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Vatican message to Buddhists focuses on ecology

May 06, 2016

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has issued its annual message to Buddhists on the occasion of Vesak, the commemoration of Buddha’s birthday.

This year, Vesak is celebrated on May 20, 21, or 22, depending upon the country.

Catholics and Buddhists have “a shared understanding that at the centre of the eco-crisis is, in fact, an ego-crisis, expressed by human greed, anxiety, arrogance and ignorance,” the pontifical council said in its message. “Our lifestyles and expectations, therefore, must change in order overcome the deterioration of our surroundings.”

The message continued:

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. The acceleration of global environmental problems has added to the urgency of interreligious cooperation. Education in environmental responsibility and the creation of an “ecological citizenship” require virtue-oriented ecological ethics such as respect and care for nature. There is a pressing need for the followers of all religions to transcend their boundaries and join together in building an ecologically responsible social order based on shared values.

 
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