The Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), discussed the churches and peacemaking challenges in Moscow with Patriarch Kirill, primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, and with Metropolitan Hilarion, chair of the Russian Orthodox Church’s department of external church relations.
Tveit expressed solidarity with the Russian Orthodox Church, a WCC member church, as it addresses the painful conflict in Ukraine. The patriarch shared their assessment of the situation and the suffering of people there. The two discussed the negative consequences of this conflict on East-West relations in Europe and on how relations between churches and people in Europe and beyond could be strengthen.
Tveit said after his meeting with the patriarch, “It was encouraging that we both now will strengthen the role of the World Council of Churches in the work of justice and peace. I believe that this is the time to meet and talk more, not less, together as churches. Churches are called to counteract and overcome divisions.The churches should strengthen their relations in times of conflict.”
Tveit continued: “The Russian Orthodox Church is an important partner and member of the World Council of Churches. Therefore I asked for a meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow to discuss how we can contribute to peace in Europe. We also discussed the conflict in the Middle East and how we can support the Christian churches in the region.”
For more information: WCC press officer Marianne Ejdersten + 46 70 348 41 59 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org