National Buddhist Congress wraps up

VNA, Dec 15, 2007

Hanoi, Vietnam -- The sixth National Buddhist Congress venerated a 98-member Patronage Council and ordained Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue as Patriarch of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha at its closing ceremony in Hanoi on December 14.

The Congress also nominated 147 official members and 48 alternate members for the Executive Board, headed by Most Venerable Thich Tri Tinh.

The Congress had earlier approved a list of 1,409 dignitaries for ordainment. Of them, 221 will be ordained as Most Venerables, 131 as Most Venerable Nuns, 542 as Venerables and 515 as Venerable Nuns.

Addressing the closing ceremony, Patriarch Thich Pho Tue affirmed the contributions made by the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha to the country’s renewal process. He called on monks, nuns and followers across the country to unite for Buddhism’s prosperity and to uphold the religion’s tradition of defending the nation and ensuring peace and social order for the people.

The Congress also approved a 12-chapter Charter of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, affirming the Sangha is the sole representative of Vietnamese monks and nuns, and Buddhist followers both inside and outside the country, operating in line with the Dharma and state law. The Sangha aims to reconcile and unite Buddhist groups and sects in order to propagate Buddhism and participate in national construction.

State President Nguyen Minh Triet said in a letter sent to the Congress that the success of the event once proved that the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha is the sole representative for Buddhist monks, nuns and followers inside and outside the country.

The Congress’ Resolution, which was approved on the afternoon of December 14, called on monks, nuns and followers nationwide to actively participate in doing good things for both the religion and the nation, including joining in successfully organising the United Nations Day of Vesak (birth anniversary of Lord Buddha) in May 2008.

After the closing ceremony of the Congress, members from the standing committees of the Patronage Council and the Executive Council of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha paid courtesy visits to the Party, State and Government officials.