Unification News For January 1996
Rev. and Mrs. Moon in Toronto, Canada - December 7, 1995
by Franco Famularo - Montreal, Canada
Reverend Sun Myung Moon spoke to an audience of 1000 people in Toronto, Canada on December 7, 1995. It was his 60th public speech and Canada was the 36th country he spoke in, during 1995. The speech was held at the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto.
Canada was not on the original tour schedule, however, due to the complications experienced in Europe, Rev. Moon decided to make Canada the final stop of his tour.
We in Canada first heard of this only 2 weeks prior to the scheduled speech, November 22. The visit was Rev. and Mrs. Moon's 9th to Canada. Rev. Moon visited Canada in 1965, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1987, 1988, 1991 (twice) and Mrs. Moon came in 1993 by herself. Mrs. Moon accompanied Rev. Moon on each of the previous visits other than in 1965. This was nevertheless, Rev. Moon's first public appearance in Canada.
Before beginning to read his speech, Rev. Moon extemporaneously explained that Canada is in a role to mediate between Europe and the United States. He said that if Canada sticks with him, it will become the number one country in the world and indeed surpass the United States. The Toronto Star, Canada's most widely read daily newspaper, reported this in a story on December 8. (Indeed the Toronto Star article mentioned this point twice.) He further stated that his hope is for Canada to help mediate the Unification of Protestant North America and Catholic South America.
Rev. Moon read his speech in Korean and Peter Kim read the translation in English. Rev. Moon was very vigorous and spoke with much enthusiasm, as was Peter Kim's translation. The speech lasted for just over one hour including translation.
One of our main concerns was Rev. Moon's entry into the country. With the help of a Canadian immigration lawyer and the help of fellow Canadian Unificationist lawyer (now in D.C.), Bruce Casino, Rev. Moon could enter Canada without any problem.
The entire program went well. I'm sure there were some problems, but nothing serious. (I might have a biased view since I was the MC). The program was all put together at the last minute. Someone once said we should change the name of our church to the "Church of the Last Minute", I'd say the "Last Second." For example, we did not have musical presentations in place till the day before the event.
We had a United Church of Canada minister, Reverend Lindsay King, offer the invocation. This was followed by Robert Huang, a cello player originally from China, who performed The Swan by Saint Saens. We then had Wen Zhang sing "O Lord Most Holy" followed by Judi Beagan who sang "Ave Maria".
Rev. Dr. Petro Bilaniuk introduced Rev. Moon. He is a professor at the University of Toronto and Mitred Archpriest of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He has been a friend of the Unification Movement for the past twenty years. He holds 4 doctorates, speaks 12 languages and has written 13 books and over 200 articles in 5 languages. He is one of very few scholars to be awarded the Einstein Award.
In his introduction to Rev. Moon he said, that it was an ennobling experience for him to introduce an extraordinary man like Rev. Moon. He related how he was initially attracted to our movement because of Rev. Moon's teaching about Communism and how recent history clearly shows that Rev. Moon's teaching was indeed prophetic. He concluded his introduction by saying that this was the crowning point of his association with Rev. Moon, to be able to introduce Rev. Moon in Toronto, in what has become his hometown. [The text of his introduction is appended to the end of this report.]
At the conclusion of the speech, Rev. Moon was awarded the George F. Hixson medallion, the highest award given by Kiwanis International for public service. This was presented by Daniel Stringer who is the Lieutenant Governor of Division 13 of Eastern Canada and the Caribbean for Kiwanis International. He was also awarded a plaque by Rev. Ugo Monaco, a minister of the United Church of Canada, on behalf of the Interdenominational Conferences for the Clergy. Finally, he was given the Indian head dress, the highest honor bestowed on anyone in the native tradition, by a representative of a native Canadian tribe, Anita Wells, who attended the 360,000 blessing. As the MC mentioned in his introductory remarks, "Toronto" is a Huron word for "meeting place." What better place to bestow the Indian headdress than Toronto.
At the conclusion of the program, Rev. and Mrs. Moon appeared on the stage together to receive the awards and a floral presentation given by Dionisiye and Christina Tadin.
To give you a glimpse of what Rev. Moon's schedule was like during his stay in Canada I would like to share the following: Rev. and Mrs. Moon arrived at Pearson International Airport in Toronto at around 2:30 p.m. on December 7. After being driven to the hotel and having time to freshen up, they met with various leaders which included Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Rev. Joong Hyun Pak, Rev. Ahn, Rev. Oyamada, Rev. Chang and Mr. Joo of the Washington Times. After a quick dinner, it was almost time to begin the program. Immediately after his speech, Rev. Moon spent a little more than one hour teaching Mrs. Moon's high school classmate and her husband who live in Canada. Mrs. Moon always makes a point of making contact with her old classmate when she visits Canada.
