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The need for reconciliation between and within the Christian Churches was stressed by Metropolitan Job of Pisidia, speaking during the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches on Christian unity and the common witness of the Churches.
As Metropolitan Job of Pisidia pointed out, “we see a Christian state invading a Christian state as well. We see Christians killing Christians, in Europe. Is this the witness of Christ that we want to give to the world?”
The Metropolitan of Pisidia noted that there must be reconciliation with all of humanity, and with God’s creation.
In the press conference that followed, Metropolitan Job of Pisidia also referred to the question of the exclusion of the Church of Russia from the World Council of Churches.
“Some weeks, some months ago, many were arguing that we should exclude the delegation of the Russian Church from the WCC. We Orthodox are against this. Because if we want reconciliation and dialogue, everyone must be included. For us Orthodox as a family, the World Council of Churches is very important because it is a place where we can meet. We do not meet so often outside the WCC. It is an extremely important place for dialogue, it is the only way we can continue and move forward,” he noted.
He stressed that it is good that the question of unity was highlighted in today’s discussion because “sometimes we forget our purpose. We must discover what separates us. And it is important to know what we have in common.
He acknowledged, however, that many challenges to unity remain, as there are many moral, social and even political questions.
For his part, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury of the Anglican Church, said that in times of crisis like the one we are experiencing, “we need God’s grace. And each other. Whether it’s Ukraine or Isis, Christians are called to be a community.”
He went on to say: “the time when we were alone has passed. We have to take risks. Because the suffering is universal. When we are afflicted, it is because we are Christians, without asking which denomination we belong to. We suffer because we are Christians.”
He noted that in the eyes of God we are one. “It is a failure in these times to be divided. A united Church shares the sufferings of all Churches. This cannot be done when there is an endless division. Not being united makes prayer difficult.”