For his greatness, it would be right to call him John Paul the Great."

Speaking to reporters after the liturgy, Cardinal Kitbunchu said that during John Paul II's pontificate "the Church grew and become more stable and secure. And the world has stronger moral bases because he pleaded for true peace between peoples".

The Pope's focus on "a culture of life", according to the prelate, is the best example of how the Pontiff defended human rights. "Through his magisterium, the Holy Father taught, and through his example he was witness to the uniqueness of the human person", the Cardinal explained.

Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra ordered flags flown at half mast till Friday as sign of mourning (except for Thursday, anniversary of the Thai King's coronation). Mr Thaksin went in person to the Nunciature to present a message of condolences from the King.

Thai Catholics lived through the Pope's last days and death with deep emotions. One woman, Ms Chantana, told AsiaNew that she "found great consolation in seeing how the Pope lived his suffering. I am taking care of my 82-yar-old mother who is suffering from Alzheimer and has not been able to walk for 13 years. The Pope's witness is very important to me to face this difficulty".

In the diocese of Chang Mai (40,000 Catholics out of a population of 5.8 million people, largely tribal) masses for the soul of the Pontiff will be celebrate every day till the funeral.

Thai media are also given wide coverage to the Pope's death. Yongyuth Maiyalarp, a well-known journalist, said that "Pope John Paul II has accomplished his three dreams: the fall of Communism, leading Catholics into the new millennium, and bridging the gap between Christians and Jews".


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See also
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The pope, an unforgettable personality for Christians and Muslims in Pakistan
04/06/2005 LEBANON - VATICAN
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Indonesia remembers the Pope of dialogue and tolerance
by Mathias Hariyadi
04/04/2005 INDONESIA – TRIPS IN ASIA – AN OVERVIEW
In the world's most populous Muslim country the Pope called for full religious freedom
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Three million mourners in Rome for Pope's funeral
SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA – VATICAN
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Turkey, an ecumenical and inter-religious gesture for John Paul II
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Three million mourners in Rome for Pope's funeral
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May Russian Catholics harvest the fruits of the Pope's labour
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Tributes to the Peoples' Pope
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Pope, example of humility to Iraqi Christians
NORTH KOREA – VATICAN
N Koreans hold Mass for late Pope
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Prayers and mourning for Pope's funeral throughout Asia
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NORTH kOREA -VATICAN
North Korea sends condolences for Pope's death
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BANGLADESH - VATICAN
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SOUTH KOREA - VATICAN
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Taiwan – Vatican – China
Taiwanese president, Chen Shuibian, to attend the Pope's funeral
SYRIA - VATICAN
Pope like a new John the Baptist, says Patriarch of Damascus
PAKISTAN – VATICAN
The pope, an unforgettable personality for Christians and Muslims in Pakistan
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The Pope's legacy is in his message of peace, says Bishop of Karachi
INDONESIA - VATICAN
John Paul II, a preacher of peace, says Wahid
vietnam - vatican
Vietnamese honour the holy man who never visited them
INDONESIA - VATICANO
Indonesia remembers the Pope of dialogue and tolerance
INDIA - VATICANO
India mourns the death of the Pope who beatified Mother Teresa and honoured Gandhi
LEBANON - VATICAN
Card Sfeir and Pres Lahoud in Rome for Pope's funeral
SYRIA - VATICAN
Assad will attend Pope's funeral
CHINA – VATICAN
Condolences for the Pope and new arrests of bishops and priests in Peking
IRAQ - VATICAN
From Heaven the Pope will continue to pray for Iraq, says the Bishop of Mosul
LEBANON - VATICAN
The Pope: Lebanon mourns the loss of a steadfast defender of the land of the cedars
ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
The Pope was always close to the sufferings of the peoples of the Holy Land, says Patriarch Sabbah
TIBET - VATICAN
Dalai Lama mourns John Paul II, "a true spiritual practitioner"
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Sr Nirmala: the Pope and Mother Teresa, united in a shared vision about life and the world
hong kong - china - vatican
Pope s regret was "not to have the chance to visit China", Bishop Zen says
JAPAN - VATICAN
In Japan, the Pope is remembered as "a father".

Editor's choices
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Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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