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MP Mtrpltn Kirill To Seek Unity with Christian Churches

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  • kato_ny
    Naaahhh,,,, The MP is a swell bunch of guys! Let s Join the Ecumenical Movement!!! Let s Join the Team! Another Top 10 Reasons why the MP and ROCA, and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 8, 2005
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      Naaahhh,,,, The MP is a swell bunch of guys! Let's Join the
      Ecumenical Movement!!! Let's Join the Team! Another Top 10 Reasons
      why the MP and ROCA, and everyone else should just forget about
      ecumenism...
      (yeah right!!!)

      Hundreds of Christian leaders see new unity
      by Religion News Service

      A broad range of more than 600 Christian leaders ended an eight-day
      missions conference after hearing a plea from Samuel Kobia, general
      secretary of the World Council of Churches, that they be a "moral
      compass" for contemporary society.

      The May 9-16 Conference on World Mission and Evangelism, held at a
      military recreation center outside Athens, was the 12th such meeting
      since 1910—when the modern ecumenical movement began in Edinburgh—
      but the first held in a predominantly Orthodox country.

      Unlike some other WCC-sponsored meetings in the past, the mission
      conference was short on political declarations but long on prayer,
      Bible study and workshops on a range of issues that confront the
      Christian movement in the new century. They include economic
      globalization, violence (such as the war in Iraq), AIDS and
      Christian and interreligious reconciliation and dialogue.

      Participants did, however, draft a "message to the churches" that
      called on the world's Christians to be "reconciling and healing
      communities." While noting a power imbalance between the global
      North and the global South and East, the statement offered no
      specific suggestions to address the difference.

      "We have become painfully aware of the mistakes of the past and pray
      that we may learn from them," it added. It said delegates were
      conscious that race, caste and gender bias continue to exist in the
      churches.

      Perhaps reflecting the larger than usual presence of Pentecostals at
      the meeting, the statement put special stress on the role of
      healing, including that which takes place through prayer, ascetic
      practices "and the charisms [gifts] of healing through sacraments
      and healing services [and] through a combination of medical and
      spiritual, social and system approaches."

      In some ways, the ecumenical nature of the conference overshadowed
      the more overtly political issues.

      For the first time, the Roman Catholic Church had an official
      delegation rather than just observers at a WCC-sponsored meeting,
      and Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for
      Promoting Christian Unity, was upbeat about the future of ecumenical
      relations under recently elected Pope Benedict XVI.

      Farrell told a May 12 news conference that formal dialogue between
      the Orthodox churches and the Catholic Church will restart soon.
      Such talks were ended, with some bitterness, in 2000.

      "We definitely feel, I think on both sides, that we are at a point
      where we can build a much more positive relationship," Farrell said.
      Ecumenical News International, the Geneva-based religious news
      service, reported that Farrell also said that Metropolitan Kirill, a
      top Russian Orthodox Church official, had a "long private talk" with
      Benedict.

      Historically, the WCC has been made up primarily of Protestant,
      Anglican and Orthodox church bodies. But in the past decade, under
      the leadership of Konrad Raiser, the previous general secretary, it
      has—like the National Council of Churches in the U.S.—sought to
      expand.

      Fifteen of the 650 conference delegates appointed by their churches
      and mission agencies were Pentecostals. Additional observers from
      other Pentecostal and evangelical churches not affiliated with the
      347-member WCC also attended.

      "I think there will be a time when my church may join the World
      Council of Churches," said Yong-Gi Hong, a Pentecostal scholar and
      senior mission executive of the Yoido Full Gospel Church in the
      Republic of Korea. "There are already Pentecostal member churches,
      and my church is a full member of the national council in Korea."

      But full participation in the WCC is still problematic not only for
      the giant Catholic Church but also for Pentecostals. Opoku Odinyah,
      rector of the Pentecostal University College in Ghana and an adviser
      at the conference, said "there would have to be change" before his
      Church of the Pentecost would consider membership. The main source
      of reluctance is Pentecostalism's aversion
      to "hyperinstitutionalism," he said.

      Nonetheless, at least one of the major issues discussed in the
      workshop sessions—AIDS—could be a major force in bringing the
      disparate churches together as the pandemic ravages Africa. RNS
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