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Pope Francis in Sweden: in Lund, “we must look at our past, recognize error and seek forgiveness”

“We too must look with love and honesty at our past, recognizing error and seeking forgiveness, for God alone is our judge”. Pope Francis asked for forgiveness for the error of disunity and distance that Catholics and Lutherans have made in these 500 years of division. “We ought to recognize with the same honesty and love – the Pontiff said, speaking at the common prayer service in Lund Cathedral – that our division distanced us from the primordial intuition of God’s people, who naturally yearn to be one, and that it was perpetuated historically by the powerful of this world rather than the faithful people, which always and everywhere needs to be guided surely and lovingly by its Good Shepherd”. Certainly, “there was a sincere will on the part of both sides to profess and uphold the true faith, but at the same time we realize that we closed in on ourselves out of fear or bias with regard to the faith which others profess with a different accent and language”. Hence an exhortation: “Let us be moved by his watchful gaze. The one thing he desires is for us to abide like living branches in his Son Jesus. With this new look at the past, we do not claim to realize an impracticable correction of what took place, but ‘to tell that history differently’”.

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