Vatican Wishes ‘Joy, Serenity, and Hope’ to World’s Buddhists

Saturday, 29 May, 2021 - 22:46

The Vatican’s office for interreligious dialogue called for greater collaboration between Christians and Buddhists this week, urging a “universal solidarity” among followers of different religions.

In its message titled “Buddhists and Christians: Promoting a Culture of Care and Solidarity,” the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue offered “heartfelt greetings” from the Vatican for the celebration of the Buddhist feast of Vesakh 2021.

“It is my prayer that this annual feast of the birth, enlightenment, and passing away of Gautama Buddha may bring joy, serenity, and hope to the hearts of Buddhists throughout the world,” declares the message, signed by Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot.

Buddhism “offers us a timeless message of solidarity and active care,” the message states. “In speaking about mettā (loving kindness), it exhorts followers to extend boundless love to all.”

As the Buddha taught, practitioners are equally encouraged to “make haste in doing good deeds; one should restrain one’s mind from evil; for the mind of one who is slow in doing good tends to take delight in doing evil,” it adds.

The Vesak greetings highlight “many of the values we hold in common and the wisdom that supports the collaboration we foster, especially in addressing times as hard as the present one,” the message says, in reference to the suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are called to discover and practice the solidarity enshrined in our respective religious traditions,” it adds, while expressing hope that the dramatic situation of the pandemic may “strengthen our bonds of friendship and further unite us in service to the human family.”