01 September 2022, 21:32
World Council of Churches refuses to isolate Russian Orthodox Church delegation at its assembly
Moscow, September 1, Interfax - Reverend Ioan Sauca, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, has assured the delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate at the assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Karlsruhe that it will not be discriminated against in any way.
At the opening ceremony of the assembly on Wednesday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier made accusations against the Russian Orthodox Church over its position on Ukraine and expressed doubts about whether the Russian Orthodox Church should attend this forum.
In the meantime, the WCC secretary general said at a meeting with a delegation of the Russian Church that the World Council of Churches speaks "the language of faith, not politics" and that this organization is "a site open to everyone."
"The Russian Orthodox Church is a full-fledged part of our brotherhood," he said. Speaking about the current political confrontation associated with the situation in Ukraine, the World Council of Churches general secretary said any isolation of the Russian Orthodox Church delegation at the assembly is "out of the question," the Moscow Patriarchate site said.
Agnes Abuom, moderator of the WCC Central Committee, said the position of the World Council of Churches on the issue of the Russian Orthodox Church's membership in this organization is in line with the decisions of the Central Committee, according to which the WCC should stay an open site for dialogue between all Christians.
Metropolitan Nifon of Targoviste, vice moderator of the WCC Central Committee, told the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church it is important "to be in solidarity with each other, despite all current difficulties."
In his response, Metropolitan Antony, the head of the external church relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, said in his response mankind has experienced many shocks and the political situation has changed many times since the joining of the Moscow Patriarchate of the WCC in 1961. "But we always knew we can unimpededly participate in the work of this major religious forum, whose task is to speak about a Christian message to the world, not about politics," he said.
Addressing the issue of the Ukraine crisis, Metropolitan Antony said the Russian Church is doing everything possible to help those hurt by the conflict. The hierarch said the Church participates in the provision of humanitarian assistance to the regions hurt by the military action and implements large-scale programs to help refugees and prayers for peace are made at every liturgy with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill.
At the end of the meeting, representatives of the WCC administration wished the Russian Church's delegation successful and fruitful work.