After having spoken with their guests at length about the Divine Principle, Rev. Moon then addressed a gathering of the general membership. It began with the traditional cutting of the victory cake, after which he spoke till 2:30 a.m. about his favorite topics - true love, the love palace and the intimate relationship between man and woman in marriage. He was clearly enthusiastic about the subject.
It was a very joyous meeting and Rev. Moon was clearly happy. We concluded with several songs and Rev. Moon himself sang the last song.
Rev. Moon hardly slept. Early the following morning, he spent the whole of breakfast teaching Mother's high school friend and her husband. He did so, almost without eating, till the time he departed for the airport. (The husband of Mrs. Moon's classmate was amazed at Rev. Moon's vigor and stamina in spite of his 75 years of age and the grueling schedule he had endured during the world tour.)
Introduction by Dr. Petro B Bilianiuk
Rev. Dr. Bilianiuk is professor of theology and religious studies at the University of St. Michael's College and the University of Toronto. He is also Mitred Archpriest of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He holds 4 PhDs, is the author of 13 books and over 200 articles in 5 languages. He speaks 12 languages. He is also president of the Coalition for Religious Freedom and Justice as well as the President of the Canadian branch of the Professors World Peace Academy.
It is an ennobling experience for me to introduce to you a rather extraordinary man. My first encounter with the work of Reverend Sun Myung Moon came in 1975, when I became involved in his Victory over Communism campaign. The following year, I had the pleasure of seeing Rev. Moon in person for the first time, when he spoke to a gathering of over 300,000 people, in Washington D.C. Since then, I have had numerous occasion s to meet him personally and witness his many initiatives, especially through my participation in conferences such as the International Conference for the Unity of the Sciences, the God Conferences and the meetings of the Professor's World Peace Academy.
My academic specialty is in the field of theology. As a student of religion for more than 40 years, I can attest to the fact that in Rev. Moon we have a many who is truly guided by God. Furthermore, I am personally inspired by the fact that he has been driven by this profound relationship to commit his entire life to the healing of the broken heart of God and the family of humankind.
For a student of religion like myself, who, for the most part, studies such people only through historical inquiry, it is a rare opportunity to encounter one in person. People like Francis of Assisi, Ignatius Loyola or Martin Luther overcame great obstacles in their lives to fulfill their religious visions. For people like ourselves it might be difficult to understand the mentality of such an individual, but I find placing him in a historical context to be helpful. And so for a great religious leader to be misunderstood and persecuted in his time, indeed to be ahead of his time, is not unusual.
As a victim of Soviet communism in the Ukraine, I was encouraged by his understanding of the amoral nature of Marxism Leninism. At a time when most of the western world was being duped by the Soviet lie, Rev. Moon's message was a lonely cry in the wilderness. He understood the godless nature of communism and his was the loudest religious voice in the world to denounce its dehumanizing effect on the family of man. Subsequent history has proven to me the prophetic qualities of Rev. Moon's message.
After my initial involvement with Rev. Moon's International Federation for Victory over Communism, I was introduced to the Professor's World Peace Academy. The organization is comprised of academics who believe that a worldwide community of scholars can make significant contributions to the search for peace. In 1983, in conjunction with the Professors Academy, I had the opportunity to tour throughout South Korea with Rev. Moon as he proclaimed his vision of true love within the context of the family. I began to realize that not only was he a man of vision, but also one committed to action. You can see why it became clear to me that Rev. Moon was not an ordinary religious leader.
I have had the honor of touring many world cities with the Professor's World Peace Academy through participation at conferences in Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Britain, the United States to name a few, presenting papers and leading discussion groups. Indeed the Professor's Academy asked me to give a presentation on the "Future of Canada" which I did in August of 1992.
I have always appreciated Rev. Moon's concern for the world, not only from a spiritual perspective, but also for his genuine commitment to learning and academic excellence. And so it is for me tonight, perhaps the crowning point of my long association with Rev. Moon and the fruits of his vision to be able to introduce him to you here in Toronto, in what has become my hometown.
Because of his great commitment to family, to spiritual values and an ethical lifestyle, it is easy for me to commend Rev. Moon to you. He has a vision not only for the entire world, but also I know of his specific love and commitment to Canada.
Please join me by opening your hearts in welcoming a great man of God -- the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
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