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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Pope Francis: Mending a 500-year rift

Theses Doors in Wittenberg  (Photo by AlterVista)

Because he himself is a reformer, Pope Francis can somewhat relate to Martin Luther.

On this 499th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses, the Pope is visiting Sweden.  He is fostering an historic reconciliation between the Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches.  Acknowledging that there was “corruption in the church, worldliness, attachment to money and power,” Francis recently called Luther “a just and necessary reformer.”

Such conciliatory efforts are certainly in keeping with the Gospel’s call for Christian unity.  The pontiff has also been “the first pope to meet with a patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church since… the Great Schism of 1054.”

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