The Executive Committee of the Joint Working Group (JWG) between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches (WCC) met online on 3 February 2021. The WCC was represented by Metropolitan Nifon of Târgoviște (Romanian Orthodox Church), member of the WCC Central Committee and Co–Moderator of the JWG, Reverend Odair Pedroso Mateus, Interim Deputy Secretary General and Director of Faith and Order, and Dr Vasile Octavian Mihoc, Programme Executive for Ecumenical Relations and Co–Secretary of the JWG. The Catholic Church was represented by Most Reverend Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop Emeritus of Dublin and Co–Moderator of the JWG, Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary of the PCPCU, Monsignor Juan Usma Gómez, Head of the Western Section of the PCPCU, and Reverend Andrzej Choromanski, Co-Secretary of the JWG.
The meeting included prayer time, sharing from the parent bodies, and discussion on current challenges facing the churches during the COVID-19 pandemic. Substantial time was dedicated to the three documents to be presented at the conclusion of the present mandate: the final Report entitled “Walking, Praying and Working Together. An Ecumenical Pilgrimage”, and two studies with recommendations to the churches: “Peace is a Treasure for All – An Ecumenical Reflection on Peace Building in Situations of Conflict and Violence” and “Migrants and Refugees – Ecumenical Challenges and Opportunities”. All three texts are in the phase of final revision and will be presented to the parent bodies after their approval by the next plenary of the JWG scheduled for April 2021. A communiqué was issued at the conclusion of the meeting.
One of the first ecumenical fruits of the Second Vatican Council, the JWG was established in 1965 and since then has fostered significantly the theological dialogue and practical cooperation between the Catholic Church and the member churches of the WCC.