Author Topic: Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Buddhist Temple  (Read 5462 times)

icy

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Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Buddhist Temple
« on: January 17, 2015, 09:50:28 AM »
I love this news on interfaith harmony.  Where there is interfaith harmony there will be world peace and tolerance. 




Pope Francis paid a surprise visit to a Buddhist temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Photo by Osservatore Romano via Reuters

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Pope Francis paid a surprise visit to a Buddhist temple on Wednesday, capping a trip to Sri Lanka where he told huge crowds that religions must unite to heal the country's war wounds.

The only other visit by a pope to a Buddhist temple was made by Pope John Paul during a trip to Thailand in 1984.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the pope briefly stopped at Colombo's Mahabodhi temple to meet Banagila Upatissa, a Buddhist leader who had invited him when they met on Tuesday at an inter-religious meeting.

"The pope listened with great respect" as the monks were singing and praying, Lombardi said. He said that in honour of the occasion, the monks opened a container holding Buddhist relics that is normally unsealed only once a year.

The spokesman said that during the pope's 20-minute visit, which was not on his schedule, Francis listened intently as the monks explained aspects of their religion in a room where there was a statue of Buddha.

Francis, who has made inter-religious dialogue a plank of his papacy, has already been to mosques during trips to Istanbul and Jerusalem.

During his two-day trip to Sri Lanka - which is about 70 percent Buddhist, 13 percent Hindu, 10 percent Muslim and 7 percent Catholic - the pope has stressed the role of religion to help reconciliation after the 26-year civil war that ended in 2009 and killed up to 100,000 people.

Earlier, Francis gave Sri Lanka its first saint at a seafront Mass for more half a million people in Colombo, calling 17th century missionary Joseph Vaz a model of reconciliation.

He held up Vaz as an example of tolerance as Sri Lanka recovers from the war between mainly Buddhist Sinhalese and Hindu Tamils.

Vaz was born in 1651 in India's Goa, then a Portuguese colony. He travelled south at the age of 36, dressed as a beggar after hearing about the persecution of Catholics by the Dutch. He worked for years under the protection of a Buddhist king.

STATUE OF MARY

Also on Wednesday, Francis flew by helicopter to Madhu, in the north, to preach forgiveness for the "evil" committed in the war and visit a Catholic shrine that was shelled.

It was the first visit by a pope to the predominantly Hindu region that contains a large Catholic minority and was the scene of fierce fighting between the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels seeking a separate homeland.

In a prayer at the church of Our Lady of Madhu, Francis denounced the conflict that "tore open the heart" of Sri Lanka, and drove home the central message of his two-day trip - that religions needed to work together to heal the wounds of war.

"May all people here find inspiration and strength to build a future of reconciliation, justice and peace for all the children of this beloved land," he said in English.

The shrine containing a 400-year old statue of Mary is the most venerated Catholic site on the island. It is also visited by followers of other religions, but was kept out of bounds for years by fighting.

After landing, the pope drove to the shrine in an open jeep, leaning out frequently to touch the heads of the faithful lining the roads, many using umbrellas for shade.

In 1999, shells slammed into the church, killing some 40 people who had sought refuge there. Since the end of the war, the north has undergone reconstruction, but divisions still run deep. The region gets few visits from world leaders.

The Vatican also said former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who invited the pope to make the visit to the country but was defeated in an election last week, paid a courtesy call to the pontiff at the Vatican embassy where he is staying.

icy

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Re: Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Buddhist Temple
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2015, 09:55:50 AM »
In honor of Pope Francis's visit to Sri Lanka, prisoners were freed:

By REUTERSJAN. 14, 2015

JAN. 13, 2015
Sri Lanka released 572 prisoners and reduced terms for others on Wednesday in connection with Pope Francis’ visit and his proclamation of the country’s first saint. The prison commissioner general, Chandraratne Pallegama, said, “All this was done to mark the visit by His Holiness.” The country usually releases prisoners convicted of minor offenses on its independence day, Feb. 4. Earlier on Wednesday.

icy

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Re: Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Buddhist Temple
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2015, 09:59:38 AM »
Pope urges post-war healing in Sri Lanka during temple visit:




Wed, Jan 14, 2015, 21:57

Pope Francis paid a surprise visit to a Buddhist temple yesterday, capping a trip to Sri Lanka where he told huge crowds that religions must unite to heal the country’s war wounds.

