As chairman of this third Assembly of the World’s Religions, may I greet you and welcome you to this holy gathering. May the peace and mercy of the Lord abide with us.

Respected Reverend Sun Myung Moon, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, distinguished fellow participants of this Assembly:

Permit me first to make my humble tribute of gratitude and admiration for the vision and work of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.

I can do that best by testifying first to how I came to the first Assembly in McAfee, New Jersey, as an uninformed skeptic and have now become an ardent admirer of your vision and work. I came against the advice and counsel of my colleagues and friends in the world Council of Churches of which I was at that time a President. They unloaded all their unexamined prejudices onto me. I came largely to find out for myself the truth about your work.

Today I see you as an untiring and inspired worker for some of the principles that I myself hold very dear. I shall highlight only three.

I hold with you, first, that the presence and power of the Transcendent God as the Center, foundation and moving force of all that is good, and thus of all that has free being or existence. At the root of all the problems that face humanity today, I see the ignoring of the Divine Principle at the heart of all reality. We have to wake humanity up from its sloth and slumber, to heed the call to be the bearers of the awareness of that Divine Principle, and to reorganize all life - personal, social and of the biosphere - on the basis of that Divine Principle.

Second, I agree with you that the Divine Principle which heals and unites, is manifold as love, truth and beauty. Love for all, across national, racial, linguistic, religious and other boundaries, love that flows from God through us to all, love that suffers and endures and sacrifices oneself for the sake of others - that love is God. That love seeks not one’s own salvation, promotes not its own religious group, but labors for the healing of all, for the fulfillment of all, for the deliverance of all from ignorance and selfishness, from hatred and greed, from lust and restlessness.

Third I agree with you that these principles have to be put into practice not just enunciated and affirmed. Many of us religious leaders, I confess, have dismally failed at this point, by seeking power and glory, fame and adulation, for oneself or for one’s religious group. You have shown us what it means to work day and night to fulfill the will of God and to make the Transcendent God rule in the lives of all. We have seen how starting with the crucial realm of the family you have sought to bring all Culture in to the obedience of God - Science and religion, the academy and the arts, politics and institutions. What we beheld yesterday at the Olympic Stadium here in Seoul, bears eloquent testimony to your extraordinary powers of vision and organization - an achievement without parallel in history, the Community wedding of 30000 couples from more than a hundred nationalities of the world. You have envisaged and created all these organizations and movements - the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, the Professors World Peace Academy, the IRF the IRFWP, the Women’s Federation  for World Peace, the International Federation for World Peace, the Summit council, the World University Project with Bridgeport University as its base, the Encyclopedia Project, the World Scriptures Project, the Highway Project and many others that I cannot here enumerate.

We salute you, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, as an outstanding, devout, dedicated extraordinary servant of God. God bless you and your family and your work. May God richly reward you and grant you peace and joy all the days of your life. Two days ago, Reverend Moon, you spoke to all of us about your self - understanding - your declaration about who you and Mrs. Moon are: “the True Parents of all humanity. ... the savior, the Lord of the Second Advent, the Messiah”, in your own words, “an astonishing and fearful announcement.”

Those of us who do not belong to the Unification Church, from the various religions, professions and walks of life all around the world, would like to make a preliminary response in two parts, to you the Reverend Moon with the same simplicity and candor with which you have addressed us. We have great respect and admiration for your many monumental achievements for the work of human unity, peace and harmony, and we are privileged to be your fellow workers in this noble cause. We are grateful for what you have done and are doing.

First, we must place on record, with the utmost humility, that we are unable to accept your claim to be “the True Parent of all humanity, the Savior, the Lord of the Second Advent, the Messiah.” By this we mean no disrespect. We want, however, to make it quite clear, that when we work with you for the unity of humanity we stand on our own convictions and traditions, while sharing with you your great vision of God at the center of all, and of an all-embracing love for all humanity.

This is the second part of our preliminary response. We pledge, rooted in our own religious traditions, to work with you for the fulfillment of the will of God, for making God known and acknowledged in all walks of life, so that humanity may find healing, liberation, harmony, justice, peace and a life - promoting environment.

(1992, World Religions Conference)