The Executive Committee of the Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches (WCC) met online on 6 July under the leadership of His Eminence Archbishop and Metropolitan Nifon of Târgoviște, Romanian Orthodox Church, and Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland.
WCC interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca attended the first session of the meeting, which started with an exchange on how different ecclesial contexts are facing the current crisis caused by the coronavirus. Participants acknowledged that the worldwide precautionary measures and ordinances during the lockdown had created a kind of ecumenical solidarity, with churches around the globe experiencing the same challenge of finding new ways to worship and to carry on their missionary and pastoral work.
The group then discussed the final stages of two studies with recommendations to the churches on “Peacebuilding in Situations of Conflict” and “Migrants and Refugees – Ecumenical Challenges and Opportunities.” Participants acknowledged the global relevance of both topics while at the same time confirming the need for the contextualization of both texts in light of the new situation caused by the pandemic.
Given the postponement of the WCC 11th Assembly to 2022 and the related extension of the current mandate of the Joint Working Group, the group reviewed the timetable of future meetings, with the next one to be held online in November 2020, and a plenary planned for spring 2021.