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PRESS RELEASE NO. 15
Remedy for Ailing World
Kasper: Spiritual Unity Promotes Reconciliation
Canada, 24 July 2003 –
Spiritual ecumenism is the answer to healing the wounds of the
world, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting
Christian Unity (PCPCU) Walter Cardinal Kasper told participants in
the Tenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
official greeting to the Assembly being held here, Kasper asserted
that "without spirituality, the ecumenical movement becomes
merely an academic affair, where "normal" Christians
cannot follow, where they feel excluded and finally frustrated; or
it becomes a soulless activism, the business of an endless series of
conferences, symposiums, gatherings, meetings and ever-new documents
which nobody can read."
underscored the need for spirituality of unity and communion, which
culminate in a spirituality of prayer, forgiveness, reconciliation
and mutual acceptance of each other.
Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification signed between
the LWF and Roman Catholic Church in Augsburg, Germany, 1999, the
PCPCU president said this unity was necessary to heal the world’s
wounds of suffering, as expressed in the LWF Tenth Assembly theme,
"For the Healing of the World."
Joint Declaration must not remain a dead letter and must not become
the secret of specialists and experts; it must come to life in our
respective communities and overall, in our hearts," he noted.
reiterated that as the delegates gathered under the theme, it was
time to look forward and map out final directions and goals for the
LWF Tenth Assembly. He said the theme had set answers as to where
the organization was headed; toward promoting healing from scars of
injustice, war and terrorism, divisions, lack of truth and
confidence, loneliness and hopelessness.
these bleeding wounds, the Christians’ answer is nothing other
than the message of justification," he added.
that the cooperation between Lutherans and Roman Catholics was
evidence of growing in communion and healing of divisions, which
lead to a spirit of reconciliation.
addressing over 820 participants in the Assembly, among them observers
from ecumenical partnerships and members of the press.
held every six years, commenced on July 21 and closes on July 31.
The last one took place in 1997 in Hong Kong, China, the first ever
in Asia and focused on the theme "In Christ Called to
Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is taking place
21-31 July 2003 in Winnipeg, Canada, under the theme "For the
Healing of the World." It is being hosted by the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).
There are around 820 men, women and youth participants in the Tenth
Assembly including 380 delegates from the
133 churches with full membership and three associate members. The Assembly is the highest
decision-making body of the LWF, and meets normally every six years.
Between Assemblies, the LWF is governed by its Council that meets
annually, and by its Executive Committee.
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