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Pope Benedict XVI receives the Charter for Compassion in week before resignation

Posted by: Tedstaff

Pope-Charter-of-CompassionThe TED Prize’s Charter for Compassion reached Pope Benedict XVII this week, just days before the Pope announced to the world that he would be resigning. A plaque engraved with the Charter was presented to the Pope on Wednesday in Vatican City by TED’s European director, Bruno Giussani. The meeting, pictured above, took place on the margins of the weekly General Audience, when Giussani could inform the catholic Pontiff of the Charter’s origin, development and aims. Receiving the plaque was one of the Pope’s last actions in the days before he announced that he would be resigning on February 28, making him the first Pope in six centuries to step down. The reason he cited: advanced age.

Karen Armstrong: My wish: The Charter for CompassionKaren Armstrong: My wish: The Charter for CompassionThe Charter for Compassion was imagined by 2008 TED Prize winner, religion scholar Karen Armstrong. (Watch her talk). It was written by the Council of Conscience — a multi-faith, multi-national group made of personalities representing six religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism) with input from thousands of people through an online platform. The Charter is an attempt to define in clear terms the common ground among these religions, the principle they all share: that of Compassion and the “Golden Rule.”

The Charter was unveiled in November 2009 and, with the support of the nonprofit Fetzer Institute, it has been translated into more than 30 languages. The charter is distributed online — and hundreds of events, public readings and discussions have taken place around the Charter with many more planned. Tens of thousands of people have affirmed the charter, and wooden plaques of the text are affixed on many religious buildings around the world. One of these plaques is now at the Vatican.

Comments (12)

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  • Dr.Cajetan Coelho commented on Feb 9 2013

    Compassion has been the key mantra for the origin, growth and development of India’s Anandwan or the ‘Forest of Joy’. Here in the State of Maharashtra, the late Murlidhar Devidas Amte,(1914-2008) way back in 1949, unfurled the flag of compassion on a piece of parched and barren land on the outskirts of Warora in the district of Chandrapur in Central India.

    Men and women exiled and expelled on account of leprosy are living together in harmony, fellow feeling and solidarity. Among them are Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and atheists. Engaging in useful life-promoting social work is their main ministry. They run schools and manpower training units for the benefit of the visually challenged, the speech impaired, the hard of hearing and those disabled on account of polio and leprosy.

    They shower tender love and affection on orphans and those affected by natural disasters and man-made calamities. In their own way they continue to evangelize our Society.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Graham ASH-PORTER commented on Feb 9 2013

    I’m sorry to be negative to Karen Armstrong, but the only compassion I’m seeing from this pope is to protect paedophile priests from arrest after their molesting and raping of children – Worldwide. Moving priests to other area so they are free to continue. Threatening Bishops with excommunication if they went to the police and reported the offending priests.
    He can have this award when he shows compassion to the victims, the children.
    As for the other religions, most are monotheistic, with a thousand year or more history of hatred and ‘holy’ wars against each other, with each claiming to be the one true religion and their opponents as infidels.
    The only way to achieve true peace and compassion is for the quiet majority in all religions to speak up against the remaining religious, who cause hatred torture and deaths worldwide, with literal translations of each religions ‘holy’ book! Better still would be to scrap these bronze-age ‘good’ books and start again. Or even better, to put all religion behind us.
    The good that religion does do, can equally be done as well without doing it in the name of your religion, resorting to an invisible friend.

    • Jeff Kelland commented on Apr 19 2013

      I simply could not agree more, Graham. You are right on all counts!

      Jeff Kelland

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