8th assembly/50th anniversary

Together on the Way
7. Greetings from Religious and Political Leaders

7.1 Pope John Paul II
A message from Pope John Paul II was read by the Most Rev. Mario Conti (Scotland) on 4 December. The moderator voiced "appreciation for the growing ecumenical collaboration which exists between the Roman Catholic Church and the WCC, particularly through the Joint Working Group and Faith and Order".

7.2. Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarchate
A message from Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarchate, was read by Metropolitan Athanasios of Heliopolis on 4 December. The moderator responded with appreciation, saying that "the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been a committed member of the WCC since its inception and has played an important role in the Council's life".

7.3. Karekin I: Catholicos of All Armenians
A message from Karekin I, Catholicos of All Armenians, was read by Archbishop Aghan Baliozian (Australia) on 4 December, and was received with warm appreciation.

7.4. World Evangelical Fellowship
George Vandervelde brought greetings to the assembly on behalf of the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF) on 11 December. Evangelical participants in the assembly also formulated two letters (see 8.7.).

7.5. Kim Dae-Jung, President of the Republic of Korea
While WCC assemblies have not usually heard messages of greeting from political leaders outside of the country in which the assembly is being held, the special concern of the Council over the years for the situation in Korea, divided for more than fifty years, warranted an exception in the case of Kim Dae-jung, president of the Republic of Korea. Kim's personal engagement in the struggle for democracy in the country had in earlier years costs him his freedom and even threatened his life.

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