Five hundred years after the Reformation, Catholic and Lutheran world leaders will worship together, representing a shared shifting of intent: from rift to reconciliation.
The historic service will be co-led by Pope Francis and Lutheran World Federation (LWF) President Rev Dr Munib Younan and General Secretary Rev Dr Martin Junge. It will take place in the Lutheran cathedral in Lund, Sweden, birthplace of the LWF in 1947, on Monday 31 October 2016. The event will signify the commencement of the joint Catholic-Lutheran 500th anniversary of Reformation commemoration, ‘From Conflict to Communion’.
After the service 10,000 people are expected to participate in a public event at the Malmö arena. Proceeds of the ticket sales will support projects of the LWF and Caritas Internationalis assisting Syrian refugees in the Middle East.
‘The LW is approaching the Reformation anniversary in a spirit of ecumenical accountability’, says Dr Junge.
‘I’m carried by the profound conviction that by working towards reconciliation between Lutherans and Catholics, we are working towards justice, peace and reconciliation in a world torn apart by conflict and violence.’
Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, adds: ‘Lutherans and Catholics will have the possibility of an ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation, not simply in a pragmatic way, but in the deep sense of faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ.’
Catholic and Lutheran leaders from around the world will attend the events. The LCA/NZ will be represented by Bishop John Henderson.
The service will be livestreamed, commencing at approximately 6.00 pm AEDST on 31 October 2016. Learn more here.