Archive for category: Opinion

Archive pour catégorie : Opinion

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Commentary: “Called Together to Be Peacemakers”

This Report could be a wonderfully helpful instrument for Mennonites and Roman Catholics on the local level. If, with proper guidance, small groups dare to tackle the Report, they will find it a treasury of new understanding and wisdom that will help them “grow together” as sisters and brothers in Christ.
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Posted: May 14, 2004 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=2219
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Catholic, Christian unity, dialogue, ecumenism, Mennonite, Mennonite World Conference, peace
Transmis : 14 mai 2004 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=2219
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Catholic, Christian unity, dialogue, ecumenism, Mennonite, Mennonite World Conference, peace


Notre pèlerinage ensemble

Nous faisons partie de l’histoire de Dieu, comme vous faites partie d’une histoire qui
se déroule au jour le jour. Nous avons le privilège de partager les moments
significatifs de l’espoir et de la douleur d’être un foyer interconfessionnel. Un foyer
interconfessionnel est celui où deux époux croyants sont unis au-delà des frontières
confessionnelles. Tous deux gardent leur appartenance confessionnelle, mais ils s’engagent
également dans la vie, les célébrations et les activités de l’Église de leur
conjoint.
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Posted: December 31, 2005 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=2159
Categories: OpinionIn this article: interchurch families
Transmis : 31 décembre 2005 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=2159
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : interchurch families


Our Shared Journey

We are part of God’s Story as you are part of The Story which unfolds daily. We are
privileged to share significant highlights of the hope and pain of being an Interchurch
family. Interchurch families are practising Christians married across denominational or
confessional frontiers. Each of us retains his/her original church membership and is also
committed to live, worship and participate in the other’s church.
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Posted: December 31, 2005 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=2158
Categories: OpinionIn this article: interchurch families
Transmis : 31 décembre 2005 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=2158
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : interchurch families


Children of the covenant?

“I want to transfer to the Presbyterian Church because in this denomination children matter.” I don’t remember the name of the speaker. It has been 20 years or so. But his words left their imprint.

We were proceeding through routine approvals of minister transfers in a stated presbytery meeting. Interest picked up when this longtime military chaplain, a Baptist, shared how his journey of faith had led him to the Reformed theological camp. “In my former tradition, we dedicated infants and educated children in the hope that they someday would profess faith in Jesus Christ. Upon their profession, they would get baptized and thereby be welcomed into the body of Christ. In the Reformed tradition you all baptize them into the body and educate them into personal faith. I think that’s the right sequence.”

As a fairly recent convert to Presbyterianism at the time, I found his words reassuring, especially so, since the one theological sticking point for me had been the practice of infant baptism. Exercising my office under the Presbyterian Church’s constitution, I had learned well how to present to parents the covenantal concept of baptism, rooted as it is in the practice of infant circumcision dating to the eighth day of Isaac’s life. But I still harbored some doubts about such a practice. This chaplain helped convert me into a passionate advocate of our denomination’s sacramental theology.
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Posted: January 23, 2006 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7285
Categories: OpinionIn this article: baptism, catechism, Presbyterian
Transmis : 23 janvier 2006 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7285
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : baptism, catechism, Presbyterian


A Pope for all Christians

by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali for The Tablet. Pope John Paul II has invited leaders and theologians of other Churches to help him in seeking new forms for the papal ministry. In this article the Bishop of Rochester makes a contribution from the Anglican Communion’s point of view. As I write, conversations are taking place in
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Posted: June 12, 2006 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6550
Categories: Opinion, The TabletIn this article: Anglican, Catholic, dialogue, ecumenism, papacy, petrine ministry
Transmis : 12 juin 2006 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6550
Catégorie : Opinion, The TabletDans cet article : Anglican, Catholic, dialogue, ecumenism, papacy, petrine ministry


An alternative to divestment?

