The Universal Peace Federation (UPF) of Brazil invited the Cardinal Dom Claudio Hummes Archbishop of São Paulo to participate at the event "World Peace Tour", last Saturday july 29, where Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon spoke on the "Ideal Family and World Peace."
Brazil is the largest catholic country on earth with 290 bishops responsible for 135 millions believers. Dom Cláudio is in charge of one the largest episcopal region of the world with six bishops under him, his name was mentionned in the international media as one possible successor of Pope John Paul II.
Dom Claudio could not come to the event due to his busy schedule, but he accepted to meet us at the archidiocese residence in Sao Paulo, Saturday 29 in the morning, just before Mrs. Moon and her entourage where going to land at the Sao Paulo Airport.
I, Rev. Christian Lepelletier, Pastor Iremar Possamai representing the UPF and Dom Edson da Silva Bishop of the Brazilian Apostolic Catholic Church were received by the Cardinal. We introduced ourselves briefly and presented an introduction of the inter-religious vision of the UPF, founded by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, last year.
It was the first time for Dom Claudio to meet representatives of the Unification Movement, we had a friendly and positive dialogue in a good atmosphere, that lasted about 30 minutes. I mentioned the responsibility of the religious leaders to cooperate to find the solutions to prevent the violence, the necessity to establish inter-religious councils of peace advising the State government. "
Dom Claudio said that the Catholic Church is already doing her part through existing institution like the CNBB (National Conference of the Bishops of Brazil) and the CONIC (National Council of the Christian Churches). "We welcome representatives from other faith to participate as observers, we respect the religious freedom and diversity." He said.
Surely a very historical first step, this an expected encounter between one of the highest catholic autority in Brazil and representantes of the Unification Movemento, a minority religious group. On that day, july 29, when Dr Moon and her daughter were coming to share the World Peace Blessing."Congratulations! It was a great victory!" Said Bishop Dom Edson who was prepared to talk on the topic of the married priests, but unfortunately we runned out of time, it will be for another oportunity.
Rev. Christian Lepelletier
General Secretary UPF Brazil.