6-8 May 2019, Warsaw, Poland




The Executive Committee of the Joint Working Group (JWG) between the World Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church met in Warsaw, Poland, from 6 to 8 May 2019 under the leadership of His Eminence Archbishop and Metropolitan Nifon of Târgoviște (Romanian Orthodox Church) and His Excellency Diarmuid Martin, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland. Meeting at the Retreat Center of the Disciples of the Divine Master, the group had an excellent opportunity to learn about the ecclesial and ecumenical situation in Poland. Time was given to sharing about recent activities and ongoing cooperation between the Catholic Church and the WCC. The group also evaluated the progress of its work during the current mandate, especially regarding study documents on Peace Building in Situations of Violence, and on Migrants and Refugees as an Ecumenical Challenge and Opportunity. The Executive prepared the agenda of the forthcoming Plenary of the JWG in September 2019 in Lyon, France. With two years left until the next WCC Assembly, scheduled for September 2021 in Karlsruhe, Germany, which will mark the end of the current JWG mandate, the Executive began to reflect on the Final Report of its activities. The motto of the recent visit of Pope Francis to the WCC and its Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, “Walking, Praying and Working Together” was adopted as the title of the Final Report. It captures very well the spirit of growing cooperation and trust between the WCC and the Catholic Church.

The Executive met with representatives of the Polish Ecumenical Council and the Catholic Church in Poland for a reflection on the ecumenical situation in the country. The group was joined by the Apostolic Nuncio to Poland Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio. Attention was given to mutual recognition of baptism, the successful completion of an ecumenical translation of the Bible, and the joint Message from the Churches in Poland concerning refugees. The Executive was also informed about the activity of the Polish Christian Forum. The meeting ended with a common prayer led by Archbishop Abel of the Polish Orthodox Church and Bishop Andrzej Malicki from the Evangelical Methodist Church.