World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Press centre / News / 40 years of WCC-Roman Catholic Church collaboration: Aram I and Kasper to address the renewal of ecumenism in 21st century

40 years of WCC-Roman Catholic Church collaboration: Aram I and Kasper to address the renewal of ecumenism in 21st century

09 November 2005

Forty years after they set out on an ecumenical journey together, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) are celebrating their joint anniversary with a public event at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 17 November, and reflecting on the renewal of ecumenism in the 21st century.

The public event begins at 16:00, and will be preceded by a press conference(see below).

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr SamuelKobia will welcome guests and public to the event, while the co-moderator of the Joint Working Group (JWG) between the RCC and the WCC, Archbishop MarioConti, will introduce the two bodies' common journey of faith.

WCC central committee moderator Catholicos Aram I (Armenian Apostolic Church, See of Cilicia) and PCPCU president Walter Cardinal Kasper will then share their analysis and views on the role and mandate of the JWG and the ways in which it can promote the renewal of ecumenism in the 21st century.

In his address, Aram I will affirm that collaboration between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council in face of new challenges needs to move from reflection to reception in local churches. In turn, Kasper will spell out his vision of the new challenges that the Council and the Roman Catholic Church should address together if they want to be more effective.

Formed in 1965, following the Second Vatican Council, the JWG is a consultative body charged with initiating, evaluating and sustaining the many forms of collaboration between its two parent bodies.

Church and ecumenical leaders will gather at an 18-19 November consultation at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute to discuss the JWG's contribution to ecumenism over the coming decades.

<span style="font-weight: bold; "» Press conference

Before the event, Cardinal Kasper and Catholicos Aram I will meet media representatives at a press conference scheduled at 15:00. Journalists planning to attend the press conference should contact the WCC media relations office in advance (see contact details below).

Additional information on the work of the JWG between 1999-2005, as well as collaborative efforts between the offices and programmesof the WCC and the PCPCU over the same period are available on the WCC website at:

wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/ecumenical/8thjointworkinggroup.pdf