Vatican's Vesakh Greeting to Buddhists Focuses on Need to Care for Childreen

April 30, 2004

Source: Zenit

On April 30, 2004 Zenit distributed a statement by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, to Buddhists on the occasion of Vesakh, a Buddhist religious holiday. The statement addressed the common need to address issues among children and youth: "I am writing to you again this year to express my heartfelt greetings on the occasion of your festival of Vesakh. I pray that each and every one of you may have a joyful and peaceful feast. Vesakh offers an opportunity for us Christians to visit our Buddhist friends and neighbors to exchange greetings, and this helps to strengthen the bonds of friendship already established and to create new ones. It is my wish that such cordial links may continue to grow generation after generation, sharing with each other our joys and hopes, our sorrows and preoccupations. With this hope my thoughts immediately turn to our children, the protagonists of the future...We, Christians and Buddhists, cannot close our eyes in the face of...tragic situations [facing children today, such as broken families, abuse, etc.]. As religious believers we must turn our gaze to the needs of children, in our own families and in society as a whole. We should mobilize all our forces and resources to alleviate the sufferings of children and in a special way to reach out to those in poorer countries. Governments, civic bodies and all people of good will, through our own example can be inspired to greater involvement in the welfare of all children."