Mission of orthodoxtimes.com to Karlsruhe
“Although many of you are asking us to expel the delegation of the Russian Church, we have decided that the World Council of Churches is a free space for dialogue, and we need to find a way for them to agree, not disagree.”
The above was stated at the inaugural press conference for the 11th session of the World Council of Churches held in Karlsruhe, Germany, by the General Secretary of WCC, Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Saucă.
As Saucă pointed out, the war between Russia and Ukraine is a “shadow” over the conference.
“We went to Ukraine to ensure that representatives of the Church of Ukraine would come to the Conference. They’ll speak for themselves. We also have a Russian representation. There was a unanimous decision to bring the Russians. Because that’s what the Ecumenical Movement is for, for dialogue, “he said in response to a journalist’s question about the presence of the Russian delegation at the meeting of the World Council of Churches.
“These days, the two delegations (Russian and Ukrainian) will come together. There are political divisions, and there are ecclesiastical divisions. We recognize that. But we have to recognize that here at the WCC we are giving them the opportunity to meet.”
Since the beginning of the 11th Assembly, the World Council of Churches has proved that it remains an instrument of union and mediation, something that it has played in the past, as in the period of apartheid.
For his part, Metropolitan Nifon of the Patriarchate of Romania, vice moderator of the central committee of the WCC, stressed that there are many expectations from this assembly. “Of course, this is a very important meeting of Christians. If you ask me what the greatest expectations are, it is for this general assembly to appease, to contribute to the unity of all Christians.”
Among the panellists for the press conference were Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the WCC central committee; H.E. Metropolitan Prof. Dr Nifon of Targoviste, vice moderator of the WCC central committee; Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, vice moderator of the WCC central committee, WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca; Bishop Petra Bosse-Huber, Evangelical Church in Germany, moderator of the local host committee; Bishop Prof. Dr Heike Springhart, Protestant Church in Baden, moderator of the local host committee; and Dr Frank Mentrup, mayor of Karlsruhe.