Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul press

Photo: Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul / Press

The general secretary thanked His Beatitude for his warm welcome and hospitality and expressed his wishes for long-term collaboration between the WCC and the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople.

During the meeting, the WCC general secretary emphasized the important role of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church within the fellowship of the worldwide churches, and in the countries with significant Armenian communities. In Istanbul, where more than 50,000 Armenians are living, the Armenian Church gathers the community together in 33 churches and 17 schools, and through different activities delivered in these places of worship and education.

The meeting reflected on the need for Christian unity agreeing that unity is a gift from God that must be received and lived out by churches today.

Pillay stated, “We live in a world of inequalities, injustices, wars, factions, sufferings and violence and the unity of churches is important for us to witness to a broken world.” He added that “the miracle of the WCC is that 352 member churches with such great diversity can still come together and in oneness proclaim Christ’s love to the world. However, unity is not uniformity. Unity is when we can act as one for our common interest for the world that God wants to see.”

The meeting affirmed the need for churches to remain committed to working together and affirmed that the WCC would continue to assist churches in working and acting together to create a better world led by justice, reconciliation, and unity.

 Archbishop Sahak Mashalyan talked as well about the consequences of the devastating earthquake, which took more than 50,000 lives in Turkey. He also referred in details to his visit to the affected areas where the Armenian Church continuously provides help to the people for their basic needs. The general secretary mentioned that ecumenical organizations have responded to the situation and the WCC will organize a solidarity visit very soon to the affected places and continue to pray and seek support for the people who continue to suffer in this tragic situation.

A discussion on the 1700th anniversary of the Nicaea Council in 2025 also took place during the meeting. The archbishop highlighted the importance of the WCCs commemoration of the anniversary, and suggested some significant themes that need to be addressed in depth during the celebrations.

Pillay was accompanied by Dr Ani Ghazaryan Drissi, WCC programme executive for the Faith and Order Commission.