Joint Working Group with the Roman Catholic Church
Cardinal Walter Kasper and Catholicos Aram I at the 2005 JWG meeting.

Among those churches which are not members of the WCC, the most notable is the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Since 1965 a Joint Working Group (JWG), co-sponsored by the WCC and the RCC, has met regularly to discuss issues of common interest and promote cooperation. Plenary meetings are held annually; an executive group meets twice in between. The director of the WCC programme "The WCC and the ecumenical movement in the 21st Century" serves as co-secretary for the JWG and helps to coordinate contact between the Council and the departments (or dicasteries) of the Vatican through the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU).

The JWG is a worldwide working group with regional and local input. The WCC's participation consists of 17 members and consultants representing the WCC constituency (church traditions, confessions, regions, population categories such as ordained, lay women and men, youth). An equal number of persons are nominated by the PCPCU. The JWG provides the space where the parent bodies discuss important topics affecting their relationships, and where their representatives share the experiences of their churches and constituencies with the Roman Catholic parishes on the local level.

Studies are carried out either by members of the JWG, or by experts from the parent bodies invited by the JWG. The agenda of the JWG touches several areas of WCC programmatic activities, such as doctrinal issues, issues related to mission, justice, peace and reconciliation, ecumenical formation and youth.

Though the Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC, it is a full member of the Faith & Order Commission. The RCC also serves the team on mission and unity in a consultative capacity. The RCC sponsors a faculty appointment and spiritual support at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute. Through the Pontifical Council for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue, the RCC works with the WCC team on interreligious dialogue and cooperation.

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