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Home arrow In Brief arrow Cuba call by Pope Francis + Patriarch Kirill on Christians' Unity for Humanity's Future

Cuba call by Pope Francis + Patriarch Kirill on Christians' Unity for Humanity's Future

Written by ACM
Friday, 12 February 2016
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*Angelo Marcopolo/- In an Unprecedented in History Summit,  "at the Crossroads of North and South, East and West", i.e. "in Cuba"' Island,  at the eve and near USA's forthcoming Presidential Elections, full of various Topical BioEthic and Religion-relevant Political issues, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, "meeting far from the longstanding disputes of the “Old World” of Rome and Moscow, during "2 Hours", launched a Vibrant Joint Call mainly for "the Future of Humanity", "much of" which "will depend on" All Christians"', Catholics' and Orthodox'+, "Capacity to give Shared witness to the Spirit of Truth, in these Difficult Times", "United not only by the Shared Tradition of the Church of the 1st Millennium, but also by the Mission to preach the Gospel of Christ ....Today", "Responding Together to the Challenges of the Contemporary World", as they noted.

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    - In particular,"the Manipulation of Human Life represents an Attack on the Foundations of Human existence, Created in the Image of God", they stressed in Conclusion. Therefore, "Concerned about the development of BioMedical Reproduction Technology", they "Believe that it is (their) Duty, to recall the Immutability of Christian moral Principles, based on Respect for the Dignity of the Individual (Person), called into being, According to the Creator’s Plan".


    => That's one more reason for which "Orthodox and Catholics share the Same Conception of the (Natural) Family", "Based on Marriage, ....between a Man and a Woman", "Consecrated in the Biblical Tradition, of Paternity and Maternity", "...as the Distinct vocation of Man and Woman in marriage is (currently) being Banished from the public Conscience", by "Other forms of Cohabitation (which) have been Placed on the Same Level": s(A Fact) that "We Regret", as they Denounced on the Controversial and UnPopular Same Sex Marriage in some Countries, including even Children submitted to Homosexuals' and/or Technocrats' Power for Artificial ReProduction of Human Beings, obviously Dangerous for all Humankind.


    - Because "Family is the Natural Centre of Human Life and Society", and, "Concerned about the Crisis in the Family in many Countries" Today, Christians "witness that it is a Path of Holiness, testifying to the Faithfulness of the Spouses,....their Openness to the Procreation and rearing of their Children", as well as to "Solidarity between the Generations and to Respect for the Weakest", as they reminded.


    => In this regard, f.ex., "the Emergence of so-called Euthanasia, leads Elderly People, and the Disabled begin to Feel that they are a Burden on their Families, and on Society in general". So that "Millions are Denied the very Right to be Born into the world. The Blood of the Unborn (Child) Cries out to God", (f.ex. in the recent Scandal of "Controlled Parenhood"'s acknowledgment that it Sells Human Parts of Unborn Children to Researchers throughout the USA, etc).

     - As a matter of a Wider and basic Principle, "Our Christian Conscience and our pastoral Responsibility compel us Not to remain Passive in the face of Challenges requiring a shared response",n because, Today, ""Human Civilization has entered into a period of Epochal Change", they stressed from the outset. Therefore, "Orthodox and Catholics must learn to give Unanimously Witness in those Spheres in which this is possible and Necessary", and for which "we experience, with a particular sense of Urgency the need for the Shared Labour", in order "to Combine our efforts" in "Responding Together to the Challenges of the Contemporary World".


- Based on the Historic Fact that "we Share the Same spiritual Tradition of the 1st Millennium of Christianity", which includes as "Witnesses" "the Most Holy Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, and the Saints we venerate", "among" which "are innumerable Martyrs (from the Era of the First Christians, who had notoriously Faced heavy Persecution and even Killings, obliging them to Hide in Catacombes, but had a Strong Spiritual Force, Energy and Enthousiasm, United Together), who have given witness to their Faithfulness to Christ and have become the “Seed of Christians”, stimulating their original spread all over the World.


- That's why, "meeting Far from the longstanding Disputes of the “Old World” (Europe), and "Mindful of the persistence of many Obstacles", but "Determined to undertake all that is necessary to Overcome the historical Divergences we have inherited" from a part of the 2nd Millenium, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill expressed their , "Hope" that this "may contribute to the re–establishment of this Unity willed by God, for which Christ prayed", and "inspire Christians throughout the World" a "Renewed Fervour for the Full Unity", n a world which yearns not only for our Words but also for Tangible Gestures", as they pointed out.

