Vatican, Apr. 29, 2008 (CWNews.com) - The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue has released its annual message to the world's Buddhists as they mark their festival of Vesakh, which traditionally celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha.
The Vatican message-- released on April 29 and signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, the president and secretary, respectively, of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue-- suggests that care for the environment is a point of common concern for Christians and Buddhists.
Noting the increased attention that public officials are paying to environmental concerns, the Vatican adds that religious leaders are becoming involved as well. "Christianity and Buddhism have always upheld a great respect for nature and taught that we should be grateful stewards of the earth," the statement continues. In fact, the Vatican message argues that religious faith is the best means of ensuring that "environmental concerns will not be marred by individual greed or hampered by the interests of particular groups."
In practical terms, the document suggests cooperative efforts by Christians and Buddhists. "Recycling, energy conservation, the prevention of indiscriminate destruction of plant and animal life, and the protection of waterways" are recommended as possibilities.
The message from the Holy See to the world's Buddhists concludes with a reference to "our good example in respecting nature and acting responsibly towards our one common planet Earth."
Vatican message to Buddhists highlights shared environmental concerns
April 29, 2008
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