Leadership meeting between the World Council of Churches and the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity

10 May 2023

On 9 May 2023, representatives of the leadership of the World Council of Churches (WCC) visited the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity in order to evaluate the collaboration between the two entities during the period of 2013 (WCC Assembly in Busan, South Korea) – 2022 (WCC Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany), and to discuss their collaboration for the period of 2023-2030 (Karlsruhe to next WCC Assembly).

Among the topics discussed were their ongoing collaboration in the Joint Working Group, the joint preparation of materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Catholic participation in various WCC commissions and programs, and the WCC’s collaboration with different Dicasteries of the Roman Curia and other Catholic organizations.

Special mention was made of Pope Francis’ visit to the WCC and the Bossey Ecumenical Institute in 2018, and the participation of a significant Catholic representation in the WCC 11th Assembly 2022.  These two events were highlighted as important indicators of the developing relationship between the two partners over the past decade. The WCC leadership noted that the Catholic collaborators have contributed significantly to the work of the various WCC commissions and teams, bringing a genuinely Catholic perspective to the issues of contemporary Christianity. While all of the commissions continue to contribute to the progress of the ecumenical movement, the Catholic Church recognizes the particular importance of the work of the Faith and Order Commission, since the resolution of doctrinal divergences is essential to the restoration of full visible unity.

Both parts gave a positive assessment of the past period of collaboration and reaffirmed their will to continue to respond together to Jesus’ prayer that all his followers may be one so that the world may believe (cf. Jn 17, 21).

The WCC was represented by Revd Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay (Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa), General Secretary; Revd Dr Kuzipa Nalwamba (United Church of Zambia), Programme Director for Unity and Mission; Dr Andrej Jeftic (Serbian Orthodox Church), Director of the Faith and Order Commission and Dr Vasile-Octavian Mihoc (Romanian Orthodox Church), Programme Executive for Ecumenical Relations. The DPCU was represented by Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect; Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary; Mons. Juan Usma Gómez, Head of the Western Section; Revd Hyacinthe Destivelle from the Eastern Section and Revd Andrzej Choromanski, responsible for multilateral relations.