World Council of Churches responds to misleading media reporting on Ukraine

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Church Relations, visited the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 5 June, 2019, during a visit to Switzerland. In a meeting with Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, he reiterated the position of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church that WCC remains important for the Russian Orthodox Church, which will continue to participate in WCC’s work. The WCC general secretary expressed appreciation for this message. “Your presence here affirms that the Russian Orthodox Church is a part of the WCC’s work for unity and peace”, said Tveit.

Many media have misquoted Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit on Ukraine. Following is the correct position of the WCC:

1. The WCC does not – according to the Ecumenical protocol – interfere or comment on the internal discussions in the Orthodox family about canonical status.

2. The WCC general secretary said nothing new on the WCC positions on the situation in Ukraine.

3. The WCC has one member church with presence in Ukraine: the Russian Orthodox Church.