[World Council of Churches] Expressing the profound sadness of the World Council of Churches (WCC) following the announcement by the Holy See of the death of His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the WCC acting general secretary, the Rev. Ioan Sauca, stated:
“On behalf of the World Council of Churches, I express our deepest condolences on the passing of late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He was the first pope to have come from a country, Germany, with a roughly equal balance between Protestants and Catholics, and one that had been at the very center of the 16th century Reformation.”
Benedict was also the first pope to have belonged to a committee of the World Council of Churches, as one of the Catholic members of its Faith and Order Commission.
Within a short time of Benedict becoming pope, longstanding grievances that had prevented meetings of the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue commission were swept aside.