"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Thursday, April 12, 2018

ONE WORLD RELIGION WATCH: Vatican urges Buddhists, Christians to help eradicate corruption

ONE WORLD RELIGION WATCH: Vatican urges Buddhists, Christians to help eradicate corruption

In a message for Vesakh, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue analyses the causes and ill effects of corruption and suggests ways to prevent and eradicate it.
The Vatican is inviting the world’s Buddhists and Christians to work together to combat and prevent the “heinous crime” of corruption by eradicating its underlying causes.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) made the call in a message released  on Wednesday in view of the upcoming Buddhist festival of Vesakh.
Sometimes informally called "Buddha's Birthday", Vesakh actually commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha, and is celebrated on different days in different countries.
“Corruption involving the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, both within the public or private sectors, has become such a pervasive scandal in today’s world that the United Nations has designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day,” says the message signed by PCID President Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and Secretary, Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot.

Pope Francis

The message recalls Pope Francis denouncing  “the sin of corruption” in his prayer intention for the month of February, where he said that it is the poor who ultimately pay the price for corruption.  According to the Holy Father, “the only road leading out of corruption … is service,” because corruption comes from pride, from arrogance, and service is humbling.

Buddhism against corruption

Commenting on the Buddhist teaching regarding the “social scourge”, the message for Vesakh points to “greed, hate and delusion or ignorance” as the “three principal toxins” that must be eliminated for the good of the individual and society.  It also points to the second precept of Buddhism to “abstain from taking that which is not given.”

Call to action

PCID says that corruption leads to evils such as bad governance, pillaging of national assets, low economic growth, inflation, tax evasion, great inequality and the degradation of environment.
The Vesakh message thus calls on Buddhists and Christians to combat the evil through concrete measures such as exposing corrupt people and holding them accountable, creating public awareness about fiscal integrity,  encouraging more women in politics  and introducing transparent and inclusive institutions.