Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressing the WCC Central Committee.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew addressing the WCC Central Committee.

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I publicly reaffirmed the Ecumenical Patriarchate's commitment to the vision and mission of the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 3 September. He was addressing participants of the WCC Central Committee meeting in Crete, Greece.

“The commitment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the vision and mission of the WCC – from the early formative and creative years through even the more difficult and contentious moments – has always been unwavering and paramount,” said Bartholomew I.

The Ecumenical Patriarch spoke at the Orthodox Academy of Crete in Kolympari, where the WCC Central Committee is currently holding its 60th meeting.

The Central Committee is a primary decision-making body of the WCC. The first such meeting was held following the founding of the WCC in 1948.

In his address, the Ecumenical Patriarch also reflected on the theme for the next assembly of the WCC, “God of life, lead us to justice and peace”. Saying that “life is God's gift to humankind and to all its creation”, he stressed that creation has to “live in the fullness of freedom and in pursuit of justice and peace”.

The WCC 10th Assembly will take place in Busan, Republic of Korea in 2013.

The WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, expressed his admiration for the Ecumenical Patriarch and his support of the council. “We are also pleased that the Central Committee meets here at the beautiful Orthodox Academy of Crete, this precious gem of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that combines theoretical exploration and practical application,” said Tveit.

“This institution has a long, proven record of integrating theological study and ecumenical witness. Your presence here during these days confirms this tradition,” he added.

The WCC Central Committee meeting is hosted by the Orthodox Academy of Crete, a venue provided by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, a founding member of the WCC.

Read the full text of the Ecumenical Patriarch's address (pdf, 81 KB)

Orthodox Academy of Crete hosts major WCC meeting (WCC press release of 28 August 2012)

More information on the Central Committee meeting

High resolution photos are available via