This week in history 19 to 25 September

Interfaith Day of Prayer and Healing for victims of 9/11
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September 22, 1973
Day of Hope Wall Street Rally

Having completed his first Day of Hope speaking tour of eight American cities in 1972, True Father mobilized American Unificationists for a more ambitious 21-city Day of Hope tour to begin in New York City’s Carnegie Hall on October 3, 1973. By the end of August, more than four hundred Unificationists gathered to publicize the Day of Hope talks under the theme “Christianity in Crisis: New Hope.”

On September 22, a major rally was staged on the steps of Federal Hall on Wall Street. The New York Daily News carried a large photo and article on the rally. TimeNewsweek and Christianity Today all carried stories on the campaign, and Associated Press religion writer George W. Cornell’s generally positive feature story appeared in 79 newspapers throughout the United States.

September 22, 2001
Interfaith Day of Prayer and Healing for victims of 9/11

More than 1,000 clergy from all faiths attended the Interfaith Prayer Breakfast and Day of Prayer and Healing to offer prayers for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy in New York and Washington, D.C.

True Father had called for a 12,000-couple World Clergy Marriage Blessing Ceremony to take place in New York’s Madison Square Garden on September 22, 2001. It was intended to build upon the Interfaith Marriage Blessing of 60 clergy couples the previous May in which Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was blessed with Korean Unificationist Maria Sung. The tragic events of 9/11 intervened and the clergy Blessing was postponed.

In lieu of the Blessing, an interfaith prayer breakfast brought together more than 1,000 clergy and guests in the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center and an outdoor Day of Prayer and Healing rally took place at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building in Harlem. The rally attracted some 3,000 participants as well as coverage on CNN, CBS and other media outlets.  Forty American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) ministers had counseled police and firefighters at Ground Zero the night before the prayer breakfast and rally and continued to do so in the days that followed.

September 23, 2007
True Father Launches “Substantial Abel” UN

True Father launched the “Substantial” Abel UN at the Manhattan Center.
True Father launched the “Substantial” Abel UN at the Manhattan Center.

In 2000, True Father’s proposal to renew the United Nations through incorporating an interreligious peace council launched the United Nations Providence. The following year, True Father began the Ambassadors for Peace program. In 2003, he established the Interreligious and International Peace Council (IIPC), and in 2005, on the occasion of the UN’s 60th anniversary, he founded the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). The core objective of these combined initiatives was “to work cooperatively with the United Nations and to serve and support that institution as it seeks to fulfill its own global mission.”

Two years later, on September 23, 2007, True Father launched what he termed the “Substantial” Abel UN. Conducted at the Manhattan Center in New York City, the inauguration brought together representatives from 192 nations seated at UN-style conference tables. Flags and regalia added to the atmosphere.

True Father’s keynote address, augmented by extemporaneous comments, lasted three hours. In it, he referred to UPF as “an Abel-type counterpart to the UN” and to the new initiative as the “Peace UN.” He expressed hope that it would “lead the way for millions of Ambassadors for Peace throughout the world … to fulfill the heavenly will of creating ‘One Family under God.’” Finishing at 11:00 p.m., True Father penned an approximately thirty-foot calligraphic message that read, in Chinese characters, “May the Sovereignty of the God of True Love, the Sacred Reign of Peace, Last Forever.” He then struck a giant gong, sealing the evening’s proceedings.

September 24, 2000
Transition of the Three Ages Realm of Oneness Unification Blessing Ceremony

The Transition of the Three Ages Realm of Oneness Unification Blessing Ceremony was held at the Cheongpyeong Heaven and Earth Training Center on September 24, 2000. The ceremony was conducted on the last day of the third workshop for wives’ of the Unification movement.

On this day True Father asked twenty-four Unificationist-born young adults—twelve men and twelve women—to line up and placed a granddaughter in front of one line and a grandson in front of the other and then gave his benediction. He said, “The spiritual and physical worlds, which divided as a result of the Fall, have become one through the victorious realm of the True Parents of Heaven and Earth. Children in the spiritual world and on earth should inherit this and achieve the Registration Blessing with the parents.” (Materials provided by the FFWPU History Compilation Committee)

September 26, 2006
Archbishop Milingo excommunicated by the Vatican

Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo sparked a controversy which reached to the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church when he married Maria Sung in an Interfaith Clergy Marriage Blessing Ceremony conducted by True Parents on May 26, 2001.

Upon an appeal by Pope John Paul II, he renounced the union a few months later and receded from public view for five years before resurfacing dramatically in 2006 to announce that he had rejoined his wife and was launching an independent charismatic ministry, Married Priests Now.

Archbishop Milingo was given a deadline to submit a letter of repentance, which he refused to do. On September 24, 2006, he took the irrevocable step of installing four married men as bishops. Two days later, a Vatican communiqué announced that for this “public act” Archbishop Milingo had incurred automatic excommunication. A Vatican summit, convened by Pope Benedict XVI on November 16, 2006, reaffirmed the church’s position on clerical celibacy.

Source: Sunhak Institute of History, accessed 19/9/21