The only other visit by a pope to a Buddhist temple was made by Pope John Paul during a trip to Thailand in 1984.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the pope briefly stopped at Colombo’s Mahabodhi temple to meet Banagila Upatissa, a Buddhist leader who had invited him when they met on Tuesday.

Lombardi said that in honour of the occasion, the monks opened a container holding Buddhist relics that is normally unsealed only once a year.

The pope, who has made inter-religious dialogue a plank of his papacy, has already been to mosques during trips to Istanbul and Jerusalem.

During his two-day trip to Sri Lanka – which is about 70 percent Buddhist, 13 percent Hindu, 10 percent Muslim and 7 percent Catholic – the pope has stressed the role of religion to help reconciliation after the 26-year civil war that ended in 2009 and killed up to 100,000 people.

Earlier, Francis gave Sri Lanka its first saint at a seafront Mass for more half a million people in Colombo, calling 17th-century missionary Joseph Vaz a model of reconciliation.

He held up Vaz as an example of tolerance as Sri Lanka recovers from the war between mainly Buddhist Sinhalese and Hindu Tamils.

Vaz was born in 1651 in India’s Goa, then a Portuguese colony. He travelled south at the age of 36, dressed as a beggar after hearing about the persecution of Catholics by the Dutch. He worked for years under the protection of a Buddhist king.

The pope flew to Madhu, in the north, to preach forgiveness for the “evil” committed in the war and visit a Catholic shrine that was shelled. It was the first visit by a pope to the predominantly Hindu region that contains a large Catholic minority and was the scene of fierce fighting between the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels seeking a separate homeland. – Reuters

kris

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Re: Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Buddhist Temple
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2015, 11:31:39 AM »
I can see that Pope Francis is starting to reach out to many other religious and making peace since he come into administration. He advocates acceptance the differences and I must say it is really helping in this turbulent time.

On the other hand, Buddhism which is supposedly the most peaceful religion and the religion who do not discriminate, do not oppress, etc are getting the worse of it. HH Dalai Lama is a Nobel Prize winner, yet his administration (CTA) is really causing the dharma to degenerate :( Why not just lift the ban and show the real buddhism?

tingtong

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Re: Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Buddhist Temple
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 03:54:19 AM »
Even other religion understand the meaning of unity and hence all of us must also open our mind up to understand that the importance of unity in within our religion.

Pema8

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Re: Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Buddhist Temple
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 08:59:32 AM »
It is good to see that Pope Francis is reaching out to many without much difficulty.
I rejoice for this Pope who gives a good energy to the catholic church.

May he continue his work for a long time with much benefit for all.

Thank you Icy for posting :)

Shugdener

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Re: Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Buddhist Temple
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2015, 08:24:38 AM »
This move by the pope clearly shows that people of all religions should not be fighting with each other but instead be working with each other in order to live harmoniously and peacefully. It is wonderful to know that despite this visit not being planned, the pope still went to visit this temple and paid full attention to what the senior monks had to say.

This move also shows that in order to have world peace, we must first respect each others religion first.   

angelica

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Re: Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Buddhist Temple
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2015, 03:39:59 PM »
Thank you Icy for sharing news on interfaith harmony. Peace can only be achieved if there is respect and acceptance of other religions.

Dalai Lama, CTA and Dorje Shugden practitioners are all Buddhist, but there is no harmony among them. This is because of the ban imposed by Dalai Lama. Why can't Dalai Lama and CTA accept and respect the freedom of religion and live in harmonious with the Dorje Shugden practitioners. Lift the ban now. 

Midakpa

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Re: Pope Makes Surprise Visit to Buddhist Temple
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2015, 08:09:31 AM »
What Pope Francis is doing, reaching out to practitioners of other religions and encouraging interfaith dialogue, is a very positive step towards religious harmony among the peoples of the world. Generally, people of different faiths around the world have great respect for the Pope. His open-mindedness and respect for the religious beliefs of other communities are very touching. As a religious leader, Pope Francis is indeed doing his part for world peace.