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Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Vatican City, 30 October 2013 (VIS) – The World Council of Churches (WCC) celebrates, from 30 October to 8 November, its tenth General Assembly in Busan, in the Republic of Korea, on the theme “God of Life, lead us to justice and peace”.

The Assembly, considered to be the most important management organ of the WCC, is convened every seven years and although the Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC, she collaborates with this organisation, participating in the theological research of the Commission on Faith and Constitution on the principal questions that continue to divide Christians, in the field of ecclesiology and, above all, through the “Mixed Working Group” which co-ordinates the various joint activities and initiatives. For this reason, the event will be attended by an official Catholic delegation in the role of accredited observers.

The Holy Father has sent a message to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity in which he expresses his hope that “the present Assembly will help to consolidate the commitment of all Christ's followers to intensified prayer and co-operation in the service of the Gospel and the integral good of our human family”. He continued, “the globalized world in which we live demands of us a common witness to the God-given dignity of every human being and the effective promotion of the cultural, social and legal conditions which enable individuals and communities to grow in freedom, and which support the mission of the family as the fundamental building-block of society, ensure a sound and integral education for the young, and guarantee for all the untrammelled exercise of religious liberty. In fidelity to the Gospel, and in response to the urgent needs of the present time, we are called to reach out to those who find themselves in the existential peripheries of our societies and to show particular solidarity with the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the disabled, the unborn and the sick, migrants and refugees, the elderly and the young who lack employment”.

I pray”, concluded the Holy Father, “that the General Assembly will contribute to a new impulse of vitality and vision on the part of all committed to the sacred cause of Christian unity, in fidelity to the Lord’s will for his Church and in openness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Upon all gathered in Busan I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God, source of all life and of every spiritual gift”.

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