Central committee of World Council of Churches begins to work in Genève – New Secretary General is Elected
The official representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church upon the invitation of the World Council of Churches participate at the session of the central body of this organization, which is being held from August 26 until September 2, 2009 at the seat of the World Council of Churches in Genève. The representatives which had been chosen, upon the suggestion of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the SOC, at the Assembly of the WCC in Porto Alegre, Brazil 2006, are His Grace Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, the member of the committee for Public Issues, and protopresbyter-staurophor professor Dr Vladan Perishic, the vice dean of the Faculty of the Orthodox Theology of the University of Belgrade, the member of the committee for nominations.
During this session, a student of theology of the Belgrade University, Nemanja Mrdjenovic as a steward joined our official delegates of our Church. He is from the diocese of Australia and New Zealand, who had got this place in an international competition.
The World Council of Churches is a community of 349 Orthodox churches and Anglican and Protestant communities from 120 countries and which represent 560 million Christians from all 6 continents. In his time, Patriarch German of Serbia of blessed repose was one of the vice-presidents of the World Council of Churches. During his mandate a new (present) building of the Faculty of the Orthodox Theology was built thanks to very significant donations of the World Council of Churches.
In modern times, the WCC pleaded with its resolutions before the powerful institutions of this world for our Church and our people in Kosovo and Metohija, and it especially did at the Assembly of the WCC in Porto Alegre in February 2006 as well as at the session of the Central Committee in February 2008 where also in Communiqué on cluster bombs was condemned the use cluster bombs in attacks in 35 countries since the World War Two including ex-Yugoslavia. Also on April 24, 2008 Secretary General of the WCC, Very Reverend Dr Samuel Kobia, on the occasion of the proclamation of independence of the Serbian south province of Kosovo and Metohija, addressed the Holy Synod of Bishops pointing at the determination of the WCC, in cooperation with the Conference of European Churches, to follow vigilantly respect for human rights and religious freedom, and also that they were considering to establish certain measures.
The present sessions is being held during the significant twenty years jubilee (1989-2009): a) dedication with an epistle of September 1 by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I on holding God-given cleaniness of nature; b) fall of the Berlin Wall, which part is being held at the Geneve centre as a gift and obvious sign of gratitude to the Conference of European Churches for their important role in removing this wall. And for us Serbs, this jubilee year represents 620 years since the Battle of Kosovo (1389-2009), and it is of great significance that we participate in Christian alliances which, by protecting us from the isolation, are giving us a great support.
On August 27, 2009 during the session Very Reverend Olav Fykse Tveit was elected for the new Secretary General of the WCC, who has been the Secretary General for ecumenical and international relations of the Norwegian church.