April 04, 2009

In Vesak Message, Vatican Praises Buddhism

Buddhism and Christianity share a respect for poverty, the Vatican says in a Vesak message to the world's Buddhists. There are two kinds of poverty, according to the Vatican:

While very different, there are two types of poverty, the message said.

One is a poverty that can be chosen in the form of emptying oneself in order to listen to and be more open to God and other people, the message said.

The other kind of poverty is a material deprivation that "prevents people and families from living as befits their dignity," it said.

The Vatican also praised Buddhism's nonattachemnt, contentment, and anti-consumerism in this materialistic world. But the Dalai Lama is sill not invited to meet Benedict XV!.

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BlindRob's picture

Hey Marcus, I'll read your linked letter thing, but right off the bat I have to say I don't think it's fair or wise to call a Tricycle editor's blog, plus I guess one reader's comment, a 'response from the Buddhist world'.
Speaking purely personally, I regard the Pope as bound by an inflexible dogma just like any other leader of an Abramic faith, and to me his statements about faiths other than his own are of interest only insofar as they reflect the potential physical behaviour of his church, in this case towards Buddhists. And I'm glad for some good news in that regard!

Marcus's picture

Oh dear,

The vatican writes a very lovely letter to Buddhists across the world (have you read it?, it's really nice) and all it gets in return (from this site at least) is criticism.

The Buddhist world gets a love letter from the Pope and responds by saying 'yes, but where's our invitation?'

The Buddhist world gets a love letter from the Pope and responds by telling him to go read some books.

Come on people, is this really the attitude of Buddhists when someone reaches out in friendship and respect?

You can read the letter here: http://monkeymindonline.blogspot.com/2009/04/vatican-says-hi-to-buddhist...

Konchog's picture

This seems another ridiculous misreading of Buddhism by the Vatican, a small, grudging tweak of John Paul's ignorant condemnation of Buddhism as "nihilistic" (allegedly ghost-written by Benedict). With all the current literature available in Western languages, you'd think they'd be just a bit more sophisticated.