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FW: WCC Press Release: Pentecost message 2002

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  • Fr. John-Brian
    Two of the presidents of the World Council of Churches are Orthodox: H.E. Dr Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of the Senior See of Ephesus, Istanbul, Turkey H.H.
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 16 9:59 AM
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      Two of the presidents of the World Council of Churches are Orthodox:
      H.E. Dr Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of the Senior See of Ephesus, Istanbul,
      Turkey
      H.H. Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Syriac Patriarch of Antioch and all the East,
      Damascus, Syria

      ================
      Title: WCC - Message of the presidents of the WCC at Pentecost
      2002

      World Council of Churches
      Press Release, PR-02-15
      For Immediate Use
      16 April 2002


      Message of the presidents of the WCC at Pentecost 2002

      "Suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the
      rush of a violent wind...." (Acts 2:2; NRSV)

      Holy Scripture depicts in simple language the event of the first
      Pentecost in the life of Christ's Church: "After his suffering
      Jesus presented himself alive to the apostles by many convincing
      proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about
      the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not
      to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the
      Father" (Acts 1:4).

      The apostles, together with Mary the mother of Jesus and the
      other women, were gathered with one accord devoting themselves
      continuously to prayer (cf. Acts 1:14). The journey from
      Ascension to Pentecost is a period full of expectation, hope and
      faith. This reflects the mystery every human soul experiences as
      we await the coming of the Paraclete, the outpouring of the Holy
      Spirit, that great day of personal Pentecost when a human being,
      through the church and in the church, suddenly becomes the
      "temple of God" and the "temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor 3:16;
      16:19). The world, too, through the church and in the church,
      suddenly becomes the place where the kingdom of God is revealed
      "on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt 6:10).

      The Paraclete, or Counsellor, is present in the church and in
      the world. The Counsellor's presence is ever experienced as it
      was by the disciples during the first Pentecost, when
      "...suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a
      violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were
      sitting" (Acts 2:1-4).

      "Like the rush of a violent wind"! It is obvious that this
      phenomenon was not "violent" in the sense of being evil, as
      violence is experienced in its usual forms. Normally, unexpected
      violence enters our lives in the most destructive ways: through
      brutality, terrorism, oppression of conscience, physical violence
      against young children, criminal passions, wars, cruelty,
      transgression of moral and social values, the humiliation of
      human being, dignity and personality, and all other
      manifestations of evil.

      "Like the rush of a violent wind"! During these years that the
      World Council of Churches is observing the Decade to Overcome
      Violence, we are considering and coming better to understand what
      the presence of the Holy Spirit means in our lives. The "violent
      rush" of the Holy Spirit's coming differs fundamentally from the
      brutally aggressive irruption of violence and terrorism in the
      world. The sudden rush of the Spirit strikes witnesses as
      violent, yet it does not violate consciences and lives. It is
      violent, yet it is neither crude nor destructive. It is violent,
      yet it honours the image of God in human beings. It is violent in
      the sense that it contains God's Spirit, a Spirit that imparts
      enthusiasm and uplifts us, communicating joy and courage,
      offering ever new perspectives and strength. Indeed, the Holy
      Spirit inspires hope, faith and love: especially love for God and
      for our fellow human beings, a love that "casts out fear" (1 John
      4:18).

      Only the Paraclete's violent rush can overcome the brutal
      irruption of evil and violence in our lives and world.

      "Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying
      to the churches" (Rev 2:7, 11, 29; 3:6, 13, 22).


      WCC presidents:

      Dr Agnes Abuom, Nairobi, Kenya
      Rev. Kathryn K. Bannister, Bison, KS, United States of America
      Bishop Jabez L.Bryce, Suva, Fiji
      H.E. Dr Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of the Senior See of Ephesus,
      Istanbul, Turkey
      H.H. Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Damascus, Syria
      Dr Kang Moon-Kyu, Seoul, Korea
      Bishop Federico J. Pagura, Rosario, Argentina
      Bishop Eberhardt Renz, Stuttgart, Germany

      The tradition of the Pentecost message from the presidents of
      the World Council of Churches (WCC) dates back to 1950. The
      message is a joint effort of the eight WCC presidents who
      represent the different regions within the WCC constituency. The
      first draft of this year's Pentecost message was provided by His
      Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Ephesus. "In this world of
      violence, we remember the Holy Spirit which came upon the
      apostles as 'a violent breath' and as fire, but brought peace to
      the world", says Metropolitan Chrysostomos.


      For further information, please contact Karin Achtelstetter,
      Media Relations Officer,
      Tel.: (+41.22) 791.61.53 Mobile: (+41) 79.284.52.12

      **********
      The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a fellowship of churches,
      now 342, in more than 100 countries in all continents from
      virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is
      not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The
      highest governing body is the assembly, which meets approximately
      every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in
      Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general
      secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.


      World Council of Churches
      Media Relations Office
      Tel: (41 22) 791 6153 / 791 6421
      Fax: (41 22) 798 1346
      E-mail: ka@...
      Web: www.wcc-coe.org

      PO Box 2100
      1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
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