01/25/2016, 14.58
VATICAN – SWEDEN
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Pope to travel to Sweden in October for "ecumenical commemoration" of 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

The Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation will hold a joint ceremony on 31 October in Lund. The event will include a common worship based on the recently published Catholic-Lutheran “Common Prayer” liturgical guide. This will be followed in 2017 by the 50th anniversary of the international Lutheran-Catholic dialogue, which led to significant ecumenical results, including the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis will travel to Sweden in October of this year to take part in a joint ceremony between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

In a joint press release, the Holy See and the LWF said that the "ecumenical commemoration" will be held in Lund, Sweden, Monday, 31 October 2016. Pope Francis, as well as Bishop Munib A. Younan, and Rev Martin Junge, respectively LWF president and general secretary, will take part in the ceremony.

“The joint ecumenical event will take place in the city of Lund in anticipation of the 500th Reformation anniversary in 2017,” the communiqué said. “It will highlight the solid ecumenical developments between Catholics and Lutherans and the joint gifts received through dialogue. The event will include a common worship based on the recently published Catholic-Lutheran ‘Common Prayer’ liturgical guide.

“The Lund event is part of the reception process of the study document From Conflict to Communion, which was published in 2013, and has since been widely distributed to Lutheran and Catholic communities. The document is the first attempt by both dialogue partners to describe together at international level the history of the Reformation and its intentions.

“Earlier this year, the LWF and [the] PCPCU (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) sent to LWF member churches and Catholic Bishops’ Conferences a jointly prepared ‘Common Prayer’, which is a liturgical guide to help churches commemorate the Reformation anniversary together. It is based on the study document From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017, and features the themes of thanksgiving, repentance and commitment to common witness with the aim of expressing the gifts of the Reformation and asking forgiveness for the division which followed theological disputes.

“The year 2017 will also mark 50 years of the international Lutheran-Catholic dialogue, which has yielded notable ecumenical results, of which most significant is the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ). The JDDJ was signed by the LWF and the Catholic Church in 1999, and affirmed by the World Methodist Council in 2006. The declaration nullified centuries’ old disputes between Catholics and Lutherans over the basic truths of the doctrine of justification, which was at the center of the 16th century Reformation.”

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