Lettera aperta - Lettre ouvert - Offenen Brief - Սովի և քաղցի - Expo rundbrev
Tragic hunger and thirst as well as inequalities in the distribution of food and resources are today’s global emergencies while famine plagues increasingly widening areas of our world. Christian churches, too, feel they are answerable as it is outrageous that more than a billion of our sisters and brothers should lack sufficient food or access to water while part of humanity can live in opulent comfort and squander both.
The theme of Milan Universal Exhibition (EXPO 2015) is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” and this has certainly raised interest, expectations and hope but not without misgivings about some “doubtful” business practices regarding the preparation of the event.
We are the representatives of the 17 different Christian communities which constitute the ecumenical CCCM and we feel that we too belong to this “world system”. For this reason, we acknowledge our failings but also take this opportunity to remind ourselves first of the importance of loving our neighbours: the sharing of food is a sign of the love of God, who made Heaven and earth.
Bread is the staff of man’s life but we ought to remember what Jesus said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4) and that in the Gospel according to John the Son of God vows “I am the bread of life” (6:48) and “one may eat of it and not die” (6:50). Energy for life, we know, comes in many forms that can support life on earth, from fossil fuels to water, solar or wind power. However, there is another kind of energy that rules the world, the Grace of the Holy Spirit, which enables man to truly commune with God and opens eternal life for him.
We have no wish, however, to escape from the concrete issues which make up the daily lot of humankind. We believe that respect for life, the safeguarding and promotion of human dignity, justice, and equal rights form the basis for a global economy of hope in all the concreteness of the City of Man, built on a constructive dialogue with all women and men of good will. It is then that conventions are useful and timely for in-depth study of questions about feeding the world, just as various events raising awareness about growing marginalisation become innovative and inventive. Nevertheless, all these efforts may not be enough without a commitment to deal with the causes of inequality.
Our Lord Jesus Christ who taught us to pray “Our Father… Give us this day our necessary/daily bread” (Mt 6:11) also told his disciples “You give them something to eat” (Lk 9:13).
Thus, we wish EXPO2015 – and so we pray – may become the stage for a turning point for the world by launching authentic sustainability in the economic, social and environmental spheres. We know from painful personal experience that conversion does not come about by itself, just as nobody can hope to save the planet on their own. Together we can. As Christian Churches committed to a more perfect and meaningful union, we are aware of the labours of our journey together and also of its beauty as we dare point the way towards real prospects for hope in a world made new by fraternity and peace.
As individuals, we are not called to sit on the fence, but to engage in personal reflection, join organised groups, seek unity of action, starting all the way up from small things in everyday life, and actively participating in activities for the transformation of our society through the shared goals of authentic justice and solidarity.
THE COUNCIL OF CHRISTIAN CHURCHES IN MILAN:
The Apostolic Armenian Church
The Baptist Church
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church
The Church of England
The Coptic Church of Egypt
The Eritrean Orthodox Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church
The Methodist Church
The Roman Catholic Church
The Lutheran and Reformed Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church
The Salvation Army
The Swedish Lutheran Church
The Waldesian Church