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ADL Commends ICCJ for “Thoughtful, Balanced” Statement on Israel-Palestinian Conflict

The Anti-Defamation League commends the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) for its comprehensive statement about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, which calls on religious institutions and groups to refrain from issuing one-sided declarations in attempting to promote a resolution to the dispute.

The statement by ICCJ, one of the world’s oldest and most respected international Christian-Jewish organizations, urges religious bodies and leaders to recommit themselves to promote understanding and reconciliation, and pursue the hard work of authentic interfaith dialogue.
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Posted: July 15, 2013 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: anti-semitism, Christian, Christianity, ICCJ, Israel, Judaism, Palestine
Transmis : 15 juillet 2013 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : anti-semitism, Christian, Christianity, ICCJ, Israel, Judaism, Palestine

United Not Absorbed

Darren Dahl“We have come a long way since the 1920s! There was no World Council of Churches back then and the important ecumenical energy of the Second Vatican Council was still forty years to come. And yet the ground breaking initiatives of the Malines Conversations continue to give us much to reflect upon. As I have moved about in ecumenical circles over the past year, talking to lay people and church leaders from all denominations, I have heard not a few of them worry that ecumenism really means absorption. There is an anxiety that traditions will be lost and identities erased in a ‘melting pot’ style of Christianity. This fear and the assumptions which fuel it is likely behind a noticeable movement away from the ecumenical project in favour of focusing on denominational identities. After all, it is said, in this Christian world of shrinking churches and diminishing returns it is necessary to focus on one’s own tradition and save what one can!
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Posted: August 13, 2013 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Darren Dahl, ecumenism
Transmis : 13 aoüt 2013 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Darren Dahl, ecumenism

Praying together once a year is not enough for young Christians

Taizé prayerRecently 30,000 young adults from all over Europe came together in Strasbourg, France. This gathering was the 36th European Meeting, an annual event prepared by our Taizé Community and held each time in a different European city.

By giving young people the opportunity to make personal contacts across borders, we want to help them acquire a true European awareness. The work of international institutions is essential, but unless there is a meeting of persons, Europe cannot be built.

If there is no longer a wall between East and West, there are still walls between our perceptions. The young people who came to Strasbourg want an open and inclusive Europe. They want solidarity between all European countries and solidarity with the poorest peoples of other continents.

They ask that a globalised economy be closely linked to a globalisation of solidarity. They expect rich nations to show greater generosity, both through investments in developing nations that truly offer justice and by a worthy and responsible welcome given to immigrants from these countries.
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Posted: January 21, 2014 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, ecumenism, Taizé, WPCU, youth
Transmis : 21 janvier 2014 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, ecumenism, Taizé, WPCU, youth

Which global church? The Pentecostal World Fellowship and the WCC

Prince Guneratnam, chair of the Pentecostal World Fellowship, addressed the Tenth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, South Korea, in November 2013. Photo: Peter Williams/World Council of ChurchesThe new Calvary Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was filled nearly to capacity as 3,710 Pentecostals gathered from 73 countries around the world. They came to this mostly Muslim country for the 23rd Pentecostal World Conference, a global gathering which takes place every three years. The host was Calvary Church, a Pentecostal megachurch in Kuala Lumpur whose lead pastor, Prince Guneratnam, is currently chair of the Pentecostal World Fellowship.

Many participants at the August meeting were young and reflected the enthusiasm of the fastest-growing segment of the Christian world. In 1970 Pentecostals accounted for only 5 percent of all Christians, but today Pentecostals and charismatics—including those in other denominations who exercise Pentecostal or charismatic gifts—constitute 25 percent of all the world’s Christians. In Asia, 80 percent of all Christian conversions are to Pentecostal forms of Christianity. Or think of it this way: one out of 12 people alive today is Pentecostal.
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Posted: January 21, 2014 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, Pentecostal World Fellowship, WCC
Transmis : 21 janvier 2014 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, Pentecostal World Fellowship, WCC

