During a meeting of the Joint Working Group between the World Council of Churches and the Catholic Church, from September 12th to 15th, 2017, at Lisbon, peace-building and the care of migrants have been at the top of the agenda. The meeting included an encounter with leaders of the local churches and a visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. The main focus of discussions included the role of culture, religion and dialogue in peacebuilding and the challenges and opportunities for ecumenical cooperation in support of migrants and refugees.

On the vital work of peace-building, the group acknowledged that culture, religion and even dialogue can be misused to spark violence and conflict and that is why there is a growing awareness among faith communities of the need to build on successful examples of ecumenical cooperation and to strengthen the witness of the Churches for a just peace.

The dialogue group was established in 1965 and presently consists of 20 members, was hosted by the Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and supported by the Portuguese Bishops’ ecumenical commission.