27 August 2015
“Join the pilgrimage of justice and peace! Stand up for the creation that is threatened, for justice and peace, so that people may gain hope so that life will flourish.” This was a message from Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), conveyed at a public event of the Argentina Chancellery on 26 August in Buenos Aires.
“Resist the powers that lead us only deeper into injustice, violence and the destruction of our livelihoods. On our way together, let us not give up after the first setbacks and disappointments, but let us set off again, seeking God’s presence each day in prayer, looking for companions for life,” he said.
The WCC general secretary was reflecting on the meaning and implications of a “pilgrimage of justice and peace” which is a call issued by the WCC’s Busan Assembly in 2013.
Tveit is currently in Argentina as part of a two-week visit to the WCC member churches and partner organizations in Latin America aimed at strengthening of mutual relationships.
Tveit said the call to a pilgrimage of justice and peace in one sense is a continuation of the theme of the WCC 9th Assembly: “God in your grace, transform the world!” The Assembly was held in Latin America at Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2006, and it urged churches’ engagement in “transformative action”.
The contributions from the Argentinean churches to world Christianity were remembered by the WCC general secretary. “Argentina has been blessed with some very effective ambassadors,” he said. Tveit particularly remembered liberation theologian José Miguez-Bonino. He said Miguez-Bonino inspired him to see “new ways of bringing the integrity of the one ecumenical movement forward through a focus on mutual accountability.” Tveit also spoke of Pope Francis, calling him the “most outstanding Argentinian ambassador” who has highlighted issues related to economy, climate change and the poor.
The WCC general secretary also shared updates about the on-going work of the WCC and its member churches in response to the call for a pilgrimage of justice and peace. He stressed that this call is an inspiration for the churches to move together in pursuit of this vision.
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