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Moral Discernment in the Churches

A Study Document: One of the major challenges in the 21st century is the division that exists between churches – and within churches – over moral issues, divisions that threaten the aim of Faith and Order for visible unity in one faith and one Eucharistic fellowship. This study text does not focus on moral questions per se, but rather on the discernment process. This is a necessary prerequisite for ecumenical dialogue about specific moral issues. To that end, this study identifies sources that churches use for moral discernment (cf. §§ 30-48) and articulates some of the causative factors of the disagreements within and between churches over moral issues as a prolegomenon to ecumenical dialogue that seeks unity.

WCC general secretary congratulates new pope

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), has expressed ecumenical greetings and an assurance of continuing engagement with the Roman Catholic Church in the era of its new pontiff, Pope Francis.

WCC launches Faith and Order convergence text

In a World Council of Churches (WCC) governance meeting, The Church: Towards a Common Vision, a convergence text of the Commission on Faith and Order, was officially presented by the WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.

The Church: Towards a Common Vision

What can we say together about the Church of the Triune God in order to grow in communion, to struggle together for justice and peace in the world, and to overcome together our past and present divisions? The Church: Towards a Common Vision a remarkable answer to this question. Produced by theologians from the widest range of Christian traditions and cultures, The Church addresses first the Church’s mission, unity, and its being in the Trinitarian life of God. It then addresses our growth in communion – in apostolic faith, sacramental life, and ministry – as churches called to live in and for the world.

Commission on Faith and Order

Dagmar Heller’s book places baptism in ecumenical perspective

Baptized into Christ: A Guide to the Ecumenical Discussion of Baptism, by theologian Rev. Dr Dagmar Heller of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), was the topic of a book launch and reception on Friday, 11 January at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland.

WCC moderator addresses synod of the Evangelical Church in Germany

“The image of Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg is a powerful symbol for an entire historical process,” said the Rev. Dr Walter Altmann. He said this “process is a theological rediscovery of God's amazing grace, which is to be received in faith for our salvation.”

Metropolitan Gennadios receives honorary fellowship

In recognition of his work for peace, dialogue and Christian witness, the vice-moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee, Metropolitan Prof. Dr Gennadios of Sassima of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, has been awarded an honorary fellowship by the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC).

Central Committee appreciates Faith and Order convergence text

“Faith and Order has a long and significant history in the life of the ecumenical movement. Its two convergence texts, 'Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry' and now 'The Church: Towards a Common Vision', provide our member churches with the necessary theological tools towards the full communion of our common fellowship,” said Metropolitan Prof. Dr Gennadios of Sassima. Metropolitan Gennadios serves as vice-moderator of the WCC Central Committee.

Isabel Apawo Phiri joins WCC as new associate general secretary

African theologian, renowned academic and ecumenist Prof. Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri has joined the World Council of Churches (WCC) as its new associate general secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia. She took on her new position at the WCC headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, this month.

Panel explores muted political stance of Orthodox Christianity

Why has Eastern Orthodoxy not developed a full-throated political theology? Responding to this question, author Dr Pantelis Kalaitzidis offered a spirited critique of Orthodox Christians' approaches to political life and political theology at a launch of his book on 4 July at the World Council of Churches (WCC) headquarters in Geneva.