The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit attended the mass in which Pope Francis, the new pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, was installed on 19 March.
Tveit joined prominent religious and political leaders from around the world at the mass in St Peter's Square, marking the official start of Francis’ papacy.
Ecumenical leaders present at the installation included Bartholomew I, the first Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople to attend a papal installation since the schism of 1054.
Tveit attended the event in order to give a “significant expression of the WCC’s collaboration with the Roman Catholic Church, as well as our mutual commitment to church unity and the ecumenical movement.”
“In close collaboration with Pope Francis, we look forward to building on this positive relationship with the Catholic Church that has been nurtured so carefully in the past,” stated Tveit in his letter to the new pope on 13 March.
Tveit assured Pope Francis of his prayers. “Participating in common prayer to mark the start of Francis’s papacy highlights the ecumenical dimension of our shared spiritual life, the heart of what we share as Christians.”
“Let us use this opportunity to pray for and with Pope Francis to reconfirm that we need one another, to address the challenges of the world in our time,” said Tveit.