Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Romania: Christians need to collaborate more in ethics

Posted by ACN News on 18/9/2007, 10:23 am
Board Administrator

Tuesday, 11th September 2007

Romania: ACN calls on Christians to collaborate more closely in the field of ethics

Father Joaquín Alliende, the Spiritual Director of the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), has called on Christians of different denominations to work more closely together in the field of ethics. Father Alliende, who took part recently in the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu, Romania, especially welcomed the address given there by Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Kirill, the head of the external affairs office of the Moscow patriarchate. The fact that, on the very same day, it had been announced in London that cloning experiments involving hybrid human and animal cells were to be permitted, showed the topicality of the Metropolitan's address. Father Alliende commented, "We are especially happy at this speech. Metropolitan Kirill has drawn our attention to the dimensions of the Christian concept of man and the new problems of ethics." He also emphasised that both a "deep spirituality" and a "view from the Church on the world" had been evident in his speech. According to Father Alliende, it is becoming ever more necessary for the various different Christian denominations to tackle these ethical problems jointly. It was high time that leading theologians met and discussed these issues together, he said. "The ethical challenges of our time demand a common Christian anthropology", he emphasised, adding that while there was already an ethical dialogue, this could be still further intensified. He shares the concern of Metropolitan Kirill at the prevailing egocentric spirit of liberalism and relativism, and points out that the charity ACN has already been involved, since the early 1990s, in joint programmes with the Russian Orthodox Church.

At the same time, Alliende called on Christians of all different denominations "to share, in modesty but with firm courage, that which the living God has granted them". He added that Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, had projected "a new horizon for ecumenism". The Third European Ecumenical Assembly had revealed a "mature dialogue", in which, amid all the diversity, delegate had spoken with deep respect. At the same time, in many respects, they had "got to the point of things", he felt, adding that one important message from the assembly had been that "we Christians have the obligation to nourish and strengthen the soul of Europe". The world needs the Church, he added, in order not to become too self-obsessed, since such self-centredness creates barriers, he believes.

For more onformation please contact the Sydney office of ACN on (02) 9679-1929. e-mail: info@aidtochurch.org or write to Aid to the Church in Need PO Box 6245 Blacktown DC NSW 2148. Web: http://www.aidtochurch.org/



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