FEAR or FAITH? FRIGHT or FLIGHT?
Welcome Eagles to the New Crusade!
Will thou help defend the Fortress of Faith?

TradCatKnight- MOST VIEWED & FOLLOWED Traditional Catholic APOSTOLATE Worldwide!
As Seen on: Gloria.tv, SpiritDaily, Shoebat, Canon212, VeteransToday, Beforeitsnews & many other notable websites
BOOKMARK us & check in DAILY for the latest Endtimes News!
Welcome to my Nest. #EagleoftheFortress
WEBSITE OWNERS: Don't Forget To Add Us On Your Page!
ALEXA- TOP 30K WEBSITE WORLDWIDE

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Antipope Francis the FreeMason: In Show Of Unity, He Marks 500th Anniversary Of Protestant Reformation

Francis the FreeMason: In Show Of Unity, He Marks 500th Anniversary Of Protestant Reformation
Comprehensive blog on all the latest happenings from Sweden...
How do people not see we are on the verge of the arrival of the False Prophet and the solidifcation of the One World Religion?

Pope Francis arrived in Sweden on Monday for services marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation that split Lutherans and Catholics.
He arrived in the southern city of Malmo, and is scheduled to attend an event with leaders of the Lutheran World Federation on Monday afternoon. He will also lead a service at a Lutheran Cathedral in the city of Lund, and a Mass at the arena in Malmo on Tuesday.
Sweden is a secular, majority-Lutheran country. Some 72 million people belong to the Lutheran church worldwide, according to the Lutheran World Federation. The Vatican estimates about 1.2 billion people have been baptized in the Catholic church.


According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis told the magazine La Civilta Cattolica that he hopes the trip will encourage Lutherans and Catholics to support each other, especially in places where Christians of different denominations are persecuted together.
NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports that the trip is "in keeping with his efforts to reach out to other branches of Christianity — like the Russian Orthodox Church — and other faiths, including Islam and Judaism."
While the pontiff's visit to Sweden is only for two days, it kicks off a yearlong commemoration of the Protestant Reformation.
And if you don't know the story of the Reformation, Sylvia has you covered for the basics:
"It was the year 1517 when the German monk Martin Luther pinned his 95 Theses to the door of his Catholic church, denouncing the Catholic sale of indulgences — pardons for sins — and questioning papal authority. That led to his excommunication and the start of the Protestant Reformation.
"The Catholic Church reacted with the Counter Reformation, and mutual enmity led to decades of religious wars that devastated central Europe.
...
"The animosity and resentments left by the Reformation only began to heal after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, with the start of an ecumenical dialogue aimed at promoting Christian unity.
"There are still some doctrinal disputes. But Pope Francis says that while theologians iron out their differences, the two churches can work together on social issues like caring for the poor, migrants and refugees, and combating persecution of Christians."



Sylvia also notes that, in the spirit of reconciliation, Pope Francis went so far as to praise Martin Luther as a great reformer. Luther was long deemed a heretic by the Catholic church.
Still, differences in theology and ritual remain between the two churches. The Lutheran church allows women to serve as pastors, while the Catholic church does not permit women as priests, and the two churches have historically different relationships to the papacy itself.


How do these people still have the nerve to call themselves Catholic?

