Opening Speech at the Interfaith Meeting

Opening Speech at the Interfaith Meeting

Opening Speech

given by Cardinal John the Baptist Phạm Minh Mẫn

at the Interfaith Meeting on 27 October 2012


So far several dignitaries representing several religions have been introduced and we’ve heard various terms from such as Catholicism, Buddhism, Caodaism, Hòa Hảo Buddhism, Christianity, Baha’i, and so on. I would like to introduce to you the common denominator of all disciples of all religions. As I see, this common denominator is immanent in every person, inherent in each disciple. It is our heart of Dao. Indeed, no matter what religion we belong to, anyone of us owns this heart of Dao. It is our heart of Dao that brings us to the present meeting. This heart of Dao also helps all of us unite in order to overcome suffering in life. As you know, in our society, Vietnam as well as the world, suffering is much more than happiness. So, I’m very happy to realize that this heart of Dao exists in everyone in this auditorium as well as in various religious institutions. Therefore, I would like to say congratulations.


We’re talking about suffering, but what does it result from? Generally due to loss – loss of health, loss of what we once owned, for instance, a relative, a property, or a certain ability… Today, we all get together here with our heart of Dao. I think that nothing else but our heart of Dao is a means to help us overcome suffering. Christ descended into this world as a human being in order to open a way for us. Our heart of Dao differs from desire, anger, stupidity, and the instinct of self-preservation inherent in each person. The heart of Dao is the love bestowed on us by Heaven via the way of family. Then, via the way of religion, the heart of Dao or love grows up in our heart and our life to help us overcome our own suffering as well as to help other people overcome their suffering.


For example, as I see, this religion has set up a charity here to take care of orphans or helpless old people while that religion has established another charity there to help the poor or HIV patients. I also know that there is a charitable surgery where volunteers from various religions care for the poor’s health to lessen suffering in their life. Like the present meeting, that image is a symbol for the heart of Dao and love. I feel very happy and secure when living in this city where a multitude of people and lots of religions love one another and unite to take care of our compatriots. Therefore, I am very proud and would like to share joys with everyone living in this city.


Opening our today’s meeting, we express the emotions of a father, a mother, and a follower on the path of Dao. In this way, we encourage one another to unite more tightly so that we all can develop our heart of Dao, and serve our compatriots’ life, especially in our city.


I’m grateful to you all.

Archdiocesan Pastoral Center, 27 October 2012

Cardinal John Baptist PHẠM MINH MẪN