Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Sweden to mark the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pope Francis in Sweden 2016-webPope Francis travelled to Sweden October 31 to November 1, 2016, to mark the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation during 2017. During his Apostolic Journey, the Holy Father signed a joint statement with Bishop Munib Younan, President of the Lutheran World Federation, which in part states:

“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. Nor can we 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.”

The evening of November 1, as part of an ecumenical event during the Pope’s Apostolic Journey to Sweden, the humanitarian and development agencies of the Catholic and Lutheran communities, Caritas Internationalis and the Lutheran World Federation World Service, signed a Declaration of Intent entitled: “Together in Hope”. The Declaration encourages Catholics and Lutherans to intensify their collaborative and joints efforts — witnessing to the mercy of God in the world, promoting peace, combating climate change, assisting refugees and migrants, and especially working for Christian Churches in the Middle East. This ecumenical celebration was also part of the special day of prayer for peace in Syria.

Link to the joint statement and homily by Pope Francis

Link to Declaration of Intent between Caritas Internationalis and The Lutheran World Federation – World Service

Link to the other texts from the Apostolic Journey

Link to the Lutheran World Federation

Photo: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, pool