Below, he reflects on some highlights from the visit.
Was there a particular programme that resonated with you during your study visit?
Bernard Mushi: The ecumenical panel discussion of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity document “Ecumenism in a Time of Pandemic: From Crisis to Opportunity” was one of the interesting programs that brought reflection from theologians and church leaders from different traditions about the outcomes of COVID-19 in our ecumenical journey. The discussion revealed the necessity of churches to come together in facing new challenges caused by the pandemic. Most of the speakers highlighted the fact that COVID-19 has impacted changes in many aspects which challenges the churches to respond accordingly as God's instrument in times of crisis. Some of the outcomes described were the ecclesiological new way of being church marked by an adaptation of online services and digitalization, use of social media in the ecumenical movement, and spiritual renewal in the time of pandemic (domestic church and priesthood of all believers being important aspects of it). Furthermore, the discussions indicated the need for joint efforts in the distribution of the vaccines in solidarity with all human beings regarding health as a common good.
Could you share what you learned about Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development?
Bernard Mushi: The Roman Catholic Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has a department for migrants and refugees which coordinates the diaconal ministry to migrants and refugees with collaboration with different partners in different places around the world. They aim at welcoming, protecting, promoting as well as integrating the migrants and refugees in a holistic way. Their main emphasis was "Hope for the Earth and the Poor" which needs the church from the family level to the universal level to respond to the cry of the earth and the poor by addressing ecological concerns and joint participatory action in ending all forms of injustices.
Was there a new aspect of ecumenism you discovered on this study visit?
Bernard Mushi: The openness of the Roman Catholic Church to ecumenism was a new reality that I discovered in the visit. The engagement of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in dialogues with other traditions and their entire involvement in the ecumenical movement is giving hope for the goal of visible unity. Synodality was mentioned as a gift that the Roman Catholic Church has received from the Orthodox tradition as a fruit of ecumenical dialogue. Furthermore, the recent dialogue with the Anglican Communion using receptive ecumenism is another sign of having a step in the ecumenical journey.
Bossey sees new generation of students graduate, celebrating the experience of ‘a school of life’ (WCC press release of 28 January 2022)
COVID-19 brought “openness to being transformed ourselves,” WCC acting general secretary reflects (WCC press release of 20 January 2022)
Bossey students embark on study visit to Rome (WCC press release of 21 January 2022)