Historic meeting to support the Global Christian Forum

On the journey to overcome internal divisions separating Christians, the top leadership of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF), World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), and the Vatican’s officials for promoting Christian Unity met together for the first time, in a historic meeting on 24 May 2017, spending two days facilitating their support of the Global Christian Forum (GCF). The meeting was organised collaboratively by the WCC and the GCF.

About 25 participants considered the following questions: Where are we on the path of Christian unity in the world church today, two decades after the WCC called for a new forum for encounter and conversation between churches? What does the answer to that question suggest about next steps on the journey of churches towards greater oneness in Christ and the complementary role of each participating church and organization? The meeting was designed to facilitate common reflection on, and response to, these questions articulated in the 2016 evaluation of the relationship between the WCC and the GCF. Continue reading

Meeting of the two co-presidents of the International Commission on Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and the Anglican Churches

On 27 April 2017 took place a meeting of the two co-presidents of the International Commission on Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church, His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and His Excellency Archbishop Richard Clarke, Primate of the Anglican Church of Ireland. The meeting was held in a fraternal and joyful spirit at the headquarters of the Holy Metropolis of Belgium. The meeting was attended by Reverend Dr. John Gibault (Anglican co-secretary of the dialogue) and Archdeacon Philadelphos Kafalis (Metropolis of Belgium).

The purpose of the meeting was to prepare the informal talks between the Anglican Communion and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in London (June 27, 2017), as well as the first preparation of the next International Commission on Theological Dialogue between the Anglican Church and the Orthodox Church Which will take place on the island of Malta (14-21 October 2017). Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch received a delegation from Jesus Celebration 2033

While attending the day dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Orthodox Center of Chambésy (Geneva), the Ecumenical Patriarch  Bartholomew received a delegation from the Secretariat of Jesus Celebration 2033 on 22 April 2017. This project invites churches to come together to celebrate the two thousand years of the death and resurrection of Christ in the year 2033 and to be common witnesses together.

The Ecumenical Patriarch emphasized the centrality of the resurrection in the Orthodox Church: “The resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith. Without it our message is empty. We celebrate Easter with enthusiasm. This feast is the most important in the Orthodox Church, more so than in any other church. The joy of the resurrection dwells in us and we sing it with all creation”. Continue reading

Ecumenical prayer in Egypt for peace and unity

Greek Orthodox Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II, Pope Francis of Rome, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

On 28 April 2017, Church leaders, led by Pope Tawadros II and Pope Francis, were gathered to pray for the people of Egypt, for unity, for peace and justice in St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in Cairo, the chapel next to Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral that was bombed and where 29 people died and 47 were wounded on 11 December 2016.

Inside the small church, each of the eight Christian leaders seated before the congregation, with Pope Francis; Pope Tawadros of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria; Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople; Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa; Patriarch Ibrahim of the Coptic Catholic Church of Alexandria; Anglican Archbishop Mouneer Anis, Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East; Patriarch Gregory III Laham, of Antioch and All the East, and Alexandria and Jerusalem; and Rev. Dr Andrea Zaki, president of the Protestant Community of Egypt, and director of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services. It was perhaps the first time in history that three Popes and an Ecumenical Patriarch participated together in an ecumenical prayer focused on peace in the world.  Continue reading