The United Church of Canada‘s 39th General Council has rejected a proposal calling for divestment from Israel, in favour of what is described as a “pro-peace” investment strategy. The proposal originally presented to the General Council called for the church and its congregations to selectively divest from corporations that support or contribute to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

The General Council is held every three years as the highest decision making body in the United Church of Canada (UCC). The meeting August 13 to 19 was in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Approximately 400 commissioners from across Canada participated in the General Council meeting.
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Posted: August 18, 2006 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=258
Categories: OpinionIn this article: 2006, divestment, Israel, Middle East, Palestine, peace, Sabeel, United Church of Canada
Transmis : 18 aoüt 2006 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=258
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : 2006, divestment, Israel, Middle East, Palestine, peace, Sabeel, United Church of Canada


On Unity: Jesus Christ, The Hope of the Church

We hear complaints these days decrying much that is wrong with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): ministers with questionable theology, regrettable statements from denominational officials, and misguided decisions by judicatories at all levels. One effect of these recitations surely is to leave under a cloud Presbyterians who profess continuing loyalty to the denomination. We who remain affiliated with the denomination are often portrayed by separation-minded colleagues as sell-outs, as compromisers, as “lukewarm Laodiceans” who have sacrificed theological and biblical integrity for the sake of unity-at-any-price.

We reject these portrayals and intend now to declare the biblical and confessional faith that leads us to keep faith with our brothers and sisters within the PC(USA). We contend that the decision to remain within the fellowship involves neither a softening of confessional commitments nor a sentimental minimizing of the problems afflicting the denomination. Rather, our commitment to hold firm in common life with our fellow Presbyterians is grounded in the recognition that the hope of the church lies nowhere else than in the saving Lordship of Jesus Christ its Head.

The corollary to this affirmation is the recognition that the decision to leave is questionable as an act of Christian faithfulness. While we do not doubt the godly intentions of many who have left or are considering leaving, we suggest that the path of separation tends to reflect a certain kind of despairing unbelief regarding Christ’s presence in and with the church, an abandonment of hope in a living, acting, and reigning Lord Jesus. Such a position stands in contradiction to the Gospel.
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Posted: October 29, 2007 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7287
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, ecumenism, Presbyterian Church USA
Transmis : 29 octobre 2007 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7287
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, ecumenism, Presbyterian Church USA


Exodus. Numbers. Judges

Exodus. Numbers. Judges
Perhaps this is a sign of how long the struggles over human sexuality have monopolised our attention. The following note was posted on our blog in 2004. It is still a helpful contribution.

“Exodus. Numbers. Judges. As conservative parishes leave the liberal Episcopal Church, who shall inherit the real estate?”

This is an excellent article from LegalAffairs by Elizabeth Austin. It provides some insight into the role of bishops, hierarchy, and conciliar government in the Episcopal Church. It is a little different in every Anglican province, but Canada will have some similarities. The legal precedents will also be different. In Canada, many of the major legal precedents regarding church property were established following the 1925 church union that resulted in the United Church of Canada.
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Posted: February 22, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=431
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Anglican, human sexuality, schism
Transmis : 22 février 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=431
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Anglican, human sexuality, schism


Michael Kinnamon on ecumenism and politics

By Michael Kinnamon The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon is general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. He was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1976 and has served as a pastor, seminary professor and dean, and staff to such ecumenical bodies as the World Council of
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Posted: March 28, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=4870
Categories: Opinion
Transmis : 28 mars 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=4870
Catégorie : Opinion


Bishop Henry on Alberta’s Human Rights Act

Bishop Henry on Alberta’s Human Rights Act

The following letter from Bishop Frederick Henry, Roman Catholic bishop of Calgary (Alberta), to Ed Stelmach, Premier of the Province of Alberta, was recently published on the front page of the diocesan website. Bishop Henry is known for his willingness to speak publicly about controversial issues. The Human Rights Commission has been a particular concern of his in the past. This letter provides further insight into Bishop Henry’s concerns.

Dear Premier Stelmach:

I have raised the issue of the Alberta Human Rights Commission several times with you in the past eighteen months. On each of those occasions, you said that you understood the issues and shared my concerns. However, the situation is continuing to deteriorate across our country and the various levels of governments are seemingly non-responsive.

