Catholics and Buddhists must be builders of a “culture of peace”

Francis welcomes a delegation of Buddhist leaders from Mongolia on their first official visit to the Vatican. They were accompanied by the Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Monsignor Giorgio Marengo. In a time of conflict, they look to the example of Jesus and Buddha “the first builders of peace and promoters of non-violence”.

May 30, 2022

VATICAN CITY: In a world “devastated by conflicts and wars”, as religious leaders anchored in our “doctrines”, we have the duty to “kindle in humanity the will to renounce violence and to build a culture of peace,” Pope Francis said this morning as he welcomed a delegation of Buddhist leaders from Mongolia to the Vatican on their first official visit. They were accompanied by the Apostolic Prefect of Ulan Bator Msgr. Giorgio Marengo.

The Pope recalled how Jesus and Buddha were first “builders of peace and promoters of non-violence”. At a time in history when religions are abused and exploited as a pretext to justify, even perpetrate acts of violence, for the pope, religious leaders have a “duty” to promote another culture. One that is based on forgiveness, on the repulsion of violence, because peace is the true “aspiration” of humanity. This is why we are all, today, called to be “disciples” of the “Masters” of non-violence.

The first visit of a high delegation of Mongolian Buddhism to the Vatican is a sign of “hope”, because it is the testimony of a land with a remarkable history of coexistence and interreligious dialogue.

“Peace, observed the Sovereign Pontiff, is today the ardent desire of humanity. Therefore, through dialogue at all levels, it is urgent to promote and work for a culture of peace and non-violence. This dialogue must invite everyone to reject violence in all its forms, including violence against the environment”.

From the pope comes gratitude and encouragement to “explore new paths” to foster dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity, where “the conquest of self is greater than the conquest of others.” The visit is also an opportunity to celebrate a double anniversary: ​​the 30th anniversary of the Apostolic Prefecture in the country and the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Holy See with a view to increasing cooperation for a “peaceful society”.

At the end of his address, the Pope recalled the Catholic community of Mongolia, of “recent” formation and “small in number, but significant” for a Church committed to “promoting the culture of encounter”. In a nation with a “long tradition” of peaceful coexistence between religions, the pontiff called for strengthening “our friendship for the good of all”. “My hope,” Francis concluded, “is that this ancient history of harmony in diversity can continue today, through the effective implementation of religious freedom and the promotion of common initiatives for the good Your presence here today is in itself a sign of With these feelings, I invite you to continue your fraternal dialogue and your good relations with the Catholic Church of your country, for the cause of peace and harmony.” . Asia News