05/06/2016, 15.00
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Vatican message for Vesak: Christians and Buddhists must work together for "ecological education"

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue calls on Buddhists to “cooperate together in liberating humanity from the suffering brought about by climate change, and contribute to the care of our common home.” Christians and Buddhists share the awareness that the "external deserts" are caused by "internal deserts", and that the eco-crisis is first and foremost "an ego-crisis."


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The "external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast”. This quote from "Laudato si" (217) is the inspiration for this year’s Message that the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sent to Buddhists worldwide as they celebrate Vesakh, the most important festival in their calendar, marking the main events of Buddha's life.

The message, signed by Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, reaffirms that "the ecological crisis is a call to a deep inner conversion." This belief is also alive among Buddhists in some documents on climate change and our responsibility, states that "at the centre of the eco-crisis is, in fact, an ego-crisis, expressed by human greed, anxiety, arrogance and ignorance. "

" Cultivating the insight of inter-being and compassion, we will be able to act out of love, not fear, to protect our planet” (Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders).

The Message notes the profound harmony between these statements and those of Pope Francis in "Laudato si", with its call to “promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society and our relationship with nature” (n. 215) through education.

Hence the invitation to the collaboration. " here is a pressing need for the followers of all religions to transcend their boundaries and join together in building an ecologically responsible social order based on shared values. In countries where Buddhists and Christians live and work side by side, we can support the health and sustainability of the planet through joint educational programmes aimed at raising ecological awareness and promoting joint initiatives".

The purpose of this collaboration is to "cooperate together in liberating humanity from the suffering brought about by climate change, and contribute to the care of our common home."

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