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    Europe, (but also the USA, etc) is at the Heart of the matter, in real practice :

- "We Call upon Christians of Eastern and Western Europe to Unite in their shared witness to Christ and the Gospel, so that Europe may preserve its Soul, shaped by 2 Thousand Years of Christian tradition", their Joint Declaration stresses.


    - Because, "while remaining Open to the Contribution of Other Religions to our civilization, it is our Conviction that Europe must remain Faithful to its Christian Roots", they underlined, touching upon a quite Popular issue nowadays.

    - In this regard, even if it's a Fact that "the process of European integration, which began after centuries of blood–soaked conflicts, was Welcomed by many with Hope, as a guarantee of Peace and Security", "Nonetheless, we invite Vigilance against an integration that is Devoid of respect for Religious Identities", as they denounced, critizing certain recent abuses by some.


    - Also because, despite a "current unprecedented Renewal of the Christian faith in Russia, as well as in many other Countries of Eastern Europe, formerly dominated for decades by atheist regimes", where, f.ex., "Thousands of New Churches have been Built over the last Quarter of a Century, as well as hundreds of Monasteries and Theological institutions", while "Christian communities undertake notable works in the fields of Charitable aid and Social development, providing diversified forms of Assistance to the Needy", "Orthodox and Catholics often work(ing) side by side",

   + nevertheless, "at the same time, we are Concerned about the situation in many Countries" (i.e. including in the USA, where even a Woman Democratical Elected as Senior Official, was Jailed for refusing to "Marry" personaly Homosexuals, while in France many Mayors were Threatened by Heavy Fines and/or Jail for a similar Pretext, etc), "in which Christians are increasingly confronted by Restrictions to religious Freedom, to the Right to witness to one’s Convictions and to live in Conformity with them".


    - "In particular", "Grave Threat(s) to Religious Freedom" are observed during "the Transformation of some Countries into Secularized societies, Estranged from all reference to God". Because "there is a current Curtailment of the Rights of Christians, if not their outright Discrimination, when certain Political forces, guided by an often very Aggressive secularist ideology, seek to relegate them to the Margins of public life", they jointly Denounced.


    + At the same time, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill "Deplore(d) the hostility in Ukraine that has already caused many Victims, inflicted innumerable Wounds on peaceful Inhabitants" (mostly Civilian People), "and thrown society into a deep Economic and Humanitarian Crisis"


    => Therefore,. they "Invite(d) our Churches in Ukraine to work towards social Harmony, to Refrain from taking part in the Confrontation, and to Not support any further development of the Conflict". On the contrary, "All the parts involved in the conflict" are "Invited... to Prudence, to social Solidarity and to action aimed at constructing Peace".


------------------------------------------


    - But, in our troubled times, a Priority was given, in fact, on the current need to "Firstly turn to those Regions of the World where Christians are Victims of Persecution", (as also a recent EU Parliament's Resolution, adopted in Strasbourg, has strongly denounced, Comp., f.ex. : ....) :


    - In particular, "In many countries of the Middle East and North Africa whole families, villages and cities of our brothers and sisters in Christ are being completely Exterminated. Their Churches are being barbarously ravaged and looted, their sacred objects Profaned, their Monuments Destroyed. It is with Pain that we call to mind the situation in Syria, Iraq and other countries of the Middle East, and the massive Exodus of Christians from the land in which our faith was First Disseminated and in which they have Lived since the time of the Apostles, (i.e. 1st Century AC), Together with Other Religious communities"


    - "Thousands of Victims have already been claimed in the Violence in Syria and Iraq, which has left many other Millions withOut a Home or means of Sustenance". Thus, "We Bow before the Martyrdom of those who, at the Cost of their own Lives, have given witness to the truth of the Gospel, preferring Death to the Denial of Christ. ...these Martyrs of Our Times, who belong to various Churches but who are United by their Shared Suffering, are a Pledge of the Unity of Christians" Today.


    + At the same time, "in raising our voice in defence of Persecuted Christians, we (also) wish to express our Compassion for the Suffering experienced by the faithful of Other Religious traditions, who have also become Victims of Civil War, Chaos and Terrorist Violence", they added.

    => In consequence, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill "Call(ed) upon the International Community to act Urgently in order to Prevent the further Expulsion of Christians from the Middle East", and "Urge(d)" "to seek an End to the Violence and Terrorism and, at the same time, to contribute through Dialogue to a swift return to Civil Peace".


