It-Tnejn, 22 ta’ Jannar 2018: Pajjiżna kien magħżul biex fl-2020 ikun il-Kapitali Ekumenika. L-Insara f’Malta għadhom kemm ġew fdati mill-Vatikan u mill-World Council of Churches f’Ġinevra biex iħejju t-tema u r-riflessjonijiet għal dan l-avveniment ekumeniku importanti. Waqt li ta din l-aħbar, Dun Hector Scerri, President tal-Kummissjoni Ekumenika Maltija qal li għalina dan mhux biss privileġġ, imma wkoll responsabiltà li ser twassal l-Insara f’Malta li joffru l-esperjenza tal-vjaġġ ekumeniku tagħhom mhux biss lill-Ewropa imma wkoll lid-Dinja kollha.
Ara d-diskors kollu ta’ Dun Hector Scerri hawn taħt …
Speech by Mgr Prof. Hector Scerri,President of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission:Reception during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Archbishop’s Curia, Floriana, 20th January 2018
Your Grace, Archbishop Scicluna,
Very Reverend Vicar General,
Reverend Ministers and Pastors,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my heartfelt pleasure and honour to welcome you, this morning. Experience tells me that this annual gathering has become an important highlight of the activities organized during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
After yesterday’s moving Ecumenical Service at Senglea, we are so glad to meet again, today, so as to prolong, in time and space, our common fellowship. Thank you, Your Grace, for your unwavering support to the Ecumenical Movement in Malta, as well as for your sincere closeness to other Christian Churches and Traditions. You are well aware that various other Christian communities – some of which are indeed small flocks finding refuge and sustenance in our beloved homeland – look at you, not only with admiration, but for inspiration.
This year’s theme for the Week of Prayer for Christians Unity – Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power – has been prepared by the Christian Churches in the Caribbean region. This biblical text, taken from the canticle of praise by Moses follows the miraculous crossing of the Sea of Reeds. It highlights that it is the Lord who liberates, heals and saves. Our Caribbean sisters and brothers are inviting us that it the Lord’s life-giving word and his abiding presence that frees us from the shackles of past divisions.
Our gathering coincides with a striking and unusual exhibition in this same hall, set up by the international foundation, Aid to the Church in Need. You may have already seen the profaned Christian symbols and vessels from Iraq. We are moved and brought to tears while catching a little glimpse of the enormous suffering experienced by Christians at the hands of their persecutors. As Pope Francis frequently affirms, Christian blood – whether Pentecostal, Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican or Catholic – has flowed, and still flows, as one stream. This is the ecumenism of martyrdom, the ecumenism of blood.
A final thought. Today, in a few hours’ time, several cultural events kick off in four historic squares in our capital city. If Valletta is the European Capital of Culture for 2018, Malta will be the Ecumenical Capital for 2020. Christians in Malta have recently been entrusted by the Holy See and the World Council of Churches in Geneva to prepare the theme and the reflections for the Week of Prayer to be celebrated in two years’ time. This is a privilege as well as a responsibility, as Christians in our Islands of Malta and Gozo offer the experience of their ecumenical journey to the whole world.
Yesterday’s ecumenical service at Senglea bore witness to our humble, yet firm, ecumenical credentials. Christians flocked from all over the Island to manifest their thirst for unity, as well as to pray for it to materialize. The Ecumenical Movement is the work of the Holy Spirit. But it requires our cooperation and commitment. The bright Caribbean colours of 2018 are our springboard for Ecumenical Malta 2020.
Mgr Prof. Hector Scerri
President, Diocesan Ecumenical Commission
20th January 2018