Rome (NEV), August 18, 2018 – The 55th Session of Ecumenical Training of the Secretariat for Ecumenical Activities (SAE) on the theme “The Churches in the face of wealth, poverty and the earth’s goods. An ecumenical research” ended in Assisi on August 4 last. The theme will be explored also in the next year session.
The last round table, entitled “Witnessing the Gospel in the Societies of Economic Inequalities”, saw the participation of Erio Castellucci, bishop of the diocese of Modena-Nonantola, and of the Baptist pastor Lidia Maggi.
Churches can do a lot: educate people to the donation culture, to the farsighted use of the goods, to the support of non speculative finance, to the solidarity towards the poor. “This action of proximity and charity is the best test for the quality of our faith, both on a personal and a community level” declared Castellucci.
Lidia Maggi, as can be read in the final statement of the SAE, compared the church to “the woman who for too long has been losing vital energy and bleeding herself dry in trying to live and generate future: she does not dare to transgress anything or to act with courage and creativity, she does not dare ‘to touch the cloak’ to be healed. The church is also similar to the first generation of disciples, who under the cross bewildered watched Jesus die. Jesus face today is that of the refugee escaping from wars and climatic disasters, the girl victim of trafficking, the unemployed without a future”. Maggi also addressed an invitation to the churches “to resume the courage to witness the gospel together in the world without shortcuts. Starting from oneself, in the awareness that the crux of economic justice and the sharing of goods are matters of life or death and an imperative of social justice for the church”.
The conclusions of the 55th session were entrusted to the president of SAE Piero Stefani and to Maria Luisa Sgargetta who reviewed the themes: the financing of churches, the fundamental affirmations of the Scriptures on wealth, the relationship between religions and the economy. The participants approved, among other things, a motion in favor of migrants.