ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - Christians and Buddhists united to promote harmony and prosperity: Catholic Bishops address message to Buddhist leaders for the feast of Vesakh

Monday, 24 May 2004

Seoul (Fides Service) - Both Christianity and Buddhism are religions which strive to help humanity on its spiritual journey and Christians and Buddhists can enter into dialogue and find ground for common activity: this was the spirit of a Message sent by the Catholic Bishops of Korea to the national Buddhist community on the occasion of Vesakh (anniversary of the birth of Buddha), celebrated on 26 May.
In the message, signed by Archbishop Nicholas Cheong Archbishop of Seoul and Bishop Boniface Choi Ki-san of Incheon who is also chairman of Bishops’ Commission for Unity of Christians and Interreligious Dialogue, the Bishops said they hope “Christian and Buddhist believers will grow in mutual love and understanding”.
The message said: “Buddha presented the world with a life of interior peace and liberation for all who suffer and are fatigued. Believers of all religions in Korea must faithfully practice their religion. If we believers respect and love one another the world will be a better place and we can offer to all hope and consolation”.
The Bishops said they hoped Catholics and Buddhists will work together for the common good of the nation. “It is natural for us to live together in this land, to work for development and prosperity of the nation in mutual respect and understanding ”, the Bishops said inviting Korean Buddhists to work with Christians “to lead people towards eternal values and in this way open the door for a bright future for the people of Korea”.
Every year on the occasion of Vesahk the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome issues a special Message on behalf of the Catholic Church to greet Buddhist the world over.

(PA) (Agenzia Fides 24/05/2004 Lines: 21 Words: 240)