From 13 to 17 September 2016, members of the Joint Working Group (JWG) overseen by leaders of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) will meet at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland. Part of the focus for the meeting, is to review relations between the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church.
The JWG is co-moderated by Metropolitan Nifon of Târgoviște (Romanian Orthodox Church), a member of the WCC central and executive committees, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin (Roman Catholic Church), the Primate of Ireland.
The formation of the JWG dates to 1965 and the ecumenical thaw in relationships among Christian traditions encouraged by Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council. In a 50th-anniversary message to the group in 2015, Pope Francis urged the members to “become ever more a ‘think-tank,’ open to all the opportunities and challenges facing the churches today in the mission of accompanying suffering humanity on their path to the kingdom, by imbuing society and culture with gospel truths and values.”
One session in the five-day programme aims to address “cooperation on inter-religious relations, on refugees and migrants, and on justice and peace.” There also will be discussions of Pope Francis’s exhortations Evangelii Gaudium and Amoris Laetitia, and of his encyclical Laudato Sí. Other topics before the group are to include finding doctrinal common ground, world mission and evangelization, marriage and the family, environmental threats to God’s creation, the on-going ecumenical pilgrimage and “building the agenda of the JWG for the coming years.”