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A new period began with the appointment of Emilio Castro as the Fourth General Secretary of the WCC during 1985-1992. Social and political issues had always been a subsidiary concern of the WCC; their role had grown under Castro’s immediate predecessor, Philip Potter (1972-1984). From now on, however, those issues became its most prominent focus. Increasingly, advocacy on behalf of the Palestinians and denunciations of Israel came to top the agenda.
If the WCC ceased to exist, few would miss it today. The WCC has become one more NGO that survives largely on magnifying the Arab-Israel conflict at the expense of other conflicts in the world. In contrast to the resources lavished on “Palestine,” the WCC has devoted only occasional words — and not a single “Ecumenical Accompanier” — to the millions of Christians recently displaced from or killed in other Middle East countries.
Thus there is a vast gap between the appearance and the reality of the WCC. The appearance is the claim that the WCC consists of hundreds of churches in over a hundred countries working for Christian unity. The reality is a small Secretariat in Geneva financed chiefly by some handfuls of European Protestant bureaucrats.
The World Council of Churches was founded with a noble aim: to overcome the divisions of Christianity and restore the unity of purpose of Christ’s original followers. After the retirement of its founding spirit, Willem Visser ‘t Hooft, it drifted away from its original concerns, a development that accelerated after his death in 1985. Today it has shrunk in effect to a small secretariat in Geneva that draws inspiration from its obsession with the Palestinian problem and has little else currently to its credit or discredit.Continue reading →
Ion Mihai Pacepa on Raul Castro’s yacht in Cuba, 1974. Photo courtesy of Ion Mihai Pacepa.
Washington D.C., May 1, 2015 / 03:34 pm (CNA).- Espionage deep in the heart of Europe. Secrets in the KGB. Defection from a communist nation. Ion Mihai Pacepa has seen his share of excitement, serving as general for Communist Romania’s secret police before defecting to the United States in the late 1970s.
The highest-ranking defector from communism in the ‘70s, he spoke to CNA recently about the connection between the Soviet Union and Liberation Theology in Latin America. Below are excerpts of the interview. All footnotes were provided by Pacepa.
In general, could you say that the spreading of Liberation Theology had any kind of Soviet connection?
Yes. I learned the fine points of the KGB involvement with Liberation Theology from Soviet General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, communist Romania’s chief razvedka (foreign intelligence) adviser – and my de facto boss, until 1956, when he became head of the Soviet espionage service, the PGU1, a position he held for an unprecedented record of 15 years.
An advocate of Marxist-oriented “liberation theology” and recipient of a Lenin Peace Prize has returned to his duties as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church, after a 29-year suspension.
Miguel D’Escoto, who served as President of the U.N. General Assembly from September 2008 until September 2009, had been suspended from his priestly functions by the anti-communist Pope John Paul II in 1985. D’Escoto had joined the communist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua as foreign minister, after which the Soviets recognized his service by giving him the International Lenin Peace Prize.
His reinstatement is another sign of the leftward drift of the papacy of Pope Francis, a worldwide media favorite, who recently said, “I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag,” because the Marxists claim to be concerned about the poor. Continue reading →