01/14/2008, 00.00
THAILAND
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Buddhists are impressed by the spirituality of the Requiem for Princess Galyani Vadhana

by Weena Kowitwanji
Cardinal Kitbunchu celebrates a solemn Requiem Mass in Bangkok’s cathedral for the soul of the late princess. Buddhist monks present at the function are surprised by its spirituality; they urge Catholics not to feel like a minority in the country.

Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu, archbishop of Bangkok, yesterday celebrated a Requiem Mass for Princess Galyani Vadhana, who passed away on 2 January, in front of a congregation that included both Christians and Buddhists. A Buddhist monk, the Venerable Porkrisna Kantasilo, said that “he was impressed by the spirituality of the ceremony” and invited Catholics “not to feel like a minority in the country.”

During the homily Card Michai Kitbunchu said  that “that “Princess Galyani Vadhana led her life in accordance with today’s Gospel of Isaiah which says: ‘Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit . . . until he establishes justice on the earth’.”

Indeed “after she passed away people bore witnessed to her great work to develop the country, especially the poor, people in remote areas and the handicapped. She brought peace and happiness to all Thais.”

Many Buddhist monks were present at the ceremony. One of them, the Venerable Porkrisna Kantasilo told AsiaNews that the function was not the first Mass he took part in but “it was a very spiritual, inspiring function.”

The monk, who is a member of the Commission for Inter-faith dialogue, used the occasion to tell Thai Catholics “not to feel like a minority because we are all human beings. Whatever one’s faith if someone behaves properly and upholds the teachings of their religion we shall have peace in our hearts and in our society.”

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