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How do we impress and engage the greater Church

Grand Master BG (Ret) Patrick E. Rea's excerpted comments from 12 Feb 2012 email which provides an update to the topic:

Allow me to encourage our members to review many of my reports to the GMC over the past 6+ years with emphasis on my rather lengthy presentation at our last international meeting which is included as an appendix to the minutes. Our GSG did an excellent job of trying to capture my report. In that Report it was noted that among the three Legs of OSMTH-I is our senior clergy and that leg is alive and well and I reported on their support and cooperation. In one of those meetings I pointed out that we met at length with the immediate Past President of the World Council of Churches and he stated it is time that you (OSMTH-I) formally reach out to the WCC in Geneva. Following discussions with Bishop Younan, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS and Gen. Robert Disney we are beginning to more formally open a relationship with the WCC utilizing our talented but limited resources. To that end our plan is to put together a Geneva Team.

That Team, as has been in place for the past two years, we have Marcel as our senior (Chief of Mission) to the UN—he has been reappointed by the GC; the Rev. Dr. Jean Ford as Asst. GSG for the International Peace Bureau (IPB)—she has been appointed by the GC and has met with Colin Archer the Secretary General of the IPB in Geneva and both Gen. Disney and I have exchanged E-Mails, with Colin over the past week. Professor Ford is also an active delegate with Marcel on the UN Mission in Geneva. Next the Rev. Dr. Schmeling remains an active member of the UN delegation to Geneva, has established coordination with the Headquarters of the World Lutheran Federation on our behalf in that City and he with Dr. Ford will reach out to the WCC to more formally establish our relationship—which will be defined by the WCC.

All of the above activities regarding an OSMTH-I Team in Geneva working with the UN, CoNGO, WCC, IPB, WLF and other likeminded NGOs was reviewed about 18 hours ago on Sunday in New York with Cyril Ritchie, the President of CoNGO. Randy Tietz and I had flown to New York to met with Cyril (Report to follow) at his request and Gen Disney spoke with Cyril by phone. For almost three hours our OSMTH-I group of myself, Randy, Chev. Robert Bateman-Chief of UN Mission in NY and Chev. Price our CoNGO Coordinator in NY discussed in detail the full range of issues including a OSMTH-I Team in Geneva. He offered his help and comment and then boarded a plane to return to Geneva after that very productive meeting. He knows that I plan to try and visit Geneva this year to visit the senior leadership of the WCC and host some private events with the IPB, CoNGO, UN and our own UN delegation. I would add that on the religious side, GP Portugal has arranged a meeting between myself and the Catholic Patriarch of Portugal maybe in May in Lisbon.

The Catholic church will not let up in her fight...

October 27, 2011. (Romereports.com) (-VIDEO-)

Full text of Pope's speech in Assisi: "The Catholic church will not let up in her fight against violence, in her commitment for peace in the world".

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Distinguished Heads and Representatives of Churches, Ecclesial Communities and World Religions, Dear Friends,

Twenty-five years have passed since Blessed Pope John Paul II first invited representatives of the world’s religions to Assisi to pray for peace. What has happened in the meantime? What is the state of play with regard to peace today? At that time the great threat to world peace came from the division of the earth into two mutually opposed blocs. A conspicuous symbol of this division was the Berlin Wall which traced the border between two worlds right through the heart of the city. In 1989, three years after Assisi, the wall came down, without bloodshed. Suddenly the vast arsenals that stood behind the wall were no longer significant. They had lost their terror. The peoples’ will to freedom was stronger than the arsenals of violence. The question as to the causes of this dramatic change is complex and cannot be answered with simple formulae. But in addition to economic and political factors, the deepest reason for the event is a spiritual one: behind material might there were no longer any spiritual convictions.

The will to freedom was ultimately stronger than the fear of violence, which now lacked any spiritual veneer. For this victory of freedom, which was also, above all, a victory of peace, we give thanks. What is more, this was not merely, nor even primarily, about the freedom to believe, although it did include this. To that extent we may in some way link all this to our prayer for peace.

But what happened next? Unfortunately, we cannot say that freedom and peace have characterized the situation ever since. Even if there is no threat of a great war hanging over us at present, nevertheless the world is unfortunately full of discord. It is not only that sporadic wars are continually being fought – violence as such is potentially ever present and it is a characteristic feature of our world. Freedom is a great good. But the world of freedom has proved to be largely directionless, and not a few have misinterpreted freedom as somehow including freedom for violence. Discord has taken on new and frightening guises, and the struggle for freedom must engage us all in a new way.

