DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     December 4-6, 1998     vol. 9, no. 236

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          HARARE, Zimbabwe (CWNews.com) - The World Council of Churches opened its annual assembly on Thursday amid a controversy that saw a boycott of the opening worship service by many Russian and Greek Orthodox delegates.

          The international body of Protestant and Orthodox churches faces growing tensions because Orthodox members are increasingly dissatisfied by what they see as creeping liberal stances on theological issues, including ordination of women and acceptance of homosexuality. While many Orthodox delegates chose not attend the opening worship service, others -- including Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople -- elected to attend by not lead the service.

          The meeting, which will end on December 14, is expected to address the Orthodox concerns. Contrary to earlier assurances from WCC officials, it seems certain that the homosexual issue will reach the assembly floor, at least obliquely. A message from a pre-assembly women's festival will refer to "human sexuality in all its diversity." Such language was opposed by Orthodox women as well as Protestants from Africa and the Mideast. The disaffected delegates mainly blame Protestants in North America and Europe for the increasingly liberal slant to the organization.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 4-6, 1998       volume 9, no. 236


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