The World Council of Churches (WCC) website reports that Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, met in a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican yesterday (December 4, 2010) for nearly a quarter of an hour.
The two church leaders discussed a number of issues, including church unity and the situation of Christians in the Middle East.
Tveit said the pope was very interested in how the WCC will work with "our theological issues, and how we also strengthen the work of visible unity between the churches."
The WCC has 349 member churches -- mostly Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Churches -- that represent more than 550 million Christians around the world. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC, but it has maintained close contact with the WCC, and has established itself as a partner in helping to steer the modern ecumenical movement.