Vatican Official Emphasizes Asian Character of Church at FABC Meeting


Asian churches were asked to make pillars of dialogue and reconciliation to build the Church in Asia

The Church in Asia must emphasize its “Asianity” and make dialogue the top pastoral priority, a senior Vatican official told a meeting of top Asian bishops in Bangkok.

“In a continent as diverse as Asia, the Church must give paramount importance to creating an open dialogue” between clergy and laity, said Monsignor Indunil J Kodithuwakku K, secretary of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue.

Monsignor Kodithuwakku spoke in the ‘Emerging Realities’ segment during the first general conference of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). General conference October 12-30 is part of FABC’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The conference has chosen as its theme Traveling together as peoples of Asia.

The Vatican official said that dialogue and reconciliation must be the pillars of a united Church in Asia. He wanted the bishops to emphasize the Asian character of the Church and said it was the need of the moment in a continent as diverse as Asia. During the discussions that followed on October 22, Naoko Murayama, Regional Coordinator for East Asia and Oceania of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, spoke about the refugee crisis in Asia. She suggested ways for representatives to respond and asked them to learn, listen, support and collaborate. Speaking on ‘The Climate Emergency: Risks and Responses’, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Founder and Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany, provided information on the documentation of climate change, the global decisions that are made, how Climate change and its effects are measured. Schellnhuber also highlighted a tentative timeline during which change was still possible and concrete steps that could be taken in response.


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