Pope Francis receives a delegation of Buddhists from Thailand and reiterates Pope St. Paul VI’s feelings of profound regard for the spiritual, moral and socio-cultural treasures of the Buddhist tradition.
By Linda Bordoni
“At a time in which our human family and planet are facing manifold threats,” the need for interreligious dialogue and collaboration are increasingly necessary, said Pope Francis, inviting Buddhists to continue to work together with the Catholic Church “to cultivate compassion and hospitality for all human beings, especially the poor and marginalized.”
The Pope was addressing a delegation from Thailand composed of thirty-three prominent Buddhist monks of both the Theravada and Mahayana schools, together with 60 lay Buddhists and several representatives of the Thai Catholic Church. They are in Rome to participate in a conference entitled Friendship between Buddhists and Christians for a Culture of Encounter, at the Pontifical Urban University.
Thanking them for visiting the Vatican on the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Saint Paul VI and the Most Venerable Somdej Phra Wannarat, the 17th Supreme Buddhist Patriarch of Thailand, on 5 June 1972, the Pope expressed his wish to renew the bonds of friendship and mutual collaboration.
He also renewed the sentiments expressed by Pope Paul VI when he met the Thai delegation 50 years ago, saying: “We have a profound regard for the spiritual, moral, and socio-cultural treasures that have been bestowed on you through your precious traditions.”
Image Credits: Vatican Media