Students from the World Council of Churches (WCC) Bossey Ecumenical Institute began an 8-day study visit to Rome on 20 January, with a full programme that includes lectures, a tour of the Vatican, and opportunities to interact with leaders from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The study visit opened on 20 January with students attending the release of “Ecumenism in a Time of Pandemic: From Crisis to Opportunity,” a working paper of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, in his remarks on 20 January, shared with students that the heart of the WCC fellowship remains ecumenical spirituality, as the pandemic has revealed or reinforced our shared vulnerability. “The learning from this pandemic has been of our shared vulnerability—and shared fate—as one humanity,” he said.
In the coming week, students will also be involved in interreligious dialogues, visit local holy sites, and attend Sunday mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Altar of the Chair. They will also meet with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and participate in worship for the closing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at Saint Paul Outside the Walls on 25 January.
In the last days of their visit, students will be part of the general audience with Pope Francis, and meet with representatives from the community of Sant’ Egidio.
A thematic quote from the student progamme, taken from the booklet for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022, reads “May our churches continue to shine the light of the gospel with renewed fervor and welcome each other as Christ welcomed us for the glory of God.”
Students will be sharing their reflections on the visit with the wider WCC audience while in Rome and upon their return.