Ecumenical News International

Lutheran World Federation: the Reformation ceremony with the pope in Lund shows conflict resolution

August 15, 2016

Geneva/Frankfurt a.M. (epd). Martin Junge, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation  (LWF), regards the planned ceremony with the Pope marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation as a good example of conflict resolution. In a world "wounded by violence and wars", the top-level church meeting tells "the story of conflict that can be left behind", Junge stated in Geneva. On 31 October the Lutheran World Federation and Pope Francis intend to pray together in Lund, Sweden, and commemorate the Reformation.

High status of the dialogue

Junge stated that this "Lutheran-Catholic commemoration of the Reformation anniversary" offers a beautiful opportunity "to express the hope we all have in Christ." In a world "of communication breakdowns" the Joint Commemoration testifies to "the worth of dialogue".

Junge announced details on the two parts of the ceremony: in the early afternoon Pope Francis, LWF President Bishop Munib A. Younan, Junge and leaders of the Church of Sweden and the Catholic diocese in Stockholm will hold a liturgy of common prayer with invited guests in Lund Cathedral. The theme is "From conflict to communion - united in hope".

The common prayer service will be broadcast to nearby Malmö Arena. Afterwards, the participants, including Pope Francis, will drive to the arena. The program there will focus on "commitment to common witness and service of Catholics and Lutherans around the world".

Common prayer live streamed on the internet

The arena holds 10,000 people. Tickets for around €13 should be available from early September. In addition, the prayer service and arena event are to be live streamed on the internet. Junge called on Protestant and Catholic congregations all over the world to watch the event together.

Lund was chosen as a venue because the Lutheran World Federation was founded there almost 70 years ago, in 1947. The LWF has over 72 million Christians in 98 countries and the Roman Catholic Church approx 1.3 billion members worldwide. The joint commemoration is intended to underline the significance of 50 years of ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans.

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation goes back to 1517. On 31 October Martin Luther published his 95 Theses against abuses in the church of his time.



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