In 1984 a pastor from Uruguay became the first Latin American to be elected as general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The late Emilio Castro (1927 - 2013) left an unmatched legacy of passionate ecumenism behind him. His book “Pasion y compromise con el Reino de Dios”, first published in 2007, has now been translated into English and released in an edited version.
An audience of 50 ecumenical enthusiasts gathered at the Ecumenical Centre on Friday to hear current WCC general secretary, Rev Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, former deputy general secretary Prof. Dr Wesley Ariarajah and others share their impressions of a very engaged ecumenist:
“Castro was generous with his time and attention, especially to young people. Today is not only a book launch, but an opportunity to give thanks to him for his contributions. Somehow, we keep asking ‘what would Emilio have done’ in situations we face today,” Tveit said.
Castro´s accomplishments and his passion for ecumenism certainly shine through in the book, according to Ariarajah, who served under Castro:
“He speaks directly to the reader and shares compelling accounts of conversations with leading politicians such as Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro. At heart, Emilio was a pastor and a preacher”, Ariarajah explained.
Authors Rev. Dr Carlos Sintado and Manuel Quintero, who both worked with Castro and knew him well, have played key roles in the fruition of the English edition. And without translator and former WCC interpreter Tony Coates, who took on the challenge to reduce the material to a reasonable size, there probably wouldn’t have been an English edition:
“In the translation process, I re-lived what I experienced as a WCC interpreter during the Castro years. I am indeed grateful to him for writing the book in the first place and for being such an inspiration,” said Coates.
The English title of the book is “Emilio Castro - a legacy of passionate ecumenism”. It is available in Europe and worldwide via WCC publications: [email protected] and in North America via Independent Publishers Group: www.ipgbook.com.