Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to meet with the new general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, on Saturday.
Speaking ahead of the meeting at the Vatican, Tveit said he expected to discuss some of the challenges facing the global body of Christ, including ongoing efforts towards church unity and the plight of Christians in the Middle East.
“It is important that we speak honestly in this meeting about the challenges we have,” Tveit said. “There are expectations for the ecumenical movement that have not been fulfilled, and there are tensions arising in and between churches. more >>
While church leaders from across denominations discuss new directions for the 100-year-old ecumenical movement, one conservative Christian believes major changes need to be made in order for there to even be a future.
"Sadly, over the last 50 years, it (the ecumenical movement) has faded into the sidelines and is now largely ignored," said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which monitors mainline denominations and ecumenical groups.
Some 400 people from various mainline Protestant churches and Catholic and Orthodox traditions opened a celebratory gathering on Tuesday in New Orleans, marking 100 years of the ecumenical or Christian unity movement. more >>
Christian leaders have convened in New Orleans this week to celebrate 100 years of ecumenical cooperation.
More than 400 people from the National Council of Churches and its humanitarian arm, Church World Service, opened the three-day anniversary event on Tuesday with the aim of unifying the church.
"In one sense, this event will be a 'celebration' of modern ecumenism," said NCC General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon in a statement. "But it will also [be] a time for assessing the churches’ failure to receive God’s gift of unity, for anticipating new directions for ecumenism in the 21st Century, and for recommitting ourselves and our churches to the ecumenical calling." more >>
After four days of meeting at the Ecumenical Center, Christian and Muslim leaders issued a statement Thursday announcing their intention to form a joint anti-crisis response working group.
The working group will be mobilized “whenever a crisis threatens to arise in which Christians and Muslims find themselves in conflict,” reads the statement that came out of the international consultation on “Transforming Communities: Christian and Muslims Building a Common Future” that was held in Geneva, Switzerland.
“Religion is often invoked in conflict creation, even when other factors, such as unfair resource allocation, oppression, occupation and injustice, are the real roots of conflict,” they say in the statement. “We must find ways to ‘disengage’ religion from such roles and ‘reengage’ it towards conflict resolution and compassionate justice.” more >>
High-level Christian and Muslim leaders meeting in Geneva to build a “common future” together issued a joint statement Wednesday condemning the deadly attack against the Catholic church in downtown Baghdad.
The leaders attending the consultation on “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslim Building a Common Future” said they “condemn this inhumane act that contradicts all religious teachings, and Middle Eastern culture that enabled people to coexist peacefully for many centuries.”
While the World Council of Churches, which is hosting the consultation, Pope Benedict XVI, and Muslims in Egypt have separately denounced the attack, the joint statement represents the collective voice of all participants at the consultation, including: His Royal Highness, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan; Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Al-Sharif, general secretary of the World Islamic Call Society; the World Council of Churches; and representatives of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant Evangelical and Pentecostal traditions. more >>
Christian and Muslim leaders are gathered in Geneva for a high-level interfaith dialogue on how to build strong and sustainable relationships between the two groups and how the religious communities can use their resources to transform their communities.
The four-day event titled, “Transforming Communities: Christians and Muslims Building a Common Future,” is inspired by the historic 2007 letter by 138 Muslim scholars called, “A Common Word.” Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Al-Sharif, general secretary of the World Islamic Call Society, and His Royal Highness, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan, the initiator of the letter, are attending the event that is being hosted at the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Center.
“The central theme of our conference affirms that dialogue is important but that we also need to address issues of common concern and act together – putting the common good at the heart of our joint initiative so as to promote ‘dialogue in action,” said the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, in his welcome address on Monday. more >>