Articles From the September 1995 Unification News
Transcending Religious Boundaries
Why did couples of every faith participate in the Blessing on August 25? Until 1992 the Blessing Ceremony was almost exclusively a Unificationist event. However, from the Aug. 25, 1992 ceremony, those of other religious traditions were invited to participate. Some participants shared the following comments:
"We're Catholic, but I feel we promote the same things as Unificationists, which include: world peace, world understanding, and a world more responsive to God. People may say, "What blessing can Rev. Moon give that a Catholic priest can't give?" Well, we need blessing anytime-the more of it, the better. I thought, at first, that this was for the young couples, but how wonderful for my wife and me to renew our marriage commitment." Manuel D. Punzal, Ph.D., Philippines (1995 participant)
"Being able to participate in this big event makes me feel I'm part of a big congress of men and women who are, together, searching for brotherhood, peace and harmony." Stella Maris Punzal, Philippines (1995 participant)
"When I was invited to participate in the Blessing, I felt it was a rare opportunity. My wife insisted that we be blessed by a saintly man like Rev. Sun Myung Moon. It was like being blessed by our own parents. That's the feeling of my heart. This inter-religious blessing is unique in the world. In being blessed, we have an opportunity to pay respect to Rev. Moon. He has been uniting the world, spending thousands of dollars for the world and for helping people to understand one another. he deserves special respect." A Muslim professor of philosophy from the Indian subcontinent (blessed in 1992)
"I have opted to be blessed. On the 25th I will be in Seoul with my husband's picture and he will be in Delhi with my picture. Ridiculous? No...one always needs blessings from God whether He works through a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim or anyone. There is a Sanskrit saying: `The whole globe is one family.' We must care about different nations and people. There is a crisis of human values today in which many people have become empty of meaning, empty of love, tolerance, humility, empathy, nonviolence. We need to build ideal families with faith in God and true relationships of love between one another." Dr. Promilla Kapur, sociologist, counselor, author (Hindu)
"The relationship thing-I have so many friends in the Unification Church, people who have had faith in me, given me opportunities, and who have affected the direction of my scholarship. I wanted to be in the Blessing with them.
"The Blessing is the central ritual of the Unification Church-doing the central ritual with my very good friends was an honor. Beyond that, there was simply an exotic side, a unique side that attracted me. It had a lot of magic to be getting `married' again-and what if we really are married for eternity?" American philosophy teacher and organizational development consultant, 1992 participant, multi- religious
"You can't be too committed as a couple. The Blessing ceremony adds reaffirmation. My husband and I try to do a lot of work in the world. Rev. Moon's couples are committed to each other and to making the world a better place. I have tremendous respect for the couples that go through their matching and then are blessed, for it is difficult to create true relationships. Being part of the group of people who can make that commitment and take the path is something I honor-I am proud to have shared the Blessing with them." Assistant professor from America, Christian background
"Some people have theological boundaries. This Blessing goes beyond theological boundaries. After all, God created all religions. Roadblocks between religions aren't from God.
"In my country's tradition, relatives monitor who will be the best match for you-it is a communal act. Rev. and Mrs. Moon are like parents who have the authority to bless just as parents do in my native tradition. This Blessing is unique, it's not meant just for the individual family but for the whole bloodline." Professor of religion, Anglican from Africa
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