December 13, 2017

Pope meets with Chairman of State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee

State Sangha Maha Nayaka Sayadaws discussing with Pope Francis and party at the meeting. Photo: Hla Moe
State Sangha Maha Nayaka Sayadaws discussing with Pope Francis and party at the meeting. Photo: Hla Moe

Pope Francis held a meeting with the Sayadaws of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee at the Wizaya Minghala Dhamma Hall at KabaAye Hill in Yangon yesterday.
At the meeting, Sayadaw Dr. Bhaddanta Kumarabhivamsa, Chairman of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, said members of different faiths urgently need to build mutual understanding, respect and trust among themselves in order to obtain a peaceful, secure and prosperous human society.
“We have to exercise restraint and refrain from interfering in matters of other religions and to cooperate in building bridges for world peace,” said Dr. Kumarabhivamsa.
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar recognises the special position of Buddhism as the faith professed by the great majority of citizens and also recognises Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Animism as religions existing in the Union, and the country assists these religions to its utmost, he said. “There is no doubt that fundamental principles of every religion are based on loving and kindness. By sharing loving-kindness to each other, individual households, societies, citizens and states can be able to coexist peacefully. By committing peaceful coexistence among states, global peace can be achieved certainly,” said Dr. Kumarabhivamsa.
“In today’s world, it is regrettable for us to see “terrorism and extremism” in the name of religious beliefs. We do not accept that terrorism and extremism arise out of a certain religious faith, because all religious teaching instructs only for the welfare of the humanity,” he said.
“We firmly believe that terrorism and extremism arise out of only misapprehension in original teachings of the respective religion, because some religious followers introduce some amendments to the original teachings being dominated by their desire, ill-will, dread and delusion-the four wrong courses,” he added.
Sayadaw Dr. Kumarabhivamsa said all must denounce all kinds of hate speech, false propaganda, conflict and war under the pretext of religion and strongly condemn those who provide support any such activities.
Afterwards, Pope Francis said the present meeting means strengthening and refreshing the friendship, respect and love which has pre-existed between the Buddhist people and Catholic Christians. He continued to say that this is an opportunity to confirm that they all are responsible for justice in mankind, peace and respect to human dignity. Such a confirmation made together in Myanmar should be present among the people of the world, he said. “It can be said we are fulfilling their hope by asserting the same voice of confirmation on basic personal integrity, peace and justice”, the Pope said.
“Let us lend our hands to Catholic Christians or Buddhists who are striving to augment the compatibility and compassion among the societies of mankind”.
In his greeting, the Pope gave thanks for the gathering.
“I wish to repeat my thanks again as I am invited to meet the Sayadaws”, he said. “I pray, may blessing come to you all in the form of peace and happiness.”—Myanmar News Agency

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