April 2008: The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ordered an evangelical Christian charity, Christian Horizons, to rescind its morality code and require employees to undergo anti-discriminatory training. In addition, Christian Horizons has been ordered to pay $23,000 plus lost wages for terminating Connie Heritz’s employment based on a morality code which she freely and knowingly signed as a condition of employment and which she failed to adhere to.

Every religious institution should have the jurisdictional independence to determine its own confessions, doctrines and ordinances, including conditions of employment.

May 2008: A Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal has fined a Regina marriage commissioner, Orville Nichols, $2,500 after finding he discriminated against a gay couple when he declined to perform their same-sex ceremony. Nichols, who has performed nearly 2,000 marriages since 1983, had referred the couple to another marriage commissioner because he said his religious beliefs (Baptist) kept him from performing the ceremony.

The conflict between social pressure and the demands of right conscience can lead to the dilemma either of abandoning a profession or of compromising one’s convictions. Faced with that tension, despite the ruling of the Commission, we must remember that there is a middle path which opens up before workers who are faithful to their conscience. It is the path of conscientious objection, which ought to be respected by all, especially legislators.

Every person has the right to have their religious beliefs reasonably accommodated.

Each judgment emanating out of our various Human Rights Commissions seems to be more brazen and bizarre than the one that preceded it. However, for inane stupidity and gross miscarriage of justice our own Alberta Human Rights Tribunal deserves to take first prize for its treatment of Stephen Boissoin.

June 2008: The Alberta Human Rights Tribunal fined Stephen Boissoin, $5,000.

Section 30 of the Alberta Human Rights Act states: “Evidence may be given before a human rights panel in any manner that the panel considers appropriate, and the panel is not bound by the rules of law respecting evidence in judicial proceedings.” It would also seem that this panel is also not bound by reasonable argument or the elementary rules of logic but is free to skewer anyone not espousing and proclaiming politically correct views. Darren Lund, the complainant, said that Boissoin’s words in his 2002 letter to the Red Deer Advocate were hateful, and furthermore, an assault on a gay teenager three weeks later could be connected to them. No proof of either was presented.

Lori Andreachuk, the chairperson of the Tribunal, agreed that his words were “likely” to expose gays, “a vulnerable” group, to hatred due to their sexual orientation. No court in the land would connect the letter and the assault but this silly tribunal did.

Andreachuk acknowledged that “In this case, there is no specific individual who can be compensated as there is no direct victim who has come forward…” However, she also wrote: “Dr. Lund, although not a direct victim, did expend considerable time and energy and suffered ridicule and harassment as a result of his complaint. The Panel finds therefore that he is entitled to some compensation.” One might ask on what grounds?

She concluded that Boissoin “… shall pay to Dr. Lund an award for damages, jointly and severally, in the amount of $5,000.00.” Lund wasn’t the victim of any kind of discrimination and yet he is handsomely paid, and subsequently, feted as Gay Pride Parade Marshall in Calgary.

The tribunal effectively stripped Boissoin of his right to freedom of speech. “Mr. Boissoin ….. shall cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals.” What is meant by “disparaging”? This is tantamount to ruling out honest debate and a plurality of views in the public sphere lest someone be offended by a differing viewpoint.

The tribunal decided to extract a further pound of flesh by way of public humiliation. “Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. provide Dr. Lund with a written apology for the article in the Red Deer Advocate which was the subject of this complaint.” What happens if Lund is not satisfied with the apology?

Mr. Premier, we have talked enough about the inadequate provisions of and appointment to the Alberta Human Rights Tribunals, it is time to repeal Section 3(1)(b) of the Alberta Human Rights Act . (“No person shall publish, issue or display or cause to be published, issued or displayed before the public any statement, publication, notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation that is likely to expose a person or a class of persons to hatred or contempt because of the race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income or family status of that person or class of persons.”) and to protect the rights of religious freedom. Every person has the right to make public statements and participate in public debate on religious grounds.

