(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday thanked the Jain community for its commitment to protect “our sister Earth.”
The Pope’s words came as he received members of the Institute of Jainology in private audience in the Vatican before leading the weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square.
Expressing his joy for the encounter, Pope Francis welcomed the Jains saying that “this encounter nurtures our responsibility to care for creation”, and calling creation a “gift that we have all received” he said “creation is God’s mirror, the mirror of the Creator, the mirror of nature, and it is our mirror too.”
“We all love mother Earth, because she is the one who has given us life and safeguards us; I would also call her sister Earth, who accompanies us during the journey of our existence. Our duty is to take care of her just as we would take care of a mother or of a sister, with responsibility, with tenderness and with peace” he said.
And he thanked the Jains for what they do to protect and care for the earth and said “we remain united within this ideal (…) in the awareness that healing and caring for the Earth is healing and caring for the whole of humanity”.
After the audience with the Pope a meeting took place between a delegation from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Chairman of the Institute of Jainology.
A statement was released describing how during this third meeting between the PCID and Jain delegation satisfaction was expressed for the cordial relations and cooperation that exist between them. It said that the desire was expressed to further deepen cooperation and that areas of convergence were identified as regards the common mission for both Jains and Christians to work together, joining hands with all believers and people of good will, to make the earth liveable and peaceable for all.
The Institute of Jainology was established in 1983 and it was subsequently registered as a Charitable Trust.
Compassion and non-violence towards all living beings are the fundamental principles of Jain philosophy. Its mission is to propagate Jainism and its values through art, culture and education.