    In particular, "Large–scale Humanitarian aid must be assured to the afflicted populations and to the many Refugees seeking safety in Neighbouring lands", (i.e. Lebanon, Jordany, Turkey, and even ...Armenia, where many Christians have reportedly seeked Refuge in order to avoid Turkey's Camps, denounced as Dominated by an Oppressive "Islamist" Leadership, Similar to several Violent Aggressions that Christian Refugees faced even in some Dormitories in Europe, often controlled by Private "Security" Companies entrusted to Turkish-origin guards, as the German Press denounced). + On this occasion, they also "Call(ed) upon all those whose influence can be brought to bear upon the destiny of those kidnapped, including the Metropolitans of Aleppo, Paul and John Ibrahim, who were taken in April 2013, to make every effort to ensure their prompt Liberation", (speaking of an important City, near the Turkish Borders, which is currently close to return back to the Syrian Government's control, supported by Russian Aviation, after Years of occupation by various Armed Gangs and Terrorist Groups).

    ++ In "addressing, in a fervent appeal, All the Parts that may be involved in the Conflicts to demonstrate good will and to take part in the Negotiating table", Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill also "ask(ed) for the return of Peace in the Middle East, ... so that Fraternal Co–Existence among the Various populations, Churches and Religions may be strengthened, enabling Refugees to return to their Homes, Wounds to be Healed, and the Souls of the slain innocent to Rest in peace"

    >>> +++ But, in parallel, "at the same time, the International Community must undertake every possible effort to End Terrorism", (as, f.ex., that of ISIL's atrocious Killers and BeHeaders even of Innocent Civilian People) "through common, Joint and Coordinated Action", the Ecumenical Cuba Declaration stresses timely, while also "call(ing) on all the countries involved in the struggle against terrorism to responsible and prudent action".


---------------------------


    ++++ Moreover, Advancing well Beyond all that, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill also Feel the Need, Today, to "Exhort all Christians and All Believers of God to pray fervently to the providential Creator of the world, to Protect His creation from Destruction, and Not permit a New (3rd) World War", as they Warn.


    => For that purose, "in order to ensure a solid and enduring Peace, specific efforts must be undertaken to ReDiscover the Common Values Uniting us", they pointed out.


    - Inter alia, "InterReligious Dialogue is indispensable in our disturbing times", because "Differences in the understanding of Religious truths must Not Impede people of Different Faiths to live in Peace and Harmony", specialy "in our current context", whenb "religious Leaders have the particular Responsibility to educate their faithful in a spirit which is Respectful of the convictions of those belonging to other religious traditions".


    => On the contrary, "Attempts to justify Criminal acts with Religious Slogans are altogether Unacceptable", also because "No Crime may be committed in God’s Name".

    However, all this cannot make anyone disregard "the Growing InEquality in the distribution of material Goods", since many People are "facing Serious Difficulties, who live in extreme need and Poverty, while", on the ontrary,"the Material Wealth of Humanity Increases", augmenting also "the feeling of the InJustice of the International order", while "Christian churches are called to Defend the demands of Justice, ...and an authentic Solidarity towards All those who Suffer", Cuba Ecumenical Declaration stresses.

    - Last, but not least, they also "address Young Christians" : - "Do Not be Afraid of going Against the current, Defending God’s Truth, to which contemporary Secular Norms are often Far from conforming", Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill Encourage them, while also stressing that Young People have "the Task of ...Using all the Abilities God has given you, to confirm Christ’s Truth in the world, incarnating in your own Lives the evangelical commandments of the Love of God and of one’s Neighbour"


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    By a Coincidence, this Historic Top Move, was preceded also by a Humble Collective Meeting around Strasbourg Cathedral's community on Ecumenism's perspectives Today, where "EuroFora"s co-Founder mainly supported that, a much needed ReVitalisation could be inspired from the First Christians, who were  United Together and notoriouly Active and Enthousiast, despite Persecutions, while Today, a series of Challenges of Crucial Importane even for all Humankind, incite all like-minded Christians to Unite Together for Urgently needed Joint, Adequate and Efficient Responses, (from BioEthics up to Europe's identity and roots, as well as in order to Face Deadly and particularly InHuman Terrorism, etc.), a good part of which was also evoked by various other fellow participants, in several Converging ways.


    It was a great, and good Surprise, to find, soon afterwards, that most Key parts of those observations appeared Confirmed as more or less Just, by the present, Historic Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill at Cuba...



(../..)

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

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      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
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ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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