Sincerely yours,

F. B. Henry
Bishop of Calgary
July 6, 2008
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Posted: July 6, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=484
Categories: News, OpinionIn this article: bishops, Catholic
Transmis : 6 juillet 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=484
Catégorie : News, OpinionDans cet article : bishops, Catholic


ABC’s Pastoral Letter to the Anglican Communion

As the Lambeth Conference of 2008 comes to an end, I want to offer some further reflections of my own on what the bishops gathered in Canterbury have learned and experienced. Those of you who have been present here will be able to share your own insights with your people, but it may be useful for me to add my own perspectives as to where we have been led. For the vast majority of bishops, it seems, this has been a time when they have felt God to have been at work. The Conference was not a time for making new laws or for binding decisions; in spite of the way some have expressed their expectations, Lambeth Conferences have never worked straightforwardly in this way. The Conference Design Group believed strongly that the chief need of our Communion at the moment was the rebuilding of relationships – the rebuilding of trust in one another – and of confidence in our Anglican identity. And it was with this in mind that they planned for a very different sort of Conference, determined to allow every bishop’s voice to be heard and to seek for a final outcome for which the bishops were genuinely able to recognize an authentic account of their own work.
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Posted: August 26, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=487
Categories: ACNS, OpinionIn this article: Anglican Communion, Lambeth Conference, Rowan Williams
Transmis : 26 aoüt 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=487
Catégorie : ACNS, OpinionDans cet article : Anglican Communion, Lambeth Conference, Rowan Williams


Celebrating Easter Together

By Nicholas Jesson On April 24th next year, we will celebrate Easter together in the Eastern and Western calendars. This happens occasionally, and it can always be a moment of great ecumenical opportunity. However, it also reflects one of the deepest divisions in the Body of Christ. Easter, as the celebration of the passion, death,
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Posted: October 27, 2010 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6263
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, dialogue, Easter, ecumenism, WCC
Transmis : 27 octobre 2010 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6263
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, dialogue, Easter, ecumenism, WCC


Four Basic Principles of Ecumenism

When I moved to Saskatoon sixteen years ago, I was surprised by the ecumenical interest that I encountered in the churches. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, Saskatoon has the only ecumenical centre in Canada which focuses on parish ecumenism. This diocese has a history of ecumenical cooperation and experimentation that goes back to our earliest settlements. Over the years I have discovered that at the core of the prairie ecumenical experience there are some basic principles that provide guidance and insight to the search for Christian unity here, just as they do throughout the church. These principles are found in our own experience, but they are rooted in our biblical and doctrinal convictions about Christian faith and life. I think we experience these in a particularly unique way in Saskatchewan.
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Posted: February 8, 2011 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6324
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, spiritual ecumenism
Transmis : 8 février 2011 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6324
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, spiritual ecumenism


Towards an eco-theology

The accepted axiom is, as the climate changes so the world, too, will change in dramatic and sometimes undesirable ways. What does this often rapid change mean to Christians whose faith is intertwined with the glory and beauty of God’s creation, but challenged when that creation is corrupted and irreversibly altered?
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Posted: March 30, 2011 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=1813
Categories: OpinionIn this article: climate change, ecology, environment
Transmis : 30 mars 2011 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=1813
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : climate change, ecology, environment


Celebrating Easter Together

This weekend we celebrate Easter together in the Eastern and Western calendars. This happens occasionally, and it can always be a moment of great ecumenical opportunity. However, it also reflects one of the deepest divisions in the Body of Christ. Easter, as the celebration of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, is at the heart of our Christian faith. The division over the date of Easter is a visible sign of division within a more profound unity, and thus is scandalous.
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Posted: April 23, 2011 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=1796
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, dialogue, Easter, ecumenism
Transmis : 23 avril 2011 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=1796
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, dialogue, Easter, ecumenism


Rowan Williams: Time for us to challenge the idols of high finance

The full text of an article by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, published in The Financial Times newspaper:

It’s sometimes been said in recent years that the Church of England is still used by British society as a sort of stage on which to conduct by proxy the arguments that society itself doesn’t know how to handle. It certainly helps to explain the obsessional interest in what the Church has to say about issues of sex and gender. It may help to explain just what has been going on around St Paul’s Cathedral in the last couple of weeks.
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Posted: November 1, 2011 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=1818
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Anglican, economic ethics, Rowan Williams
Transmis : 1 novembre 2011 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=1818
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Anglican, economic ethics, Rowan Williams


