WCC welcomes Pope's 'challenging and inviting' message

By agency reporter
December 2, 2013

The recent Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis concerning the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world has stirred interest and appreciation from the World Council of Churches (WCC) as a "challenging and inviting document".

“The Apostolic Exhortation is more than simply conveying the message of the Synod on evangelisation, but addresses the need for the renewal of the church at all levels from the perspective of the call to be a missional church,” WCC General Secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, said.

“The tone of the document is open and both challenging and inviting,” he added. “It is really inspiring to read as we now try to implement the mandate from our recent assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea. It provides an inspiring interaction between ecclesiological reflections, missionary perspectives and concerns about economic, ecological justice and peace building as significant missionary dimensions of the church.”

“At the recent WCC 10th assembly in Busan, we too highlighted the need for the renewal of the church both through a new mission statement that speaks of mission being from the margins of society, and the movement of the church and ecumenical movement toward justice and peace,” Tveit said.

Dr Tveit added that he sees parallels between the “pilgrimage of justice and peace” the WCC fellowship of 345 member churches will be embarking on, especially now after the November assembly and the reflections of Pope Francis.

In January 2014, WCC staff will continue their reflection and study of the Apostolic Exhortation through a special day of staff discussions dedicated to the document. The WCC and Vatican have continued to work closely with one another during the past several decades through the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical association of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

* Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, 2013: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents...

* Together Towards Life: Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-commissions/mission-...

* Official website of the WCC 10th Assembly: http://wcc2013.info/en

* More information on cooperation between the WCC and the Vatican: https://www.oikoumene.org/en/what-we-do/jwg-with-roman-catholic-church

[Ekk/3]

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