Orthodox Patriarch Affirms Support to Ecumenism and the WCC

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I re-affirmed his commitment to ecumenical dialogues during his meeting with the outgoing general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Konrad Raiser, on Nov. 3.

Expressing his support for the work of the WCC- the world’s largest ecumenical body, the Patriarch appealed to all Christians to avoid any actions that stabilize and legitimize disunity among churches.

"We support the efforts of the World Council of Churches and of all other inter-church and inter-Christian organizations. We consider these organizations not as a kind of unity, but as an opportunity of dialogue and witness to our hope in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God," the patriarch stated.

"Our Church is opposed to every action which tends to stabilize the existing division and to promote methods of unity that deviate from the apostolic ideal without returning to the one faith, one baptism, and the one icon of Christ,” he continued.

The Nov. 29-Dec. 3 meeting marked General Secretary Raiser’s last official visit to a member church before leaving the WCC at the end of 2003. Raiser was accompanied by his wife Dr. Elisabeth Raiser, WCC deputy general secretary Mr Georges Lemopoulos, and the Rev. Sabine Udodesku, executive secretary.

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