PRESS NOTE – 22ND OCTOBER 2022
22nd October 2022, the sixth day of the ‘Emerging Realities’ segment of the FABC General Conference began with the celebration of the Eucharist by H.E. Ignatius Cardinal Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo. H.E. Oswald Cardinal Gracias, the President of the day, led the gathered representatives in the Adsumus, and the morning prayer, hosted by the country of Indonesia, was led by the video prepared by Sr. Elisabeth Sukamdo OP, Chairwoman of the Women Religious.
The session began with Cardinal Gracias explaining the process and group discussions for the day, which were focused on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the pastoral priorities of the Church in Asia.
Dr Naoko Murayama, Regional Coordinator of East Asia and Oceania of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, speaking about the refugee crisis, suggested ways by which the representatives could respond, asking them to learn, listen, support and collaborate.
Plenary discussions presided over by H.E. Cardinal Gracias followed, based on the common data collected from the group discussions, which included courage as a minority, active listening, openness, harmony, dialogue and reconciliation, a united Church, the Asian-ness of the Church, ongoing formation, focus on the young people, ecology, migration, witnessing and spiritual formation, and the poor.
Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), speaking on the topic, ‘The Climate Emergency: Risks and Responses’, provided comprehensive insights on the documentation of climate change, the global decisions taken, how climate change is measured, and its effects. Prof. Schellnhuber also highlighted a tentative timeline during which change was still possible, and concrete measures that could be taken in response.
Mons. Indunil J Kodithuwakku K, secretary of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, spoke on the importance of creating open dialogue, especially in a continent as diverse as Asia, followed by a continuation of the plenary discussions.
The evening concluded with a Holy Hour, led by Bishop Winston S. Fernando SSS of Badulla.