08 March 2018
Francis to visit WCC in Geneva
Pope Francis is to make a day trip to Switzerland on 21 June to visit the headquarters of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, where he will join its 70th anniversary celebrations.
The Pope is expected to first pay a courtesy visit to the President of the Swiss Confederation before heading to the ecumenical centre to take part in an ecumenical prayer service and attend a special session of the Council’s central committee. He is due also to celebrate Mass for Catholics in Geneva during the day.
While the Catholic Church is not a member of the Council, it collaborates closely with it, according to Cardinal Kurt Koch, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
“For more than half a century, the relations between the Catholic Church and the WCC can be described as a ‘common journey’ or ‘pilgrimage’,” the Swiss cardinal told a Vatican press conference.
“Despite different visions on some doctrinal, moral or social issues, this ecumenical pilgrimage continues,” he added, sitting next to Revd Olav Fykse Tveit, the WCC Secretary General, who told Vatican News that the Pope’s trip would be “a very special way of affirming these 70 years of working and praying together for the unity of the Church”.
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