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Pope Francis in Sweden: in Lund, “we cannot be resigned to division”

We cannot “be resigned to the division and distance that our separation has created between us. We have the opportunity to mend a critical moment of our history by moving beyond the controversies and disagreements that have often prevented us from understanding one another”. Pope Francis made an appeal to work for Christian unity in the homily he delivered today at the Lutheran Cathedral of Lund during a historic common prayer that for the first time brought together Catholics and Lutherans to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. “At this prayer service – the Pope said -, we wish to manifest our shared desire to remain one with Christ, so that we may have life. We ask him, ‘Lord, help us by your grace to be more closely united to you and thus, together, to bear a more effective witness of faith, hope and love’”. The commemoration of the 500 years since the Reformation also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Lutheran-Catholic bilateral dialogue that started in 1967 following the Second Vatican Council. In his homily, the Pontiff recalled the “efforts of our many brothers and sisters from different ecclesial communities who refused to be resigned to division, but instead kept alive the hope of reconciliation among all who believe in the one Lord”. And he went on to say: “As Catholics and Lutherans, we have undertaken a common journey of reconciliation. Now, in the context of the commemoration of the Reformation of 1517, we have a new opportunity to accept a common path, one that has taken shape over the past fifty years in the ecumenical dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church”.

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