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.
“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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