WCC Statement on Gaza

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22 July 2014

The World Council of Churches is deeply saddened and gravely concerned by the continued escalation of the military operations in Gaza, human devastation on every side, and the disproportionately high number of Palestinian civilian casualties, including women and children.

As well as the Israeli strikes against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza, the Council condemns the indiscriminate firing of rockets against Israeli civilian targets by Hamas and  the positioning of rocket launchers in close proximity to civilian populations.

The Council appeals to all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. The indiscriminate and disproportionate killing of civilians in the context of an armed conflict is strictly prohibited by international humanitarian law. Continue reading “WCC Statement on Gaza”

Malkhaz Songulashvili – Tales of Canterbury – 5 – Unpleasant Surprises (UPDATE)

Orthodox delegates at Canterburry
Orthodox delegates, with Russian Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, at Canterburry
(Rev. Patrick Irwin, Priest of the Anglican Church in Bucharest is also in this picture)

I loved every minute I spent in the crypt but it would be dishonest of me if I do not tell you of a couple of rather unpleasant experiences as well. They did not necessarily cast any shadow over the atmosphere in the crypt, but reminded me that we still live in the world which is divided and politicised.

This is the first nasty tale of my time in the crypt. The Russian delegation arrived in the crypt a little bit late. By that time I was already robed and ready for the procession. The Russian delegation was led by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev whom I had known from my early visit to Oxford in 1990s. He was a doctoral student and we ate together at Tamara Grdzelidze’s place who was also a doctoral student from Georgia. Both Tamara and Hilarion were Metropolitan Kallistos’s students. Since that time Hilarion has became a leading hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church and I had became the Archbishop of the Georgia EBC.

Our relationship had changed. The Russian invasion of Georgia made us political enemies. Hilarion had avoided contact and talks with me at every European ecumenical gathering. Despite this I decided to go and greet him as warmly as I could. Now in the presence of all the clergy from the rest of world I was embarrassed by him. I greeted him in Russian and Georgian (he knows some Georgian) and gave him a fraternal embrace. He stood back with an ossified face. Continue reading “Malkhaz Songulashvili – Tales of Canterbury – 5 – Unpleasant Surprises (UPDATE)”

Statement by the WCC General Secretary on Palestinian Statehood


Olav Fykse Tveit in Jerusalem

The World Council of Churches and member churches around the world have pursued peace with justice for both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples for decades. Like much of the international community, we are now watching to see if peace and justice will be served in how the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly process the application of Palestine to become a full member state of the UN.

This request must be considered in the light of numerous resolutions passed at the UN Security Council and General Assembly, supporting a two-state solution. They are the basis for a peace not yet established in a conflict which is also constantly influencing other conflicts in the world. It is now a unique opportunity for the UN to take important decisions to fulfil its role and mandate according to the UN Charter, to make peace with justice prevail between Israelis and Palestinians, and with their neighbours. Continue reading “Statement by the WCC General Secretary on Palestinian Statehood”

The Cross as a Sign of Reformation and Unity

(Source, WCC)

Keynote Address on the 175th Anniversary of the Reformation of the Mar Thoma Church

20 August 2011

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary

Introduction

Your Eminence Most Rev. Dr Philipose Mar Chrisostem Valiaya Metropolitan,
Your Eminence Most Rev. Dr Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan,
Honorable Bishops, Clergy,
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

1.    I bring greetings to you from the World Council of Churches. I greet you on behalf of the millions of Christian brothers and sisters who belong to the 349 member churches of the WCC in more than 100 countries across the world.

I am truly delighted to be here with you this afternoon and it is a great joy to visit your country, especially this beautiful land Kerala which you call “God’s own country”. Moreover, it is a great joy and privilege for me to be at this historic event of the 175th anniversary celebrations of the Reformation in the Malankara Church. This is my first visit to India, and this is a marvelous occasion to come to India and to this particular part of the country. Continue reading “The Cross as a Sign of Reformation and Unity”

Sermon for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

It is a joy, and it is also our duty, to come together to pray for the unity of the church. We are delighted to welcome the churches of Geneva to this service of worship and celebration in the chapel of the Ecumenical Centre.

There is an experience of fellowship which teaches us unity.
There is a humility in prayer which opens up the way for peace.
There is a simplicity in sharing which brings about reconciliation.
There is an openness in learning which brings about change.
There is a joy in breaking bread which brings about justice.

The churches in today’s Jerusalem invite Christians throughout the world to read, reflect and pray on this challenging and beautiful passage from the Acts of the Apostles. Continue reading “Sermon for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit”

WCC and Pentecostals need each other, WCC general secretary says

“Among the many challenges that we face in the search for Christian unity is the need to overcome divisions and prejudices that exclude one another,” Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) said Wednesday, 24 August to the 22nd Pentecostal World Conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

In his greeting – the first ever offered by a WCC general secretary to a Pentecostal World Conference – Tveit highlighted the hope that comes with being invited to the conference and spoke of his personal experience with Pentecostal churches. Continue reading “WCC and Pentecostals need each other, WCC general secretary says”

WEA and WCC leaders meet

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and Rev. Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) met on 3 March, at the Ecumenical Center in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss common concerns around Christian unity. Continue reading “WEA and WCC leaders meet”