“We debated how we can strengthen the work of visible unity between the churches”.
This is a comment by Olav Fykse Tveit, who had an audience with the Pope in the Vatican on Saturday. His comment is published on the website of World Council of Churches (WCC).
The two church leaders discussed a number issues including visible church unity and the situation of Christians in the Middle East. ”We had a very open and friendly conversation,” Tveit said after the audience.
Pope Benedict also “expressed his interest in how we are now developing and planning for the work we are going to do in the future”. He has himself been involved in our Commission on Faith and Order, so he knows a very important dimension of our work very well.
As theologian and Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI was part of the WCC Faith & Order Commission in the early 1970s.
Tveit said the pope was very interested in how the WCC will work with “our theological issues, and how we also strengthen the work of visible unity between the churches”.
According to Tveit, Pope Benedict said taking the approach of allowing the Bible to be a centerpiece in theological discourse and reflection was one way of strengthening visible Christian unity. This was the first meeting between the two since Tveit assumed the role of WCC general secretary in January of this year.
It was also Tveit’s second visit to the Vatican this year. The Roman Catholic Church participates in several WCC activities, including the Faith and Order Commission, the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism and the Joint Commission of the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church.
Catholic representatives provide input for the planning of the 10th WCC Assembly in Busan, Korea in 2013. From Tveit’s perspective, having the Catholic Church become a member of the WCC is not a pressing or urgent issue.
Tveit said that he and Pope Benedict emphasized in their conversation that there are many levels at which the WCC and Roman Catholic Church cooperate.
“How can we strengthen the already strong cooperation we have?” Tveit said he asked Pope Benedict. “It is a strong cooperation in commissions, but it is also a cooperation that is going on every day,” he said.
The two also talked about how they can support Christianity in the Middle East.
“We realized that the number of Christians are diminishing, particularly in the context of Iraq where they are fleeing from the country and their ongoing conflict,” Tveit said.
But also we talked about the situation in Israel and Palestine. And the churches there need to have “a united witness,” he continued.
“I mentioned the great importance of the Roman Catholic Church there and how it is also contributing to the one ecumenical voice in Jerusalem,” he said.
This coming January the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity theme materials have been collected by the Christian leaders in Jerusalem through a joint effort of the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
“It is in itself an important ecumenical initiative to strengthen the visibility of the churches in the Holy Land,” Tveit said of the Week of Prayer theme.
“I hope this week can really become where we see, as Christians around the world, that the Christians in the Holy Land are not there only to steward museums, they are living stones, they are living witnesses of the message of Christ in a very difficult reality, but in the same place as Christ lived and died and was resurrected.”
A “visible unity” and “daily corporation”. This seems to be an assembly of the wicked.
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers.
Olav Fykse Tveit should take a deeper look at the skull and bones files on this blog.
Can someone who knows Him, please give him a wake-up call?
Fykse Tveit was knighted earlier this year. Please take a look.
In regards to the claimed “one ecumenical voice in Jerusalem”, there is only one thing to say.
The Bible speaks about two voices in Jerusalem in the end. On of the final antichrist, and one of Jesus the Messiah.
Fykse Tveit seems to be ending up listening to the wrong voice that will haunt and destroy his soul.