Catholics and Lutherans agree to bury the hatchet
Celebration of Reformation's anniversary to be held jointly
Martin Luther (picture: Religion News Service)
Lutherans and Catholics have pledged to celebrate together the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017, with both sides agreeing to set aside centuries of hostility and prejudice.
The Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation released a joint document, “From Conflict to Communion,” in Geneva on Monday (June 17) that said there’s little purpose in dredging up centuries-old conflicts.
The publication of Martin Luther’s 95 theses on Oct. 31, 1517, is traditionally celebrated as the birth of the Reformation that split Western Christianity into Catholic and Protestant.
In the document, the two churches recognize that in the age of ecumenism and globalization, the celebration requires a new approach, focusing on a reciprocal admission of guilt and on highlighting the progress made by Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in the past 50 years.
How to observe the landmark split is a sensitive topic in Rome, where some Catholics say there’s nothing to celebrate about a schism. Lutherans, too, are wary of a sense of triumphalism or taking pleasure in another church’s discomfort.
The document re-examines the history of the Reformation and the split it created, stressing that Luther “had no intention of establishing a new church, but was part of a broad and many-faceted desire for reform” within the church.
Source: Religion News Service
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