Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ecumenicism in Korea

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this year was the combined work of the different Churches in Korea. This material was used throughout the world.

The Catholic Church in Korea, is not a leader in this Ecumenical Movement but it does participate and this year the 9th annual forum was held at the Franciscan Education Center on May 14 with the guest speaker Jurgen Moltmann the renowned Protestant theologian.

The Catholic paper said Moltmann introduced a different direction from the polemics of the past. He proposed that we work together not only about life issues but with the problems that we face in globalization and to work together in a common effort to remedy the situation.

Moltmann felt that following the methods of the past in ecumenical dialogue we are not getting any closer to one another and suggested that we in the future not remain trying to directly get the unity of the separated Churches but work together against the dehumanization in our society, destruction of the environment, and the polarization in our society. He felt that this would enable us with God to grow closer and this is the meaning of the unity we seek.

My reading of the article was that there was not unanimity on what was said. One participant made a good point, I thought, when he said the whole idea of the work for unity is not just the work of the specialist but of all the Christians. In Korea it is mostly the work of the leaders in the movement. It will have to get down to the level of the ordinary Christians. It is here in their lives , works and sharing their faith experiences with others, that we will see change.

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