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Pope in Geneva: Tveit (WCC), “a sign of hope in a broken and divided world”

 

“A sign of hope for all who long for unity, peace and justice in a broken and divided world”. This is how the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Olaf Fykse Tveit, called the visit that Pope Francis will make to Geneva on 21 June to mark the 70th anniversary of the body that brings together 348 Protestant, Lutheran, Anglican and Orthodox Churches. The theme for the visit, whose official programme is yet to be released, is: “Walking, praying and working together”. Many initiatives have been planned: “We have made arrangements to ensure that the members of the Central Committee can be present during the Papal visit”, Tveit said at a press conference in the Vatican Press Office today. As for the health of ecumenical dialogue, the WCC general secretary cited the work of the Joint Working Group, which at the present time has “a very important common agenda”. “We can no longer focus on what divides us, we should rather seek what unites us”, he commented: “The world needs our common Christian witness”. The World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam in 1948 and represents over 500 million Christians worldwide. The Catholic Church participates as an “Observer” and is a full member of the Commission on “Faith and Order”. The priorities and goals of the body are to walk towards the visible unity of the Church and to be an instrument of reconciliation in the world. While the bulk of the WCC’s founding churches were European and North American, today most member churches are in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and Oceania.

 

 

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