Catholic and Lutheran Churches pledge to work for shared Eucharist

Pope Francis hugs Rev. Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, as Lutheran Archbishop Ante Jackelen, Primate of the Church of Sweden, is seen in the background at right, during an ecumenical prayer at Lund's Lutheran Cathedral, in Sweden, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
At the conclusion of a historic ecumenical celebration in Lund, Sweden, Pope Francis and the general-secretary of the world's Lutheran churches agreed to work together for a shared Eucharist.
Pope Francis and the global Lutheran leader have jointly pledged to remove the obstacles to full unity between their Churches, leading eventually to shared Eucharist.
They made the commitment in a joint statement signed before a congregation of Catholic and Lutheran leaders at the conclusion of a joint service in Lund, Sweden, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation.
The statement was signed by Pope Francis and Bishop Munib Younan, who is president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), which was founded in Lund in 1947. After they finished signing, the congregation stood for a long round of applause as the two leaders hugged each other.
The two leaders appeared to single out married couples where one partner is Catholic and the other Lutheran. “Many members of our communities yearn to receive the Eucharist at one table, as the concrete expression of full unity,” they noted.
“We experience the pain of those who share their whole lives, but cannot share God’s redeeming presence at the Eucharistic table,” they said, adding: “We acknowledge our joint pastoral responsibility to respond to the spiritual thirst and hunger of our people to be one in Christ.”
“We long for this wound in the Body of Christ to be healed,” they continued. “This is the goal of our ecumenical endeavors, which we wish to advance, also by renewing our commitment to theological dialogue.”
In their statement, the leaders acknowledged that “Lutherans and Catholics have wounded the visible unity of the Church.”
“Theological differences were accompanied by prejudice and conflicts, and religion was instrumentalized for political ends,” they said, adding later: “Today, we hear God’s command to set aside all conflict. We recognize that we are freed by grace to move towards the communion to which God continually calls us.”
As well as pledging to work towards intercommunion, the leaders prayed that Catholics and Lutherans will be able to witness together to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and work for justice and peace.
“We urge Lutherans and Catholics to work together to welcome the stranger, to come to the aid of those forced to flee because of war and persecution, and to defend the rights of refugees and those who seek asylum,” they said, adding that their “joint service” must also extend to God’s creation.
“We recognize the right of future generations to enjoy God’s world in all its potential and beauty,” they continued. “We pray for a change of hearts and minds that leads to a loving and responsible way to care for creation.”
The Pope and Lutheran leader ended by calling on their respective parishes and communities to be “bold and creative, joyful and hopeful in their commitment to continue the great journey ahead of us.”
They concluded: “Rooted in Christ and witnessing to him, we renew our determination to be faithful heralds of God’s boundless love for all humanity.”


 Francis: Catholics and Lutherans are asked to star in the revolution of tenderness

The trip to Sweden was an ecumenical journey in which Lutherans and Catholics proved that what they have in common is much more important than that which separates them.

Look how he was received in Malmö Arena, after traveling there in an electric car. The number two in command from the Lutheran World Federation summed up the spirit of this meeting between Christians.

REV. MARTIN JUNGE
Secretary, The Lutheran World Federation
"During the common prayer, we have committed to leave past conflict behind us and move forward by embracing God's call to unity. We have repented for wrongdoings of the past. We have prayed for the healing of wounds and clouded memories, and we have affirmed our commitment to common witness.”

The pope listened to intense testimonies of collaboration between Catholics and Lutherans from many different places. 

PRANITA BISWASI 
India
"We cannot change the climate but we can change the system, so let us refirm ourselves as one to build a one better and peaceful world for all.”

MSGR. HÉCTOR GAVIRIA 
Director of Caritas (Colombia)
"One of the worst massacres in Colombia took place in 2002 in a territory in the tropical rainforest, when the community sought refuge in a chapel when an improvised bomb exploded  killing more than one hundred people.”

MARGUERITE BARANKITSE 
Burundi
"As a mother, as a Christian, I decided I refused this situation, and I decided to create in 1993 an association, Maison Shalom, House of Peace, to welcome all those suffering children.”

ROSE LOKONYEN 
Olympic Refugee Team (South Sudan) 
"As a refugee, it does not mean you are not a human being. When we were taken to Brazil, I was selected as flag bearer to represent 65 million refugees in the world. As a refugee you are just a human being like the others. Refugees should be treated as equally as others.”

MSGR. ANTOINE AUDO
Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo (Syria)
"Christians of the world, Muslims between East and West, people of good will, do not leave our beloved Syria to be destroyed and fragmented.”

The president of the Lutheran World Federation explained that this historic meeting sends a strong message to the world.

BISHOP MUNIB A. YOUNAN
President, Lutheran World Federation
"When religious people work for unity and reconciliation, religion can promote the flourishing of  human communities. This is the reason we commit ourselves to say, 'No more  xenophobia, no more hatred in the name of religion.'"

The Lutheran leader himself is a Palestinian refugee, and he knows the consequences of war. Hence, his words were part of his strong advocacy to persuade governments around the world to favor the weakest.

BISHOP MUNIB A. YOUNAN
President, Lutheran World Federation
"Set aside political interests and work not only for the dignity of your own nation but the dignity of every child of God in this world."

Pope Francis also was touched by the testimonies from different climate migrants, displaced persons and war refugees. As such, he made a request to the world.

POPE FRANCIS
"I would like to thank all those governments that assist refugees, displaced persons and asylum-seekers. For everything done to help these persons in need of protection is a great gesture of solidarity and a recognition of their dignity.” 

The pope recalled that Lutherans and Catholics are called to revolutionize the world and they can do it together.

POPE FRANCIS
"For us Christians, it is a priority to go out and meet the outcasts and the marginalized of our world, and to make felt the tender and merciful love of God, who rejects no one and accepts everyone. To us, the Christians of today, we are asked to be the stars in this revolution of tenderness."

