Responding to Jesus’ prayer that ‘all may be one’

 LWF Vice-President Dr Gloria Rojas Vargas says 31 October is marked as a national holiday in Chile, dedicated to Evangelical and Protestant Churches. Photo: LWF
LWF Vice-President Dr Gloria Rojas Vargas says 31 October is marked as a national holiday in Chile, dedicated to Evangelical and Protestant Churches. Photo: LWF

Chilean theologian Rojas says joint Reformation commemoration resonates with local initiatives

(LWI) – Chilean theologian Rev. Dr Gloria Rojas is the LWF Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean. She shared with Lutheran World Information some of the initiatives planned by Lutherans and Catholics in the region and in her country, where 31 October is marked as a national holiday.

Lutheran World Information: What is the importance of the joint Catholic-Lutheran commemoration of the Reformation in Lund and Malmö from your perspective?

The Catholic-Lutheran joint commemoration has been garnering an increasing amount of attention in ecumenical circles. In some countries, news of the event has been spreading, especially on social networks, and people are eagerly awaiting this event of great magnitude and significance for the Christian and inter-religious community.

How are Lutherans and Catholics working together in your region, can you name an example of good cooperation?

The majority of Lutheran churches in the region plan to commemorate the Reformation using the Common Prayer, which will feature as part of the joint commemoration service in Lund. Throughout Chile, communities and ecumenical groups are studying the Catholic-Lutheran report From Conflict to Communion. I understand that, with greater or lesser success to date, other countries in the region are also working on this initiative.

blockquote cite="Rev. Dr Gloria Rojas Vargas, LWF Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean"]I look forward to celebrating an unprecedented event, which is the result of fifty consecutive years of ecumenical work aiming to respond to Jesus’ prayer “that they may all be one.

How can we work together in hope for refugees and displaced people in your region?

The Association for Interreligious Dialogue in Chile, of which the Catholic Church is also a member, is drafting a code of ethics to ensure respect, openness and commitment towards people seeking refuge—those who have been displaced or are migrants. The Lutheran churches in the region have a strong, ongoing commitment to defending human rights, including the right to asylum.

How is the Reformation being commemorated in your region?

The majority of our churches in the region commemorate Reformation Day with ecumenical services. In 2008, the government established 31 October as a national holiday, dedicated to Evangelical and Protestant Churches. This October, there will be a range of activities taking place to highlight the fact that around 20 percent of Chile’s population of 18.2 million people belong to Evangelical and Protestant churches.

You will represent the LWF and your region in Lund and Malmö, what are you looking forward to personally during the day?

I look forward to celebrating an unprecedented event, which is the result of fifty consecutive years of ecumenical work aiming to respond to Jesus’ prayer “that they may all be one, … so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

 

Rev. Dr Gloria Rojas Vargas is the LWF Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1985, she became the first woman to be ordained into the pastoral ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile, which she served as President from 2001 until 2011. She is also the Protestant chaplain to the presidential palace in Chile.

More about the Joint Commemoration

LWF News

16 September 2019
GENEVA
7 March 2017
CHICAGO, United States/GENEVA