The World Council of Churches General Secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, has welcomed the appointment of Bishop Kurt Koch as new president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
"We rejoice at the appointment of Bishop Kurt Koch as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity", said Tveit commenting on the news.
"We welcome his appointment and look forward to working with him for the visible unity of the church", he added.
Dr Tveit said that "Bishop Koch is well known for his openness and deep ecumenical commitment. His book 'That all may be one; Ecumenical perspectives' is an excellent summary of the present state of ecumenical dialogue and relations".
"We see in Bishop Koch a reliable partner for all those involved in the ecumenical movement and trust he will continue Cardinal Walter Kasper's emphasis on spiritual ecumenism", Tveit said.
"Bishop Koch has been given a very important responsibility as the call for all Christians to be one comes from Jesus Christ himself", Tveit said. "I wish him much joy in fulfilling this calling, and that God may give him strength."
Currently bishop of the diocese of Basel, Switzerland, Koch has been a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since 2002. He will succeed Kasper, who is retiring, on 1 July.