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Cardinal Tong at peace prayer meet in Kyoto

KYOTO (SE): Two days after stepping down as bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon travelled to Kyoto in Japan as a representative of Pope Francis at the 30th annual Prayer Meeting on Mount Hiei, a gathering that brings people from all religions together to pray and work for peace.
Cardinal Tong read a letter from Pope Francis, which opened with the words, “It is my pleasure to send my cordial greetings to you and to the distinguished representatives of the different religious traditions.”
Vatican Radio reported that the letter was addressed to the Venerable Koei Morikawa, the supreme priest of the Tendai Buddhist Temple, with whom Pope Francis met privately in the Vatican on September 16 last year.
“This annual religious summit contributes in a special way to the building up of that spirit of dialogue and friendship which allows the followers of the world’s religions to work together to open new paths for peace in our human family,” the pope said.
The annual prayer gathering was prompted by an initiative of Pope John Paul II when he invited representatives of all religions to Assisi in 1986 to pray for peace.
The following year, Most Venerable Etai Yamada, the 253rd head priest of the Tendai Buddhist Temple, carried the initiative back to Japan and organised the first Prayer Meeting on Mount Hiei.
It concludes each year on August 6, the anniversary of the first atomic bombing of any city in the world—Hiroshima.

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