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Brief papal meeting with head of World Council of Churches

Catholic World News - December 06, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI met on December 4 with Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), for a discussion of ecumenical affairs.

Although the meeting lasted only 15 minutes, Rev. Tveit reported that he and the Pontiff had a “very open and friendly conversation” about prospects for cooperative work, especially in protecting the Christian presence in the Middle East.

The head of the WCC—who was meeting the Pope for the first time since assuming his current post in January—expressed a keen desire to involve the Vatican in collaborative efforts, saying that “there is a strong commitment in many of our churches for revitalizing the ecumenical agenda.” The Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC, which represents 349 other Christian bodies, but occasionally joins forces with the WCC on particular projects.

Rev. Tveit discloses that he had renewed a standing invitation—issued earlier both to Pope Benedict and to his predecessor John Paul II—to visit WCC headquarters in Switzerland.

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