What Assisi Has Lost: A report from the meeting of religious leaders

Of all the challenges faced by the Vatican in organizing the 25th anniversary of the historic interreligious gathering in Assisi in 1986, the hardest was how to make it newsworthy. The 176 delegates–representing, said the Vatican, “not only the world’s religions, but all people of good will, everyone seeking the truth”–whom Pope Benedict XVI led by train from Rome to the town of St Francis were comprehensive in their diversity. But if the Christian delegations on October 27 included the top men–Pope Benedict himself, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I–the delegates from Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and others included no obvious celebrities, or even organizations whose presence might have raised an eyebrow. Even the inclusion of four non-believers failed to create a stir, for it was not Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens standing with the pope but little-known academic philosophers.
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Posted: November 14, 2011 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=1821
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Assisi, interfaith
Transmis : 14 novembre 2011 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=1821
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Assisi, interfaith


Working to be One

In the first century, when the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians about the Church as “one body with many members,” he had no idea of the differences and divisions that would come to fragment the Church so many centuries later. Paul wrote to address the particular concerns that were plaguing the early Christian communities. He pointed out that “there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.”

It’s not difficult for us to apply the metaphor of the Church as the body to our congregations. We recognize the different gifts that are shared within our church communities – preaching, teaching, administration, music, hospitality, prayer, evangelism, and more – and we learn to value the different gifts and to acknowledge their importance for the healthy functioning of the church as a whole, as one body.

But what if this metaphor is meant to apply not only to the local congregation, but to the whole Church throughout the world? John’s Gospel indicates that it was Jesus himself who first prayed for the unity of the Church: “I ask … on behalf of those who will believe in me … that they may all be one … so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21)
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Posted: December 1, 2011 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=2187
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, ecumenism, Presbyterian Church in Canada
Transmis : 1 décembre 2011 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=2187
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, ecumenism, Presbyterian Church in Canada


A Response to Every Possibility of Communion

Here is a translation of the homily Benedict XVI gave Wednesday evening at Vespers on the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. The celebration closed the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
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Posted: January 26, 2012 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=2223
Categories: OpinionIn this article: 2012, Benedict XVI, communion ecclesiology, WPCU
Transmis : 26 janvier 2012 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=2223
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : 2012, Benedict XVI, communion ecclesiology, WPCU


The Unity We Seek: Exploring Hopes and Challenges for Ecumenism Today

“Unity” belongs to the concepts that should be constantly discussed. Life is changing, also the life of the churches and their life together. So are their understanding of unity, their challenges to unity and their contributions to it.

Images can stimulate our reflections, without saying everything or being exclusive, they can nurture our imagination and our ability to be creative. Images from nature can give us a sense of reality, and a deeper sense of how we are a part of a living reality. I have been reflecting on an image, actually a photo, that give me some new insights, deepening my reflections on this topic that I have been discussing and striving for during the last 20 years of study and work. The photo is of some lichen, growing in a circle, across the deep crevice in the rock on which they grow. It seems to be challenged by the split in the rock, but nevertheless grows across it. This striking image has encouraged me to look at unity as something of a double reality. It is growing life, yet still making a structure. It belongs to the essential nature of this lichen to grow in circles, to become part of a unity. I am told by my dear colleague from Tanzania that the same is true for banana trees, they also grow like families in circles. The photo taken just outside our small summer house at the coast of Norway last summer, is from a bare rock next to the sea on a small island, out in the big sea that unites Norway with the continent of Europe and further more with the whole globe. I wonder what images in Canadian nature might inspire you to these kinds of reflections.

Thus, I believe that «Unity» is a concept that requires complementary perspectives. I have brought my reflections together in 10 pairs of perspectives, describing unity, to offer you here for your consideration today.
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Posted: March 14, 2012 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9702
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC
Transmis : 14 mars 2012 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9702
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC


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