Excerpt of Intervention of Professor Dr. Isabel Apawo Phiri, deputy general secretary, World Council of Churches, at the commemoration of the International Day of Families in Geneva, Switzerland, on 14 May 2019.
Unity between churches is what the World Council of Churches stands for, and the fellowship of all 350 churches representing over 500 million Christians in 120 countries. The churches call each other to visible unity in witness and service to the world for a just and peaceful world. The WCC brings together the Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Reformed, Peace, African indigenous and many other churches. It has a working relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and the Pentecostal and Evangelical world bodies, and such cooperation focuses on issues in which we can agree to work together.
The different WCC members have definitions of the family in general; there are some among the members of the WCC that hold to Christian traditional values of family, and then we have others that hold what is called progressive family values. However, what gives us hope in the WCC is that we hold onto prophetic theology and the WCC creates a platform for the members to discuss controversial moral issues. This is possible when working within the framework of the pilgrimage of justice and peace, which the WCC fellowship has embarked on together with its ecumenical partners and people of goodwill. So, as part of our work, we do discuss moral values and how the bible is used to guide our work, despite the differences in interpretation of the scriptures.