Unbearable Pain, Startling Hope: 40 years of Bold Witness to Ecumenical Social Justice

Be Not Afraid: 40 years of Bold Witness for Ecumenical Social JusticeKAIROS, the Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiative, is celebrating a 40th anniversary. KAIROS itself isn’t that old, but its predecessor groups, the Canadian ecumenical coalitions are. Those of us engaged in ecumenical work, whether in theological dialogues, ecumenical education, or collaborating in advocacy for social justice are rooted in the same call to witness to Christ and to engage in common mission. We give thanks for the work of the Canadian social justice coalitions and for KAIROS that continues to give witness to this legacy. Congratulations KAIROS on 40 years of witness!

The executive director of KAIROS, Jennifer Henry, gave a long sermon January 19th at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Etobicoke. She reflects on ‘40 Years of Bold Witness’ framing her thoughts with four characteristics of the “natural habitat’ of prophetic voices” outlined by Walter Brueggemann in “The Prophetic Imagination.” It is well worth a read for Jennifer’s strong knowledge of history and inspirational passion for justice.
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Posted: January 27, 2014 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Canada, KAIROS
Transmis : 27 janvier 2014 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Canada, KAIROS

Lament for a Divided Church

Lament for a Divided ChurchEcumenism is the word that de­­scribes the historical movement for global church unity. I used to think of it as either a boring academic exercise in doctrinal compromise, or a winner-takes-all struggle to forge one monolithic superchurch.

After five years in the field (I work for a Lutheran ecumenical organization), I’m no longer dismissive. The quest for church unity is a wild, wondrous, and strange act of penitence for Christians’ often callous disregard of that little word one in John 17 and the Nicene Creed. We confess that the Holy Spirit has called one church into being. But almost all the evidence points in the opposite direction. What does this mean? And how should we respond to it?
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Posted: March 17, 2014 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, schism
Transmis : 17 mars 2014 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, schism

A recipe for Christian unity: flesh, blood, tea and whisky

Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix (left), Roman Catholic archbishop of Quebec and Bishop Dennis Drainville (right) of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec embrace before the cross. Photo: Daniel AbelMy grandmother and my great-grandmother, both Quebecers, both died on Good Friday. They were Protestant anglophones in a majority Catholic francophone world. In my grandmother’s day, Catholics would cross the street to avoid passing in front of a Protestant church for fear of damnation. As for my great-grandmother, who lived in La Baie on the Saguenay, her Catholic maid was famously heard to say what a kind person my great-grandmother was, and what a pity she was going to hell.

I hope all of them, including the maid, can see what their descendants were doing this Good Friday in Quebec. Four different Christian denominations in Quebec City got together to walk with a huge cross through the streets. In total silence we walked from church to church, United Church, Anglican, Presbyterian, and Catholic, stopping in each one to pray and sing and read some more of the Passion story.

It was a warm evening, and people stopped on the street to stare. Teenagers giggled together with embarrassment, militant atheists muttered with contempt, old women smiled happily. Some quietly joined us, mostly immigrants from countries where people still go to church. Would-be anthropologists took pictures of us, with our Catholic cardinal in red and our white-robed Anglican bishop, to put on their Facebook pages, the way they might post pictures of Amazonian tribes: “Didn’t know there were any left! Didn’t even have to take malaria pills to see this!”
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Posted: May 8, 2014 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Anglican, Catholic, Québec, spiritual ecumenism
Transmis : 8 mai 2014 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Anglican, Catholic, Québec, spiritual ecumenism

United Church moderator sends open letter to LGBTQ community

The Right Rev. Gary Paterson, moderator of The United Church of CanadaI am writing today as the spiritual leader of Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, The United Church of Canada. I am also writing as an openly gay man, married to another United Church minister. This introduction may come as a surprise, seeing that so often it is religious leaders who condemn homosexuality, quoting scripture to justify their prejudice.

And so, as we approach this year’s International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, I want to deliver a different sort of message from a religious leader to all members of the LGBTQ community, whether they are people of faith or not.

It is a message that states unequivocally that not all Christians think the same way; that the hatred, condemnation, and judgment inflicted upon LGBTQ people by some within the Christian church is wrong and does not reflect the sum total of all Christian understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation.

For too long LGBTQ persons have been ostracized because of who they are, and the cost has been tremendous suffering, oppression, and diminishment of their humanity. For this I grieve.

I believe that we are all made in the image of God, wholly good and wholly loved by the Creator. This is why I feel such sadness when I see religious leaders and organizations failing to recognize that reality in every member of the LGBTQ community.
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Posted: May 12, 2014 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: human sexuality, United Church of Canada
Transmis : 12 mai 2014 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : human sexuality, United Church of Canada

Ecumenism according to Ratzinger: Pluriform unity

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger with Pope John Paul IIThe “ultimate aim” of the ecumenical journey, “is obviously the unity of the churches in the one Church”. “This does not mean uniformity” but “unity in pluriformity”. The “Orthodox Churches should not change much in their internal structure, almost nothing in fact, if they unite themselves with Rome”. The then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger pronounced these words on 29 January 1993 during a public conversation with Waldesian professor Paolo Ricca held at the evangelical cultural centre.

Pope Francis took these considerations further during his visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople last November, when he said that in its efforts to achieve full unity with Orthodox Christians, the Catholic Church “does not intend to impose any conditions except that of the shared profession of faith”.

Speaking about ecumenism during his meeting with the Waldesian community, Ratzinger wished to distinguish between “two phases”: the final aim and the “models” for the in-between waiting period before unity is achieved. The future Pope saw the former as “the real force and the main motivating factor behind our ecumenism”. He explained that “the unity of churches within the Church” does not imply “uniformity”, but “unity in pluriformity”. “It seems to me,” the then cardinal added, “that the ancient Church can be taken as something of a model. The ancient Church was united on three fundamental elements: Holy Scripture, regula fidei, the sacramental structure of the Church. But, for the rest, it was a Church of very many forms, as we all know. There were the churches of Semitic regions or language, the Egyptian Coptic Church, and here were the Greek Churches of the Byzantine empire, the other Greek Churches, the Latin Churches featuring great diversities between the Church in Ireland, for example, and the Church of Rome.”
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Posted: February 23, 2015 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, ecumenism, John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger
Transmis : 23 février 2015 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, ecumenism, John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger

There is no conflict between our faiths and the science of climate change

Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the VaticanOn Thursday, Pope Francis issued a powerful and timely encyclical on the environment, urging humanity to come to its senses and cease its reckless onslaught against God’s creation. He addressed this letter not only to his fellow Catholics, but to all people of the world, asking people of different religious traditions to unite in common purpose to save our planet.

As religious figures, we too accept the overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming comes from human activity, as we see no conflict between faith and reason.

And, coming from the three great Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – we stand together on the need to be good stewards of the earth. All of our traditions affirm the inherent goodness of all creation, and the binding obligation on human beings to protect our common home, the planet that sustains us. The Hebrew Scriptures state clearly that the Earth belongs to God alone, and that we are merely sojourners – we do not have ownership on a permanent basis: the fruits of the earth belong to all, including the poor. This ancient teaching is affirmed by both Christianity and Islam. Christians also view the world through a sacramental lenses, believing that the redemption of Christ has in turn redeemed all of creation. And Islam can be thought of as a religion of nature, with 750 verses in the holy Qur’an speaking about our responsibility to the environment and our relationship with all creatures. Islam too recognizes that everything in the heavens and the earth belong to God, and that we are mere trustees and vice-regents.
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Posted: June 18, 2015 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: climate change, ecology, encyclicals, environment, interfaith, Pope Francis
Transmis : 18 juin 2015 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : climate change, ecology, encyclicals, environment, interfaith, Pope Francis

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