Another long trip this week. I will be participating in the third and final year of a project initiated by the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht called “Globalization and Catholicity: Being Catholic Churches in a Globalized World.” The three full communion partners participating in this conversation are the Old Catholics, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Philippine Independent Church), and The Episcopal Church.
Americans often see globalization as basically a good thing, linking the world by telecommunications, easy travel, economic interdependence, etc. The Europeans are somewhat more suspect of the effects of globalization. And developing countries, like the Philippines, are almost unversally negative about it, seeing globalization as a tool of neo-colonialism and resulting in the oppression of, especially, workers and their families.
Our goal in this “trialogue” has been to learn from one another’s perspective and, even more importantly, to see what the Church and especially “catholic” (universal, global) churches might have to contribute to such a world. And how our full communion relationships, lived out in Europe, the Philippines and the US can influence, and are influenced by, globalization.
The first meeting in 2006 was held in Europe, the second in New York, and our final one will be held in Manila. We hope to publish the papers from these discussions as well as summary statements, the first two of which are called “The St. Andrew’s Statement” and “The Good Shepherd Statement.”
More on what I learn in due course…