Sunday, November 19, 2023

Vatican dicastery issues statement following Buddhist-Christian dialogue on compassion, love

The Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue - Vatican News

The Vatican’s Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue has issued a statement at the conclusion of the 7th Buddhist-Christian Colloquium, which took place in Bangkok. 

The colloquium’s theme was “Karuṇā and Agape in Dialogue for Healing a Wounded Humanity and the Earth.” (Karuṇā is typically translated as compassion; agape is selfless Christian love.)

Participants agreed that “as Buddhists and Christians, we see the Buddha and Jesus as Great Healers,” according to the Dicastery. 

“The Buddha pointed to greed and Jesus to sin as the cause of suffering.”

“On many levels, Jesus and the Buddha proposed love and compassion as medicine to drive out the darkness in the human heart and the world,” the statement continued. “Nourished by their respective spiritual teachings, Buddhists and Christians, for thousands of years, have adopted compassionate ways of living to address the suffering of life.”

Participants agreed on the need to take various actions, organized under seven headings: acknowledge, dialogue, cultivate, cooperate, innovate, educate, and pray.

The Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand, and five Buddhist entities organized the four-day colloquium, which concluded on November 16.