Northeast bishops visit Buddhist monastery to promote dialogue

Story By: Fr. Felix Anthony (Matters India). 

Miao: A group of Catholic bishops Friday paid a visit to a Buddhist monastery in Arunachal Pradesh as part of their efforts to promote inter-religious dialogue.

“We feel at home with you as both of us are seeking God,” Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil of Bongaigaon said while thanking the Buddhist monks at the monastery in Miao for their warm welcome.

The 14 bishops from seven states in northeastern India have gathered at Miao March 12-15 for their regional meeting. They visited the Buddhist monastery on the second day.

Bishop Pulloppillil also said their coming together at a Buddhist monastery was significant move especially in the backdrop of growing trend of religious intolerance in most part of the country. “We shall stand together to promote religious harmony in this part of the country,” the prelate added.

Bishops listening to the head monk

Bishops listening to the head monk

The head monk at the monastery, Venerable Narinda Bhikkhu Mahathero, stressed the need for people of various religions to stand together as children of the same God, especially in the wake of the rising number of attacks on religious institutions all over India.”

Appreciating the common teachings of Buddhism and Christianity, the monk said the world would become a better place to live if people started appreciating the similarities and respect the differences.

“Non-violence and love for neighbors are fundamental to our religions and teachings on these two aspects are there in all religions,” he stressed.

The monk also said it was a matter of great joy for his people to welcome 14 Catholic bishops at a short notice.

Salesian Bishop George Pallipparampil of Miao, the host of this regional council meeting, thanked the bishops and the monks for setting “a perfect example of inter-religious dialogue and religious harmony.”

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