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Seoul Statement on Revitalizing Ecumenical Movement
an article by Carmencita Karagdag, Coordinator, Peace for Life, Quezon City, Philippines

The Earth belongs to God and all of its abundance,
And so too the World and all of its inhabitants. (Ps.24:1)

Dear Friends and Co-workers in Godís Oikoumene,

Greetings in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ!

We are a group of ecumenical leaders who have come together in Seoul, Korea, for a three day consultation [November 13-15, 2008] to consider the revitalization of the ecumenical movement and of the World Council of Churches in particular at this time of crisis. We meet with the understanding that the earth with all of its abundance and the world (oikumene) with all of its inhabitants belong to God and that as co-workers in Godís oikumene we are accountable to God.

We meet in the context of the ongoing global financial crisis, which bears directly upon our attempts to read the signs of the time. We ask whether the flawed nature of the neo-liberal ideology of globalization is not now obvious to everybody, when the only remedy to a crippling cessation of credit is sought in further borrowing by governments to shore up faltering financial institutions. At this critical time we ask whether our churches and our ecumenical institutions have imbibed too deeply from the culture of the free market in financial and administrative matters and made uncritical accommodations with the ideology of unlimited and exponential economic growth.

We note as a most ominous feature of the US government and its allies the development of the theory as well as the practice of world domination by military means, with explicit disregard for international law and with preparations for the use of nuclear weapons. In this situation, we ask whether our churches and our ecumenical bodies are ready to respond saying that war in all its forms as a means of settling disputes is totally unacceptable, taking into account the fact that it is civilians, especially women and children, who are most at risk. We also ask how we can all respond with appropriate urgency to the looming catastrophe brought on by global warming and the ecological crisis.

At this time, we note with dismay the crisis in the World Council of Churches. We also feel the need for a fresh vision and a new sense of direction for the WCC. The main purpose of this consultation, however, is not to enter into a debate on the present state of an institution we have all served and continue to love, but to seek a refreshed vision together for the revitalizing of the ecumenical movement and to set meaningful goals.

With this concern in mind we make the following affirmations:

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


What are the proposals of the Seoul Statement?,

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Participants
At the Seoul International Consultation for
Revitalization of Ecumenical Movement

International Participants
1. Dr. Soritua Albert Ernst Nababan, President, WCC, Indonesia
2. Pasteur Simon Kossi Dossou, President, WCC , Benin
3. Bishop George Mathew, Chairperson, WCC-CWME, India
4. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick, President, WARC, USA
5. Rev. . ...more.


This report was posted on December 3, 2008.