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Pope Francis in Sweden: in Lund, “With gratitude we acknowledge that the Reformation helped give greater centrality to Sacred Scripture”

“With gratitude we acknowledge that the Reformation helped give greater centrality to Sacred Scripture in the Church’s life”. Pope Francis addressed these powerful words on the occasion of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation that, for the first time in history, Lutherans and Catholics are commemorating together. Taking the floor during the common prayer service in Lund Cathedral, the Pontiff said: “Certainly, our separation has been an immense source of suffering and misunderstanding, yet it has also led us to recognize honestly that without him we can do nothing; in this way it has enabled us to understand better some aspects of our faith”. “Through shared hearing of the Word of God in the Scriptures – the Pope continued -, important steps forward have been taken in the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation, whose fiftieth anniversary we are presently celebrating. Let us ask the Lord that his Word may keep us united, for it is a source of nourishment and life; without its inspiration we can do nothing”. The Pope then emphasised: “The spiritual experience of Martin Luther challenges us to remember that apart from God we can do nothing. ‘How can I get a propitious God?’ This is the question that haunted Luther”. Luther’s message is indeed the discovery of a “merciful God”. According to the Pope, “this is the testimony the world expects from us. We Christians will be credible witnesses of mercy to the extent that forgiveness, renewal and reconciliation are daily experienced in our midst. Together we can proclaim and manifest God’s mercy, concretely and joyfully, by upholding and promoting the dignity of every person. Without this service to the world and in the world, Christian faith is incomplete”.

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