05/27/2024, 17.53
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Pope tells Thai Buddhist monks that a ‘wounded humanity’ awaits us

A Thai delegation was received in the Vatican. The pontiff reiterated the willingness to work together to bring hope. Meditation and prayer are ways to purify hearts and minds by generating mercy.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis met with a delegation of Buddhist monks from Thailand today at the Vatican. In his address, the pontiff said that “prayer and meditation can turn things upside down” in today’s wounded world.

Fr Daniele Mazza accompanied the group from Wat Phra Cetuphon in Bangkok. PIME's regional superior for Southeast Asia has developed knowledge and a special bond of friendship with Buddhists, studying together with monks in one of their main universities.

During the audience, Francis mentioned the apostolic journey he made to Thailand in 2019, in particular, his meeting with the Buddhist Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Ariyavongsagatanana IX.

“I warmly remember the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand and kindly ask you to convey my affectionate greetings to him,” the pope said.

Francis also expressed his appreciation for the Seventh Buddhist-Christian Colloquium held in Bangkok last November, which saw more than 150 participants from various parts of Asia discuss “Karuna and Agape in Dialogue for the Healing of a Wounded Humanity and the Earth”.

“Today humanity and the Earth, our common home, are indeed wounded! So many wars, so many people who have lost everything and have been forced to flee. So many children affected by violence,” the pope said.

“Yet, as you pointed out during the gathering, ‘we strongly believe that in the midst of dark clouds, those who are deeply rooted in their respective religious traditions and willing to work together with everyone can bring a ray of hope to a desperate humanity’.”

Drawing from the work of that Colloquium, Pope Francis focused on three main points. First of all, the importance of interdependence, because no one is saved alone.

“In light of this truth, I urge you to work together with everyone: civil society, members of other religions, governments, international organizations, academic and scientific communities and all other interested parties to promote a friendship that sustains peace and fraternity and builds a more inclusive world.

Secondly, education is a key aspect, especially for young people and children.

Finally, the pontiff reasserted the shared view “that prayer and meditation can turn things upside down by purifying our hearts and minds; generating loving-kindness, mercy and forgiveness where there is hatred and vengeance creating a spirit of respect and care for the other and the earth”.

Finally, the pontiff expressed joy at the fact that tomorrow Buddhist monks will pray for peace together with Christians in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

In concluding, Francis said: “I sincerely thank you for the kind gesture of coming to the Vatican and encourage you to continue fostering dialogue and cooperation, especially with the Catholic Church in Thailand, in a spirit of lasting friendship. Upon you and upon all the people of your noble country I invoke abundant divine blessings.”

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