Let us try to identify the new faces of violence and discord more closely. It seems to me that, in broad strokes, we may distinguish two types of the new forms of violence, which are the very antithesis of each other in terms of their motivation and manifest a number of differences in detail. Firstly there is terrorism, for which in place of a great war there are targeted attacks intended to strike the opponent destructively at key points, with no regard for the lives of innocent human beings, who are cruelly killed or wounded in the process. In the eyes of the perpetrators, the overriding goal of damage to the enemy justifies any form of cruelty. Everything that had been commonly recognized and sanctioned in international law as the limit of violence is overruled. We know that terrorism is often religiously motivated and that the specifically religious character of the attacks is proposed as a justification for the reckless cruelty that considers itself entitled to discard the rules of morality for the sake of the intended "good". In this case, religion does not serve peace, but is used as justification for violence.

The post-Enlightenment critique of religion has repeatedly maintained that religion is a cause of violence and in this way it has fuelled hostility towards religions. The fact that, in the case we are considering here, religion really does motivate violence should be profoundly disturbing to us as religious persons. In a way that is more subtle but no less cruel, we also see religion as the cause of violence when force is used by the defenders of one religion against others. The religious delegates who were assembled in Assisi in 1986 wanted to say, and we now repeat it emphatically and firmly: this is not the true nature of religion. It is the antithesis of religion and contributes to its destruction. In response, an objection is raised: how do you know what the true nature of religion is? Does your assertion not derive from the fact that your religion has become a spent force?

Others in their turn will object: is there such a thing as a common nature of religion that finds expression in all religions and is therefore applicable to them all? We must ask ourselves these questions, if we wish to argue realistically and credibly against religiously motivated violence. Herein lies a fundamental task for interreligious dialogue – an exercise which is to receive renewed emphasis through this meeting. As a Christian I want to say at this point: yes, it is true, in the course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame. But it is utterly clear that this was an abuse of the Christian faith, one that evidently contradicts its true nature. The God in whom we Christians believe is the Creator and Father of all, and from him all people are brothers and sisters and form one single family. For us the Cross of Christ is the sign of the God who put "suffering-with" (compassion) and "loving-with" in place of force. His name is "God of love and peace" (2 Cor 13:11). It is the task of all who bear responsibility for the Christian faith to purify the religion of Christians again and again from its very heart, so that it truly serves as an instrument of God’s peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans.

If one basic type of violence today is religiously motivated and thus confronts religions with the question as to their true nature and obliges all of us to undergo purification, a second complex type of violence is motivated in precisely the opposite way: as a result of God’s absence, his denial and the loss of humanity which goes hand in hand with it. The enemies of religion – as we said earlier – see in religion one of the principal sources of violence in the history of humanity and thus they demand that it disappear. But the denial of God has led to much cruelty and to a degree of violence that knows no bounds, which only becomes possible when man no longer recognizes any criterion or any judge above himself, now having only himself to take as a criterion. The horrors of the concentration camps reveal with utter clarity the consequences of God’s absence.

Yet I do not intend to speak further here about state-imposed atheism, but rather about the decline of man, which is accompanied by a change in the spiritual climate that occurs imperceptibly and hence is all the more dangerous. The worship of mammon, possessions and power is proving to be a counter-religion, in which it is no longer man who counts but only personal advantage. The desire for happiness degenerates, for example, into an unbridled, inhuman craving, such as appears in the different forms of drug dependency. There are the powerful who trade in drugs and then the many who are seduced and destroyed by them, physically and spiritually. Force comes to be taken for granted and in parts of the world it threatens to destroy our young people. Because force is taken for granted, peace is destroyed and man destroys himself in this peace vacuum.

The absence of God leads to the decline of man and of humanity. But where is God? Do we know him, and can we show him anew to humanity, in order to build true peace? Let us first briefly summarize our considerations thus far. I said that there is a way of understanding and using religion so that it becomes a source of violence, while the rightly lived relationship of man to God is a force for peace. In this context I referred to the need for dialogue and I spoke of the constant need for purification of lived religion. On the other hand I said that the denial of God corrupts man, robs him of his criteria and leads him to violence.

In addition to the two phenomena of religion and anti-religion, a further basic orientation is found in the growing world of agnosticism: people to whom the gift of faith has not been given, but who are nevertheless on the lookout for truth, searching for God. Such people do not simply assert: "There is no God". They suffer from his absence and yet are inwardly making their way towards him, inasmuch as they seek truth and goodness. They are "pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace". They ask questions of both sides. They take away from militant atheists the false certainty by which these claim to know that there is no God and they invite them to leave polemics aside and to become seekers who do not give up hope in the existence of truth and in the possibility and necessity of living by it. But they also challenge the followers of religions not to consider God as their own property, as if he belonged to them, in such a way that they feel vindicated in using force against others.

These people are seeking the truth, they are seeking the true God, whose image is frequently concealed in the religions because of the ways in which they are often practised. Their inability to find God is partly the responsibility of believers with a limited or even falsified image of God. So all their struggling and questioning is in part an appeal to believers to purify their faith, so that God, the true God, becomes accessible. Therefore I have consciously invited delegates of this third group to our meeting in Assisi, which does not simply bring together representatives of religious institutions. Rather it is a case of being together on a journey towards truth, a case of taking a decisive stand for human dignity and a case of common engagement for peace against every form of destructive force. Finally I would like to assure you that the Catholic Church will not let up in her fight against violence, in her commitment for peace in the world. We are animated by the common desire to be "pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace".

