On a visit to Romania from 16 to 18 June during which he addressed a meeting of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Faith and Order Commission, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit paid formal visits to Romanian President Klaus Werner Johannis, and Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
The Faith and Order Commission, a delegated forum for inter-church dialogue on matters of theology, the pursuit of Christian unity and combined action in the world, is meeting at the Caraiman Monastery in Romania from 17 to 24 June. Membership of the commission includes representatives of churches that are not WCC member churches, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Assemblies of God.
In his conversation with the Romanian president, Tveit expressed profound appreciation for the role of Romanian Christians in the nation as well as beyond its borders in the international ecumenical movement. President Johannis underlined the role of the churches and religious communities in Romanian society. The role of such communities is a central one, he said.
In an interview with TRINITAS TV, the television network of the Romanian patriarchate, Tveit expressed his gratitude to Patriarch Daniel and his church for important contributions to the WCC, “particularly at this time as host to the Faith and Order Commission, a very significant meeting for the WCC and for the ecumenical movement”.
Commenting on his discussions with the president and patriarch, Tveit observed: “Romania is now developing a very healthy relationship between church and state and society in a democracy of justice and peace.”
He suggested that developments in Romania provide “a very significant contribution to how other churches in other countries can find a way forward” in facing security challenges, migration and other issues relating to religion.
In both meetings, Tveit was accompanied by two Romanian Orthodox companions, Archbishop and Metropolitan Nifon of Targoviste, moderator of the Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the WCC, and Archpriest Dr Daniel Buda of the WCC staff in Geneva.