“Walking hand in hand” — World Council of Churches hosts Focolare representatives

The World Council of Churches (WCC) hosted Focolare president Margaret Karram and co-president Jesús Moran, as well as other members of the Focolare community, on 28 November, offering a guided tour of the Ecumenical Centre, and discussing unity, reconciliation, inter-religious bridge-building, Faith and Order, and communications, among other issues of interest.

WCC acting General Secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca expressed appreciation for the many past collaborations between the WCC and the Focolare, most recently the Focolares participation at the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe.

Sauca said the WCC recognizes the importance of cooperation and mutual support between the WCC and the Focolare to serve together under the new paradigm of the pilgrimage of justice, reconciliation, and unity.

Christians of different churches belonging to Focolare have been part of delegations of their respective churches and in other capacities at WCC assemblies,” noted Sauca, who summarized a long history of cooperation between the two groups.

Your commitment to promoting the dialogue between Christians, Jews, and Muslims as well as your engagement in a sustained dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians are inspiring assets for the worldwide movement of Focolare and beyond,” said Sauca.

Staff from the WCC and representatives from the Focolare Movement also discussed past and future areas of collaboration, and shared their experiences related to unity and ecumenism.

Margaret Karram shared her warmest greetings and expressed great joy to be visiting the Ecumenical Centre, 20 years after Chiara Lubich’s last visit to WCC.

“Twenty years ago, Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, came here at the invitation of the then-General Secretary Konrad Raiser and Prof. Ioan Sauca,” said Karram. “I am very grateful to be with you all here today to commemorate this anniversary. I give praise to God because I am aware I am walking on ground that I hold sacred.”

Karram assumed the WCC of the willingness and of the ability of the Focolare Movement to continue walking together. “I want to add not only walking together—but we have to hold hands—not only walk together but hold hands, side-by-side. I want to promise this.”

Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay WCC General Secretary-elect, commended the many ways in which the Focolare community and the WCC have exchanged ideas and insights over the years. “Our collaboration has been on different levels,” he said.

Source: WWC

Full speech by Margaret Karram

Photo gallery on the Focolare leadership visit to the WCC

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