World Council of Churches

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

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JWG with the Roman Catholic Church

Among those churches which are not members of the WCC, the most notable is the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Since 1965 a Joint Working Group, co-sponsored by the WCC and the RCC, has met regularly to discuss issues of common interest and promote cooperation.
JWG with the Roman Catholic Church

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the PCPCU, and WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit

Among those churches which are not members of the WCC, the most notable is the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Since 1965 a Joint Working Group (JWG), co-sponsored by the WCC and the RCC, has met regularly to discuss issues of common interest and promote cooperation. Plenary meetings are held annually; an executive group meets twice in between. The JWG's two co-secretaries from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the WCC help to coordinate contact between the WCC and the departments (or dicasteries) of the Vatican.

The JWG is a worldwide working group with regional and local input. The WCC's participation consists of 10 members and consultants representing the WCC constituency (church traditions, confessions, regions, population categories such as ordained, lay women and men, youth). An equal number of persons are nominated by the PCPCU. The JWG provides the space where the parent bodies discuss important topics affecting their relationships, and where their representatives share the experiences of their churches and constituencies with the Roman Catholic parishes on the local level.

Studies are carried out either by members of the JWG, or by experts from the parent bodies invited by the JWG. The agenda of the JWG touches several areas of WCC programmatic activities, such as the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, doctrinal issues, issues related to mission, justice, peace and reconciliation, ecumenical formation and youth.

Though the Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC, it is a full member of the Faith & Order Commission. The RCC also serves the team on mission and unity in a consultative capacity. The RCC sponsors a faculty appointment and spiritual support at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute. Through the Pontifical Council for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue, the RCC works with the WCC team on interreligious dialogue and cooperation.

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