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Singapore Archbishop’s call to strive for peace, harmony

Archbishop William Goh of Singapore (Photo by Archdiocese of Singapore)

Archbishop William Goh of Singapore published a message of honor to the Buddhist community in the city-state on Vesak Day, on May 14. 
 
In his message, the Catholic Archbishop invites the Buddhist friends, “As you remember the birth, enlightenment, and final nirvana of Gautama Buddha, let us continue to strive together for peace and harmony in solidarity with one and another with our friends from the other faith communities in Singapore.”
 
“Peace and solidarity are needed more than ever, especially in a world threatened to be torn apart by hatred and war,” he said.
 
Citing Pope Francis’ words of Easter “Urbi et Urbi” (to the city [Rome] and the world) blessing on April 17, 2022, “Easter of war” and the Holy Father’s invitation to participate in peace in their lives, homes, and countries, Archbishop Goh called on to work for peace of hearts by practicing “self-restraint, non-violence, compassion, and above all, loving-kindness though we could not stop the war threatening around us.”
 
The prelate quoted two teaching of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, from Dhammapada (a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scripture) on victory oneself and dispelling hatred with love, and quoted Jesus Christ’s teaching on the importance of heart not to defile oneself and St. Paul’s explanation of Jesus’ commandment on “love your neighbor as yourself” as the fulfillment of the law because love does no wrong to others.  
 
By citing these teachings, Archbishop Goh invites the Buddhist friends to unite, “in our efforts to break barriers of division and hatred by building bridges of unity and brotherly love beginning with our families, our faith communities and our society.” 
 
He called on the Buddhist friends in Singapore to comfort and console those who are suffering by doing charitable and good acts in collaboration to be “artisans of peace” as Pope Francis said.
 
The prelate concluded the message of honor on the occasion of sacred Vesak Day with thanks for the Buddhists’ contribution to the peaceful and harmonious Singapore.
 
“Vesak”, is the most sacred day to Buddhists because Gautama Buddha’s nativity, the attainment of enlightenment, and death at the age of the eightieth year, happened on this Vesak day. This day occurred on the full moon day in May. This year, “Vesak Day” falls on May 15, Sunday.
 
According to wikipedia.org in Singapore, Catholics are 5.7 percent of the Singapore population with 300,000 in 2020 and the largest group is Buddhists with 31.1 percent of the whole country’s population in 2020. 
 
According to population.gov.sg, the whole population of Singapore is about 5.45 million as of June 2021. - Patrick Soe Htun

 

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