World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Letter of condolence to Theresa C. Cariño

Letter of condolence to Theresa C. Cariño, Amity Foundation in Hong Kong, on the passing away of her husband Dr Feliciano Cariño.

22 November 2005

22 November, 2005

Dear Mrs Theresa Cariño,

It is with great sadness that I received the news of the passing away of your husband Dr Feliciano Cariño. I knew Dr Cariño from our days in the Student Christian Movement. I was present in Addis Ababa when, to my joy, he was elected WSCF
General Secretary. He rose from the ranks of a student leader to become an eminent Asian theologian and ecumenical leader. His contributions to the Asian ecumenical movement are immense and not easy to recount. As the General Secretary
of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines he led the Council through a difficult period when human rights violations were at their peak. His unstinted support and commitment for justice, peace and reconciliation within Philippine society was acknowledged by the government of former President Fidel Ramos, who nominated him as a member of the Philippines National Unification Commission. In the Commission he played an important role in endeavours to reach a peace agreement between the security forces and the armed groups in the Philippines countryside.

During the early 1990s he served as Vice-Moderator of the WCC's Commission of the Churches on International Affairs and made substantive contributions to its work. When, in 1996, he was elected as General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia, he worked to strengthen relations between WCC and CCA and was thus instrumental in the formation of the WCC-CCA joint liaison group. To date this group continues to be an effective instrument for the joint planning of programmes and for the improvement of WCC-CCA relations.

Dr Cariño's theological insights and sharp analytical skills on socio-political issues were always inspiring and challenging. He displayed a passion for generating creative theological thinking and interaction among young Asian theologians. In fact, it was through his untiring efforts that an effective platform and space was provided for young Asian theologians in the form of the Congress of Asian Theologians in 1997. His commitment to the Asian ecumenical movement was immeasurable and he did much to revitalize the ecumenical movement in the region during his tenure.

We thank God for Dr Feliciano Cariño's life and witness and his contribution to the ecumenical movement. May the memory of his ministry and life remain eternal.

Please accept our sincere condolences, and may our Lord console and strengthen you and your family in this difficult period of bereavement.

Blessings and peace.

Yours sincerely,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary