The Russian Orthodox Church is obviously very aligned with government in Russia. So we need to really encourage as much dialogue as possible to talk with the Russian Orthodox Church — which we have already been doing. And if, through the processes of dialogue, we come into the end to say, “Listen, we may have to reconsider how the Russian Orthodox Church participates with the WCC,” then that is not thrown out as an option. It has to be considered. But not without exhausting dialogue as much as possible.
What do you wish people understood about the work of the WCC?
(The WCC has) been accused of not playing a role adequately by people in particular given context. … Equally, unfortunately, there are some people — some Christians — who come from a very strong conservative, right-wing kind of approach who see WCC as a political body. They tend to demonize it, as if it’s not ever doing God’s will in the world. That is a total, total misconception.
But I think if they can see that the WCC has been willing to get its hands dirty, willing to talk about the hard issues and willing to actually understand what God is saying to us as Christians, then they will see a new appreciation of the WCC.
This article originally appeared on ReligionNews.com.