THOUGHTS FROM GP FRANCE AND OSMTH INTERNATIONAL

11 SEPTEMBER, 2011

Dear American Brothers and sisters,

A few minutes away from the start of the commemorations of the Sept 11, 2001 tragedy, please accept all our thoughts and prayers. At the same time you will be commemorating , the French people will also commemorate , with reduced replicas of the twin towers near the eiffel tower, posting signs : "The French will never forget"

The members of the Grand Priory of France will in a few minutes certainly all in their private homes have a thought for you.
With all our blessings

On behalf also of all our templar community worldwide, please accept our best thoughts and the community of our prayers , each of us in our own language, from more than 20 nations and 15 different languages.

Most fraternally yours
NNDNN

Col.Dr Marcel de PICCIOTTO
Grand Prior France
Deputy Grand Commander, OSMTH

Custos: Arab Spring No Reason to Cancel Holy Land Trips

ROME, 1 SEPTEMBER 2011 (ZENIT.ORG)

Pilgrims Are Safer Than Ever, Says Jerusalem Bishop. There is nothing to fear in the Holy Land and no reason to halt pilgrimages, according to the Franciscan Custos, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa. Read more...

Obituary: Templar Knight Terry Davis of Michigan

GROSS POINTE PATCH

20 AUGUST 2011

Templar Knights & Dames, Friends & Colleagues:

Templar Knight Terry Davis of Gross Pointe Michigan and a member of the Priory of Saint Claire passed away on Augst 14, 2011. As you will see in the obituary, Terry played a prominent role in that Priory, recruited a number of Canadian military officers into the Priory from Windsor, and that led to the ultimate establishment of a Templar Priory in Windsor that further led to the establishment of the Grand Priory of Canada. Quite a fine Templar record, while also involved in numerous Templar and community and humanitarian efforts in Michigan and Canada, as well as serving as the Chief of Staff at the General Services Administration [GSA] in the Reagan Administration.

nnDnn
Jim Carey
Grand Master Emeritus

Click Here to Feed the Hungry

MAY 2011

Your Actions Here Fund Food For The World's Hungry do it now

The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin 2011

(BERLIN, 11TH-15TH MAY 2011)

“Hard Vs. Soft Power in Global and National Politics: Innovative Concepts of Smart Power and Cultural Diplomacy in an Age of Interdependence, Digital Revolution, and Social Media”. read more 

Commission on the Status of Women 55TH SESSION

The fifty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women  took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 22 February to 14 March 2011. The Order's delegation was ably lead by Chev. Dr. Marcel De Picciotto, OSMTH Deputy Grand Commander and Grand Prior of France, who co-authored the following statement on the "Status of Women". Read Statement 

The Washington Scholars Women of Achievement

ADMIRAL JAMES J. CAREY FOUNDATION SPRING 2011 NEWSLETTER

The Washington Scholars Fellowship Program ("WSFP") strives to help young women grow and develop in public policy careers...read more 

OSMTH SPRING BUSINESS MEETING

Subject: OSMTH Spring Meetings 2011 in Belgium - 28 April 28 to 1 May 2011

Dear Grand Priors and Magisterial Officers,

The Knights and Dames of the Priory of Belgium are looking forward to welcoming you to Mechelen, close to Brussels, for the OSMTH Spring Meetings 2011 from Thursday, 28 April to Sunday, 1 May 2011.

To assist our Priory and our Commanderies in planning this upcoming Convent, we would appreciate your returning of your Registration Form promptly, by e-mail or by mail.

Complete details in the Carpe Diem Winter 2010
OSMTH’s raison d’etre is expressed through the Brussels Declaration: “Aiding humanity on the pilgrimage through life.”
Vision and Commitment
  • Christian Ethos, Spirituality and Chivalric Values.
  • Domestic Charity and International Humanitarian Aid
  • Human Rights and the respect for Human Diversity
  • Interfaith Dialogue and Bridge-Building
  • Provide humanitarian aid to Christians and all peoples in need around the world, through physical, financial, and moral support.
  • Continue programmes that aid Christians around the world, especially in the Holy Land.
  • Promote a dialogue based on the principles of peace and justice amongst and between the faiths of the Sons of Abraham and the other great religions of the world, to establish better understanding and greater tolerance.
  • Mitigate human suffering by actively participating in activities associated with disaster relief, humanitarian aid, human rights, peace building and sustainable development, and the respect of human diversity.
  • Facilitate, mediate and advocate conflict-prevention and resolution by providing subject matter experts and supporting organizations in the fields of religious and international diplomacy.
"Non nobis, Domine, non nobis,
sed nomini Tuo da gloriam..."
 
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