Francis, at the Vatican, received a delegation of Buddhist monks from Taiwan who are undertaking an “educational interfaith journey” which “can be a source of great enrichment, offering various opportunities to meet, to learn mutually and to appreciate our different experiences”. The Pope stressed that “religions have always had a close relationship with education.”
Mariangela Jajuraba – Vatican News
On Thursday (3/16), Pope Francis received in the Vatican’s Sala Clementina a delegation of Buddhist monks from Taiwan representing the United Association for Humanistic Buddhism.
In his address, the Supreme Pontiff recalled Venerable Master Xing Yun, the founding patriarch of Fu Guangshan Monastery, who passed away last February, and who is known worldwide for his contribution to humanistic Buddhism. He was also a master of interfaith hospitality.
Spreading the culture of meeting
This visit,” which I have identified as an educational pilgrimage, is a privileged opportunity for promotion meeting culture, in which we risk opening ourselves to others, hoping to discover in them friends, brothers and sisters, and in this way learn and discover more about ourselves. In fact, as we experience others in their diversity, we are encouraged to step outside ourselves and accept and embrace our differences.”
An interfaith educational pilgrimage can be a source of great enrichment, providing diverse opportunities to encounter, mutual learning, and appreciation of our different experiences.
“A didactic pilgrimage to a religion’s holy places – such as the one it makes – can enrich our appreciation for the uniqueness of its approach to the Divine,” the Pope said, noting that “sacred artwork in the Vatican and across Rome reflects the conviction that God Himself, in Jesus Christ, made Himself a “pilgrim” in this world out of love for our human family. For Christians, the God who made himself one of us in the humanity of Jesus continues to lead us on a pilgrimage of holiness, thanks to which we are healed and grow in our likeness to Him, thus becoming, in the words of St. Peter, “participants of the divine nature,” Francis said.
The necessary meeting oasis of our time
Then the Pontiff said: “Throughout history, believers have created temples and holy places as oasis of encounter, where men and women can find the inspiration necessary to live well and wisely. In this way, they contribute to an integral education of the human being, which involves “head, hands, heart and soul” and thus She leads him to experience “the harmony of human perfection, that is, all the beauty of this harmony.”
These oases of encounter are even more necessary in our time, when “the constant acceleration of changes in humanity and on the planet is now accompanied by an intensification of the rhythms of life and work.” This reality also has ramifications in religious life and culture and requires a proper upbringing and education of young people in the eternal truth and proven methods of prayer and peacebuilding. Here it is important to note again «Religions have always had a close relationship with education, accompanying religious activities with educational, school and academic activities. As in the past, also today, with the wisdom and humanity of our religious traditions, we want to be a catalyst for renewed educational action that makes universal brotherhood grow in the world.»“.
Finally, the Pope expressed the hope that this didactic pilgrimage would lead the Buddhist monks of Taiwan, “guided by the thought of their spiritual master Buddha, to a deeper encounter with themselves and with others, with the Christian tradition and the beauty of the earth, which is our common home. May your visit to Rome be filled with moments of true encounter, which may become precious opportunities for growth in knowledge, wisdom, dialogue, and understanding.”
“Hardcore alcohol maven. Hipster-friendly analyst. Introvert. Devoted social media advocate.”