The meeting took place at Bangkok’s Ratchabophit Temple in front of a 150-year-old gold statue of Buddha.
As Pope wanted to establish a covenant of peace, he followed Buddhist custom. He took his shoes off before entering the temple and talking to the Buddhist patriarch.
During the meeting, the Pope gave the Buddhist Patriarch his main magisterial documents related to religious themes and anthropological issues. Besides, he gave the Patriarch the Declaration on Human Brotherhood.
The Declaration is a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, last February in Abu Dhabi. The Pope met with the Imam last month to reinforce the Declaration.
Some people criticized the meeting and the agreement between the two religious leaders.
Many theologians from both Catholicism and Islam have criticized the agreement as untenable and essentially unacceptable to either religion which both have supersessionism as a basic tenet.
While members of other religions may see this as a praiseworthy effort, Catholics and Muslims have expressed concern that this agreement represents a commitment by the leaders to a process that is unacceptable. This is especially problematic for Islam which punishes apostasy with death.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, noted the irreconcilable differences that make a pact of brotherhood between Islam, Catholicism, and Buddhism unlikely.
“Islam absolutely considers Buddhism to be a form of idolatry,” Dr. Kedar told Breaking Israel News.
“Islam cannot make a pact with Buddhism. Only fake Islam can sit with Buddhists and sing Kumbaya together.”
Dr. Kedar had doubts concerning the possibility of a pact of faith between Islam and other religions.
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Source: Breaking Israel News