Romania: Harmony with Catholic Social Teachings
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, UPF Secretary General
July 3, 2006
Mother Moon and Kook Jin arrived in Bucharest on July 3 and were welcomed by Ambassadors for Peace and local leaders. They were then provided with a police escort to the Marriott Hotel.
Romania became Christian somewhere between the 2nd and 4th centuries. Romania has been a Latin enclave surrounded by Slavic peoples and nations. It was dominated at various times by the Ottomans, Russians and Austrians. The ruthless dictator Nicolae Ceausescu ruled from 1965 to 1989, when he was executed. Romania has a highly literate society. It has maintained good relations with Israel as well as with the PLO and other Arab countries. A member of NATO, Romania will join European Union in January 2007. Gymnast Nadia Comaneci was first gymnast to score a perfect 10 in Olympic competition. In terms of religion, Romania is 85 percent Orthodox, 5 percent Roman Catholic, 5 percent Protestant, and 1 percent Uniate.
In 1980, Hauthaler Gottfried of Austria brought the message of Father and Mother Moon to Romania. He was followed by Graziano Segato and Mauro Saurazo of Italy. They worked underground while one of the world's most vile dictators was in power, risking their lives. Umberto Angelucci was national leader also for a time.
The main event was also held at the Marriott Hotel and was attended by an overflow crowd. The reception preceding it was packed with people. The program went very smoothly, with a warm and receptive, high-quality audience.
Former Prime Minister Radu Vasile (1998-1999) gave the welcoming remarks and later was honored with the Leadership and Good Governance award. His father had been a political prisoner under the communists and thus he was initially barred from higher education, but eventually he earned his doctorate in economics. A member of the Christian-Democratic National Peasants' Party, he served as its General Secretary in Romania, vice president of the Romanian Senate, vice president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and founding member of the Central European Forum. One of his many books is entitled World Economy: Avenues and Stages of Modernization.
Imam Osman Aziz and Rev. Luther Daniel gave invocations. The Special Task Force choir provided entertainment.
Following the main event, there was a dinner for about 20 guests. The dinner discussion was lively and joyful. Former Prime Minister Vasile lamented what he sees as the decline of moral values in America, which threatens the legitimacy of U.S. claim to be the world's leader. He hopes for a recovery of America's moral enlightenment and considers Father Moon's message to be perhaps exactly what America and Romania needs. He also spoke about his discussions with Pope Paul II and his having arranged the Pope's visit to Romania. He said that Mother Moon's message, especially on the family, was exactly consistent with Roman Catholic social teachings.
Another participant was a professor of world religions, who knew the famous Romanian scholar of religions, Mircea Eliade. He spoke of Dr. Richard Quebedeaux, whom he met during their time together at Oxford.
The following morning Mother Moon spoke about preparing during our lifetime for the eternal realm: "The physical world is temporary. It is like our time in our mother's womb. If we do not come out of the womb after ten months, we will die, and even the mother will die. So too, we are to be born into a new world. During our life in this world we have to always focus on practicing true love, since that is the central language in the spiritual world. This life is so important, as preparation for the spirit world. When you go to a friend's house, do you need a visa? We need to break down the barriers. This is the time to go beyond religions and nations and exist as one family."
She paid tribute to Romania's long and proud history. "You Ambassadors for Peace made a great effort," she continued, "but please understand, for this country to change, you need to continue your work. Let's look at the world from God's point of view and think of how God can recover and restore His lost children through you."
The chair of the Ambassadors for Peace in Romania responded: "I assure you that Romania will always have a great welcome for True Parents. Participants last night were delighted at the wonderful and enriching words, which they described as very specific and concrete. They value the message and want to spread this enlightenment. Please come again soon." An Ambassador for Peace from Bulgaria echoed the sentiments: "This was a great honor. Such meetings are very important for our personal lives. This message is so important for the prosperity of our countries. I hope that in the near future, Father and Mother will visit my country."
Mother Moon suggested a celebration of singing. There was singing by the young people present, followed by singing by people from Bulgaria, Romania, France, England and the United States. In conclusion, Kook Jin and his wife Ji Hae sang a duet.