Pope Francis discusses ‘ecological conversion’ with Buddhist monks from Cambodia

 

Pope Francis meets a Buddhist delegation from Cambodia on Jan. 19, 2023. / Credit: Vatican Media

Rome Newsroom, Jan 19, 2023 / 07:20 am (CNA).

Pope Francis spoke with Buddhist monks from Cambodia on Thursday about the need for “ecological conversion.”

In a meeting at the Vatican on Jan. 19, the pope defined “ecological conversion” as “true repentance” that leads to the end of “ideologies and practices that are hurtful and disrespectful to the earth.”

Francis said that it requires people to commit to “promoting models of developments that heal wounds inflicted by greed, excessive search for financial profits, lack of solidarity with neighbors, and disrespect for the environment.”

He commended the delegation, which included civil society from Cambodia, for choosing “ecological conversion” as the theme of their visit to Rome focused on interreligious cooperation.

Pope Francis underlined “the profound richness that our respective religious traditions offer in  sustaining efforts to cultivate ecological responsibility.”

The pope said: “In following the tenets that the Buddha left as a legacy to his disciples (Pratimoksa), including the practices of metta, which involves not harming living things (cf. Metta Sutta sn 1.8) and living a simple lifestyle, Buddhists can achieve a compassionate protection for all beings, including the earth, their habitat.”

Francis continued: “For their part, Christians fulfill their ecological responsibility when, as trustworthy stewards, they protect creation, the work God has entrusted to them ‘to till and to keep’” (Gen 2:15; cf. Laudato Si’, 95; 217).

Bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler, the apostolic vicar of Phnom Penh, also traveled to the Vatican for the meeting. The bishop from Strasbourg has served as a missionary in Cambodia for 25 years and speaks Khmer.

Pope Francis thanked the Cambodian delegation for their visit to the Vatican, where they will continue to meet with Vatican offices dedicated to interreligious dialogue.

“I am also certain that your meeting with the officials of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue will provide an opportunity to explore further ways to promote ecological conversion through the initiatives undertaken by Buddhist-Christian dialogue both in Cambodia and in the whole region,” the pope said.

“Upon you and upon all in your noble country I invoke an abundance of blessings from on high.”


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3 Comments

  1. Whaaaaaaa? Is this a joke?

    What about “daily flossing conversion”?

    Or “careful driving conversion”?

    Or “make sure there’s enough fiber in your diet conversion”?

    Is Bergoglio the pope or a self-help TV guru?

    I don’t remember Jesus aligning himself with Greenpeace.

    The sad fact is, the environmental movement has negatively impacted the environment in a number of very serious, highly consequential ways through the years.

    On second thought, having the pope flak for the environmental crowd is sadly appropriate. It’s a reflection both on the Bergoglio papacy and the enviros.

  2. Equanimity or a calm state of mind is an important practice in the Buddhist way of proceeding. Saying no to aversion or a firm no to craving are meaningful approaches for every genuine practitioner of Buddhism.

    • Why would you present a religion that doesn’t believe in God?

      James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

      Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

      Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

      Malachi 3:7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’

      Zechariah 1:3 Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.

      Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

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