WCC leader gives Pope gloves to warm relations

ROME (ENInews) — The head of the World Council of Churches in his first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI has said he wants to strengthen cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church.

Olav Fykse Tveit, told journalists in Rome there had been a “a very open and friendly” conversation. He noted that at the meeting, he and Pope Benedict had stressed that there are many levels at which the WCC and Roman Catholic Church already cooperate.

The WCC leader said he had presented to the pontiff a pair of Norwegian woolen gloves “because in winter they protect well from the cold. So, in this time, which, according to some people is an ecumenical winter, they are as a symbol of the possibility to go ahead, despite the difficulties, and to continue patiently our work for Christian unity.”

The Pope showed great interest in how the WCC will “strengthen the work of visible unity between the churches,” Tveit said. “He emphasized in a very kind and also a very strong way the importance of the World Council of Churches’ work and the ministry I am called to do as general secretary.”