Vatican greets Buddhists for Vesakh festival

Other News Materials 29 April 2008 17:47 (UTC +04:00)

The Vatican issued Tuesday "warm greetings" to Buddhists for their festival of Vesakh which this year is celebrated between May 12 and 18, reported the dpa.

In the message, the Vatican's top inter-faith dialogue official, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, also called on Christians and Buddhists to work closely to preserve nature and the environment.

"Christianity and Buddhism have always upheld a great respect for nature and taught that we should be grateful stewards of the earth.

"On a practical level can we Christians and Buddhists not do more to collaborate in projects which confirm the responsibility that falls to each and everyone of us?

"Recycling, energy conservation, the prevention of indiscriminate destruction of plant and animal life, and the protection of waterways all speak of careful stewardship and indeed foster goodwill and promote cordial relations among peoples.

"In this way Christians and Buddhists together can be harbingers of hope for a clean, safe and harmonious world," Tauran wrote.

In the message - which was issued in English, Italian and French - Tauran also noted "the positive relationships that Catholics and Buddhists have enjoyed for many years".

On Vesakh, Buddhists traditionally commemorate the birth, teachings and passing away of their religion's founder, Gautama Buddha, who lived in ancient India around 400 BC.