The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) is saddened to learn of the death of the Rev. Dr. Emilio Castro, a former general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), at the age of 85.
The Rev. Carlos A. Valle, former WACC General Secretary, noted that Castro encouraged the relationship between WCC and WACC and took part in WACC’s first international Congress on the theme “Communication for Community.”
A WCC communiqué described Castro as a leading ecumenist of the late 20th century who would be “remembered for his unfaltering efforts in bringing together Christian faith and spirituality with radical commitment in the struggles for justice.”
Castro, a Methodist pastor and theologian from Uruguay, served as the WCC general secretary from 1985 to1992. He passed away in Montevideo, Uruguay on 6 April.
The Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, the WCC’s current General Secretary, said: “His personal leadership was crucial for the production ofMission and Evangelism – An Ecumenical Affirmation, considered the most important and comprehensive statement on mission by the World Council of Churches, adopted in 1982 after lengthy discussions with churches all over the world.”
The Rev. Dr. Walter Altmann, the WCC’s Central Committee moderator, said: “Castro was one of the most outstanding ecumenical leaders in Latin America. An eloquent preacher, he could convincingly link the call to mission to social commitment.”
“Emilio Castro was a pastor who carried out multiple ministries characterized by a marked concern for communication.
“He was a renowned speaker who sought to express the Gospel in terms that would reach ordinary people everywhere throughout the world. His extensive work in the World Council of Churches (WCC) took him from director of its Commission on World Mission and Evangelism in 1973 to Secretary General from 1985 to 1992.
“WACC always had a meaningful relationship with the WCC and Dr. Castro encouraged it, strengthening cooperation with its Communications Department. He was the preacher at the opening ceremony of WACC’s first international Congress in Manila, Philippines, in 1989. Later, a letter of agreement to cooperate added to the fraternal relationship between both organizations.
“WACC was present at various moments in the life of the WCC, stressing the importance of our common search for a community in solidarity with itself. We bid farewell to a man who never gave up the struggle, a good friend and a servant who deserves recognition as a genuine communicator.”