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"Interreligious" General Audience in St. Peter's Square of Wednesday

PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Vatican to Buddhists: We Agree ‘Eco-Crisis’ Is an ‘Ego-Crisis’

Vatican Sends Message for Buddhist Feast of Vesakh Praising Mutual Commitment to Protect Planet

The Vatican has sent a message for the Buddhist Feast of Vesakh, saying both religions recognize that the ‘eco-crisis’ is an ‘ego-crisis.’

This feast is the most important holiday for Buddhists, for it commemorates the principal events of the life of Buddha, and is celebrated on different dates, according to different traditions, in the various countries of Buddhist culture. This year, the festival is celebrated in some countries on May 14, while in others between 20 and 21 May.

On the occasion, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sent Buddhists a message today, which calls for both religions to work together to protect the planet.

This year’s message was inspired by His Holiness Pope Francis’s Encyclical Letter, Laudato Sì, On the Care for Our Common Home, the interfaith council writes, noting how Buddhists have likewise expressed concern about the degradation of the environment in the documents The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change and Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders.

These documents, the dicastery points out, demonstrate a shared understanding that at the center of the eco-crisis is,  “an ego-crisis, expressed by human greed, anxiety, arrogance and ignorance.”

“Our lifestyles and expectations, therefore, must change in order overcome the deterioration of our surroundings,” it notes.

Working Together

“As the crisis of climate change is contributed to by human activity, we, Christians and Buddhists, must work together to confront it with an ecological spirituality.”

An interreligious cooperation and education in environmental responsibility, it continues, is urgent due to the acceleration of global environmental problems.

The message concludes, praying both religions cooperate together “in liberating humanity from the suffering brought about by climate change, and contribute to the care of our common home.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/vaticans-message-for-buddhist-feast-of-vesakh/

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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