Vatican Conveys Message for Holy Buddhist Month
Dharamshala 20 May 2005: The Vatican has conveyed its greetings to the Buddhists all over the world on the occasion of the holy month of Vesakh as per Indian lunar calendar and Saka as per Tibetan lunar calendar. The Pontifical Council for International Dialogue has issued a message on the official website of the Vatican.
Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, President of the council, wrote, “I am certain that in many places where Buddhists and Catholics live together they will use the moment to consolidate the good relations which already exist between them”.
The long-term requirements of reconstruction call, however, for a continuation of the inter-religious expressions of solidarity witnessed when Christians and Buddhists worked together hand in hand to help the victims of Tsunami.
“There are also many other situations which require cooperation among people of good will so that solutions can be found which conform to human dignity and which respect human rights.”
While appreciating the improving relationship between Catholics and Buddhists, he said that they (Catholics and Buddhists) have welcomed one another into their respective monasteries and convents joining together in silence, meditation and reflection.
“In countries where Buddhists and Christians live and work side by side, the resulting ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œdialogue of life’ allows them, while witnessing to their own beliefs, to deepen their understanding of one another, to foster goodwill and to promote a spirit of neighbourliness.”
Some communities have been able to cooperate in the social field and, in a world marked by violence, are working together in the cause of peace, he continued.
The fifteenth day of the fourth Tibetan lunar month (Saka) is believed by the Tibetan Buddhists as the day when the Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and passed away. Though Buddha Purnima observed by the Buddhists all over the world and the fifteenth day of the Tibetan Saka month have equal meaning and significance they usually fall on different dates due to difference in astrological methods. However, this year both falls on the same date, 23 May 2005.