His Holiness Patriarch Kirill receives Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches
On 10 October 2014, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia received Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC).
They were joined in the meeting, which took place at the Patriarchal residence in St. Daniel’s Monastery, by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), archpriest Mikhail Gundyaev, representative of the Moscow Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches and international organizations in Geneva, and hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations.
His Holiness greeted the high guest and said: ‘I would like to begin our meeting with the talk about the session of the WCC Central Committee that took place in Geneva last July. I looked through the materials and must say that the CC work made a positive impression on me. The theme of peace with justice on which you are focusing is topical. In our attitude to the world, especially to the world of politics, we always underscore on behalf of the Church the necessity to link all peace actions with demands of justice as peace without justice is very fragile. In my recent addresses to my Ukrainian flock I always emphasize the necessity to attain justice for securing genuine peace in Ukraine and to exclude the discrimination of people on the grounds of language, national origin or religious belief.
The participants in the meeting stated the importance of coordinating efforts of the Christian Churches and international Christian organizations for overcoming the crisis in Ukraine and conflict situations in other regions of the world.
Special attention was paid to the dire situation of Christians in the Middles East aggravated by the extremist Islamic State and measures taken by certain Western countries for suppression of this group.
The WCC general secretary believes that while solving the Middle East crisis it is extremely important to take into account the views of local religious leaders and representatives of all ethnic groups. For this, it is necessary to bring the interreligious dialogue to a new level.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill noted that the World Council of Churches could play a key role in this dialogue and in coordination of Christian peace actions.
Certain projects in the field of humanitarian cooperation between the WCC and the Moscow Patriarchate were also discussed.