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In The News


In The News


December 17 - LWF Leader Invites Pope to Plan for Reformation Anniversary

Article: Bridges To Rome

The Lutheran World Federation has invited the pope to work together in preparing for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

In a message Thursday to Pope Benedict XVI, LWF President Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan said the anniversary in 2017 will not only be a time of celebrating the liberating power of the Gospel but also a time to reflect on ecumenical progress.  He called the anniversary a "test case" for ecumenical relations.

"[W]e intend our anniversary to be ecumenically accountable: to recognize both damaging aspects of the Reformation and ecumenical progress since the last major Reformation anniversary," Younan said. "But we cannot achieve this ecumenical accountability on our own, without your help.

"We are called, both Lutherans and Catholics, to our common vocation of witnessing to the world for the sake of Christís kingdom."

As they approach the Reformation anniversary in a few years, Pope Benedict said "Catholics and Lutherans are called to reflect anew on where our journey towards unity has led us and to implore the Lord's guidance and help for the future."

Stressing the progress Lutherans and Catholics have made, Younan expressed joy over the new levels of theological understanding and agreement and noted that "the climate of relations" between the two "has warmed dramatically."

The LWF president reaffirmed to the pope the Lutheran body's commitment to their ecumenical relationship. He also expressed solidarity with the Roman Catholic Church in supporting a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Looking to more progress, Younan said, "While we rejoice in each small step which brings us closer together, we do not want to be content with these steps."


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