Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Father Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, signed and sent the 2014 message to the followers of Buddhism on the festival of Vesakh. This year's message has the theme “Buddhists and Christians: Together Fostering Fraternity."
Vesakh is the principal Buddhist holy day which celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautam Buddha.
“To foster a renewed and deepened sense of unity and fraternity among all the members of the human family,” interreligious dialogue is important, the message said.
“Each one of us is called to be an artisan of peace, by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths to dialogue and not by constructing new walls!
“Let us dialogue and meet each other in order to establish a culture of dialogue in the world, a culture of encounter!'” the note said, quoting Francis’ words calling for peace.
“'Fraternity is an essential human quality, for we are relational beings.” It continued, “without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society and a solid and lasting peace.’”
The message stressed that the Buddhist “religious tradition inspires the conviction that friendly relations, dialogue, the sharing of gifts, and the respectful and harmonious exchange of views lead to attitudes of kindness and love which in turn generate authentic and fraternal relationships.”
Buddhim’s conviction that “the root of all evil is the ignorance and misunderstanding born of greed and hatred, which in turn destroy the bonds of fraternity” promotes peace, it added.
It said, “To build a world of fraternity,” education is vital and added that faithful are called to be “healers,” enabling others to grow in selfless generosity, and to be “reconcilers,” breaking down the walls of division and fostering genuine brotherhood between individuals and groups in society.
The message closed with prayer that their Vesakh celebration will be an occasion to “rediscover and promote fraternity anew.” (D.C.L.)
On ZENIT's Web page:
Full text of message: