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Pope to Cambodian Buddhists: Cultivate ecological responsibility through dialogue

Pope Francis meets with Buddhists from Cambodia (Photo credit: Vatican Media/Vatican News)

Pope Francis stressed interreligious dialogue as a way to cultivate ecological responsibility, when he met with a group of Cambodian Buddhists on January 19.

Pope Francis highlighted the importance of “ecological conversion” as a “positive sign of the growing sensitivity and concern for the wellbeing of the earth, our common home.”

“Interreligious dialogue helps people of various religions to work together to cultivate ecological responsibility,” said Pope Francis.

Pope Francis met with a group of Cambodian Buddhists as part of an encounter to improve interreligious cooperation.

He said Buddha taught his disciples “metta which involves not harming living things and living a simple lifestyle.”

The Pope added that these practices allow Buddhists to achieve compassionate protection of all creatures, including the planet.

Christians fulfill their ecological responsibilities as trustworthy stewards of God's Creation, he continued.

The Pope lauded the efforts to maintain interreligious dialogue in Cambodia, which helps people live “peacefully as brothers and sisters.”

He reflected on the need for people of all faiths to find answers to the various evils that afflict society all over the world.

Today's poverty and lack of respect must be fought with the awareness of ecological vulnerability.

The Pope highlighted that to respect Creation and neighbors as well as positive change requires a “change of heart, vision, and practices.”

Pope Francis said that ecological conversion was needed for the personal conversion by turning the world’s suffering to our personal suffering. We need to discover what each can contribute.

He urged that only true repentance could stop an excessive search for profit and a lack of solidarity which harm the earth.

Pope Francis thanked the Buddhist delegation from Cambodia for taking the time to visit Rome and engaging with the Vatican’s Dicastery for promoting Interreligious Dialogue.

“Upon you and upon all in your noble country, I invoke an abundance of blessings from on high,” he prayed. - With inputs from Vatican News


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