Cardinal Kasper & Catholicos Aram I in Geneva next

 — Nov. 9, 20059 nov. 2005


Forty years after they set out on an ecumenical journey together, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) are celebrating their joint anniversary with a public event at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on 17 November, and reflecting on the renewal of ecumenism in the 21st century.

The public event begins at 16:00, and will be preceded by a press conference (see below).

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia will welcome guests and public to the event, while the co-moderator of the Joint Working Group (JWG) between the RCC and the WCC, Archbishop Mario Conti, will introduce the two bodies’ common journey of faith.

PCPCU president Walter Cardinal Kasper and WCC central committee moderator Catholicos Aram I (Armenian Apostolic Church, See of Cilicia) will then share their analysis and views on the role and mandate of the JWG and the ways in which it can promote the renewal of ecumenism in the 21st century.

In his address, Kasper will spell out his vision of the new challenges that the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council should address together if they want to be more effective. In turn, Aram I will affirm that collaboration in face of new challenges needs to move from reflection to reception in local churches.

Formed in 1965, following the Second Vatican Council, the JWG is a consultative body charged with initiating, evaluating and sustaining the many forms of collaboration between its two parent bodies.

The JWG’s contribution to ecumenism over the coming decades will also be the focus of an 18-19 November consultation at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute involving the JWG executive group and a few former JWG members.

Press conference

Before the event, Cardinal Kasper and Catholicos Aram I will meet media representatives at a press conference scheduled at 15:00. Journalists planning to attend the press conference should contact the WCC media relations office in advance (see contact details below).

Additional information on the work of the JWG between 1999-2005, as well as collaborative efforts between the offices and programmes of the WCC and the PCPCU over the same period are available on the WCC website at:

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