More than thirty participants attended the annual Conference of the Secretaries of Christian World Communions (CS/CWCs) that took place online from 12–14 October 2021. The Catholic Church was represented by Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, assisted by Reverend Andrzej Choromanski, staff member responsible for multilateral relations.
The meeting was chaired by Reverend Gretchen Castle (Friends World Committee for Consultation), with Reverend Dr Ganoune Diop (General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists) acting as secretary. Each day opened with a prayer led by one of the participants. Time was allocated daily to the presentation of the reports from various communions. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the life of churches and ecumenical relations was the most discussed topic. The participants reflected on how anti-COVID-19 measures had created an unprecedented challenge for Christian communions worldwide, limiting the access of the faithful to regular pastoral care and necessitating the use of modern technologies, with churches developing new forms of pastoral ministry and ecumenical life. With the help of the vaccine churches are seeking to return to their usual pastoral activities but due to unequal access to this remedy the situation varies significantly following geographical regions.
Christian World Communions is the term commonly used to describe the globally organized churches or families of churches with common theological and historical roots, confessions, or structure. Since 1957, with a few exceptions, the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions has met annually. The Conference is not an organisation with programmatic aims but a forum that gathers the general secretaries of these bodies as well as representatives of some global ecumenical organisations for exchange of information, mutual learning and fostering of fraternal relationships among their churches. During the executive session Reverend César García from the Colombian Mennonite Church was elected as the new chairman for the term of two years.