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Pope Francis to travel to Geneva in June to visit World Council of Churches

Pope Francis will travel to Geneva in June to visit the World Council of Churches, the world institution most active in promoting unity among Christians. The Vatican made the announcement during this press conference. 

General Secretary, World Council of Churches

“We invited Pope Francis because this 70th anniversary of the WCC is a moment, a milestone in our history to say, actually we have worked and walked a long way, the 70 years, and the relationship to the Roman Catholic Church have become a more and more significant part of this pilgrimage.”

Presidente, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

“There's a good and grand collaboration between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches. The pope wants to thank them for this joint work and deepen the search for new paths in the future.”

The visit will take place on Thursday, June 21. The pope will arrive in Geneva in the morning and meet with officials from the country. Although the Holy Father will celebrate a Mass for Catholics, he wants the most important moment of his trip to be the visit to the World Council of Churches. 

General Secretary, World Council of Churches

“Now it has 348 member churches, most of the Orthodox Churches, and many of the main line Protestant and Anglican churches, Lutheran, Reformed, Methodist, Baptist. It is a vital fellowship in terms of geting together in assemblies every eight years, but also through working our programs, where we work for a theological, deep understanding of our Christian faith, about the Church, but also on mission, on interfaith and interreligious activities and work to promote peace and justice in the world.”

The theme of the visit sums up the central idea of the encounter: “Walking – Praying – Working Together.” It's Pope Francis' philosophy, not allowing theological differences among Christians to impede them from working together for good causes.