Vatican City

Pope urges cooperation with Thai Buddhist monks

Tells visiting monk delegation at the Vatican that close collaboration is needed to foster a better world

UCA News reporter

Updated: May 28, 2024 08:02 AM GMT

Pope Francis shakes hands with a Buddhist monk in Bangkok on Nov. 22, 2019. A delegation of 100 Buddhist monks from Thailand met the pope on May 27 at the Vatican. (Photo: AFP)


Pope Francis has lauded the enduring friendship and willingness of Thai Buddhists to work together with the Catholic Church in the nation and has sought cooperation for a better world.

In his address to a delegation of 100 Buddhist monks from Bangkok's Wat Phra Cetuphon temple (or Wat Pho) on May 27, Pope Francis reiterated the need for closer collaboration between the Church and Buddhists, Vatican News reported.

The pope urged the Buddhist monks to continue fostering dialogue and cooperation, especially with the Catholic Church in Thailand, in a spirit of lasting friendship.

He also expressed his deep gratitude for their enduring friendship and willingness to work together to bring a ray of hope to a wounded humanity. 

Today humanity and the Earth, our common home, are indeed wounded! So many wars, so many people who have lost everything and have been forced to flee. So many children are affected by violence, Pope Francis said.

Referring to the final statement of the seventh Buddhist-Christian colloquium themed Karuna and Agape in Dialogue for the Healing of a Wounded Humanity and the Earth held in Thailand from Nov. 13-16, 2023, Pope Francis reiterated the three key points highlighted during the meeting.

The pope emphasized on the first point that no one is saved alone, and that we can only be saved together, since we are interconnected and interdependent.

He urged the monks to continue working together with everyone, such as civil society, members of other religions, governments, international organizations, academic and scientific communities, and all other stakeholders.

He emphasized the need to promote a friendship that sustains peace and fraternity and builds a more inclusive world.

Secondly, the colloquium in Thailand stressed the importance of educating everyone, especially young people and children, in caring and sharing relationships with one another and the environment, which Pope Francis once again reiterated.

Thirdly the colloquium also called for prayer and meditation that can turn things upside down by purifying our hearts and minds; generating loving-kindness, mercy and forgiveness where there is hatred and vengeance creating a spirit of respect and care for the other and the earth.

Pope Francis also expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the extraordinary welcome and hospitality, he received during his Apostolic Visit to Thailand from Nov. 20-23, 2019.

The monks were scheduled to attend a prayer event at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome on May 28 where they were to pray for peace, Vatican News reported.

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