Vatican wishes Buddhists well for Vesak festival
Monday 17 May 2010
The Vatican issued Monday "heartfelt best wishes" to Buddhists for their upcoming festival of Vesakh - stressing shared concerns for the environment and opposing abortion.
The message, signed by the Vatican’s top interfaith dialogue official, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, aimed to "help strengthen our existing bonds of friendship and collaboration in service to humanity."
"Both Christians and Buddhists have a profound respect for human life. It is crucial therefore that we encourage efforts to create a sense of ecological responsibility," the message said.
It also called on the two religious communities to reaffirm "our shared convictions about the inviolability of human life at every stage and in every condition, the dignity of the person and the unique mission of the family, where one learns to love one’s neighbour and to respect nature."
On Vesakh, Buddhists traditionally commemorate the birth, teachings and passing away of their religion’s founder, Gautama Buddha, who lived in ancient India around 400 BC.
This year Vesakh will be celebrated on May 21 in Korea and Taiwan while the will be marked on May 28 in several other countries with large Buddhist communities including Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, Nepal and Vietnam.
Source : http://www.earthtimes.org