Senior Buddhist monk Phramaha Thongrattana Thavorn, a member of the Focolare movement who is also known as Luce Ardente, is seen greeting Pope Francis in this undated photo from the Focolare Movement.

Jan 4 2022

A prominent Thai Buddhist monk called on people around the world to understand their respective faiths to be able to “share and respect” other religions.

In an interview with LiCAS News, senior Buddhist monk Phramaha Thongrattana Thavorn, said “there is no need for different religions to resist or compete with each other.”

The Thai monk is a member of the Focolare Movement, an international organization that promotes the ideals of unity and universal brotherhood.

He adopted an Italian name “Luce Ardente,” literally “ardent light,” a name that was given to him by Focolare founder Chiara Lubich during a meeting in Italy more than a quarter of a century ago.

“We should respect the doctrine of all religions,” said the religious leader when asked how non-Catholic educators can respond to the call of Pope Francis to teach beyond what is in the school curriculum.

In his Global Compact on Education, the Catholic Church leader urged educators to promote the wholistic development of children to not only have the necessary skills but also the “right heart” to be able to make a positive impact on the world.

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