70th anniversary of international organization that has 348 member churches
The Swiss government announced today that Pope Francis “is expected” in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 21, learned I.MEDIA. As of yet, though, the Holy See Press Office has only said that such a trip is “under consideration.”
According to the Swiss Catholic agency cath.ch and Italian news agency Ansa, the pontiff could visit the World Council of Churches on the trip. The WCC this year celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation.
If he goes to Switzerland, it would be the 10th apostolic trip to Europe. Pope Francis has already visited Albania in 2014, as well as the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. In 2015, he visited Bosnia and Herzegovina, while in 2016, he went to Greece, Armenia, Poland, Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as Sweden. Finally the following year he traveled to Portugal.
The World Council of Churches collaborates with the Vatican each year for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which always concludes on January 25, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
According to the website:
The WCC brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 500 million Christians and including most of the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches. While the bulk of the WCC’s founding churches were European and North American, today most member churches are in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific. There are now 348 member churches.