DAILY CATHOLIC FRI-SAT-SUN December 4-6, 1998 vol. 9, no. 236
NEWS & VIEWS
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OPENS MEETING AMID CONTROVERSY
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
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
NEWS & VIEWS