One step further in this revolution, and in the approach of Catholics and Lutherans, was an agreement signed together during the meeting to help victims of war, natural disasters and poverty. With their signatures, Caritas Internationalis and the Lutheran World Federation main humanitarian organization commit themselves to cooperate from now on.

Before concluding, there was a special prayer for peace in Syria and then the pope and the Lutheran Secretary General gave a joint blessing.

It was a meeting full of strong gestures and words that represent a new milestone along the path of reconciliation among Catholics and Lutherans.

 

Joint Statement on the occasion of the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation

Joint statament on the occasion of the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation

Lund, 31 October 2016


«Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me» (John 15:4).

With thankful hearts

With this Joint Statement, we express joyful gratitude to God for this moment of common prayer in the Cathedral of Lund, as we begin the year commemorating the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. Fifty years of sustained and fruitful ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans have helped us to overcome many differences, and have deepened our mutual understanding and trust. At the same time, we have drawn closer to one another through joint service to our neighbours – often in circumstances of suffering and persecution. Through dialogue and shared witness we are no longer strangers. Rather, we have learned that what unites us is greater than what divides us.

Moving from conflict to communion

While we are profoundly thankful for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation, we also confess and lament before Christ that Lutherans and Catholics have wounded the visible unity of the Church. Theological differences were accompanied by prejudice and conflicts, and religion was instrumentalized for political ends. Our common faith in Jesus Christ and our baptism demand of us a daily conversion, by which we cast off the historical disagreements and conflicts that impede the ministry of reconciliation. While the past cannot be changed, what is remembered and how it is remembered can be transformed. We pray for the healing of our wounds and of the memories that cloud our view of one another. We emphatically reject all hatred and violence, past and present, especially that expressed in the name of religion. Today, we hear God’s command to set aside all conflict. We recognize that we are freed by grace to move towards the communion to which God continually calls us.

Our commitment to common witness

As we move beyond those episodes in history that burden us, we pledge to witness together to God’s merciful grace, made visible in the crucified and risen Christ. Aware that the way we relate to one another shapes our witness to the Gospel, we commit ourselves to further growth in communion rooted in Baptism, as we seek to remove the remaining obstacles that hinder us from attaining full unity. Christ desires that we be one, so that the world may believe (cf. John 17:21).

Many members of our communities yearn to receive the Eucharist at one table, as the concrete expression of full unity. We experience the pain of those who share their whole lives, but cannot share God’s redeeming presence at the Eucharistic table. We acknowledge our joint pastoral responsibility to respond to the spiritual thirst and hunger of our people to be one in Christ. We long for this wound in the Body of Christ to be healed. This is the goal of our ecumenical endeavours, which we wish to advance, also by renewing our commitment to theological dialogue.

We pray to God that Catholics and Lutherans will be able to witness together to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, inviting humanity to hear and receive the good news of God’s redeeming action. We pray to God for inspiration, encouragement and strength so that we may stand together in service, upholding human dignity and rights, especially for the poor, working for justice, and rejecting all forms of violence. God summons us to be close to all those who yearn for dignity, justice, peace and reconciliation. Today in particular, we raise our voices for an end to the violence and extremism which affect so many countries and communities, and countless sisters and brothers in Christ. We urge Lutherans and Catholics to work together to welcome the stranger, to come to the aid of those forced to flee because of war and persecution, and to defend the rights of refugees and those who seek asylum.

More than ever before, we realize that our joint service in this world must extend to God’s creation, which suffers exploitation and the effects of insatiable greed. We recognize the right of future generations to enjoy God’s world in all its potential and beauty. We pray for a change of hearts and minds that leads to a loving and responsible way to care for creation.

One in Christ

On this auspicious occasion, we express our gratitude to our brothers and sisters representing the various Christian World Communions and Fellowships who are present and join us in prayer. As we recommit ourselves to move from conflict to communion, we do so as part of the one Body of Christ, into which we are incorporated through Baptism. We invite our ecumenical partners to remind us of our commitments and to encourage us. We ask them to continue to pray for us, to walk with us, to support us in living out the prayerful commitments we express today.

Calling upon Catholics and Lutherans worldwide

We call upon all Lutheran and Catholic parishes and communities to be bold and creative, joyful and hopeful in their commitment to continue the great journey ahead of us. Rather than conflicts of the past, God’s gift of unity among us shall guide cooperation and deepen our solidarity. By drawing close in faith to Christ, by praying together, by listening to one another, by living Christ’s love in our relationships, we, Catholics and Lutherans, open ourselves to the power of the Triune God. Rooted in Christ and witnessing to him, we renew our determination to be faithful heralds of God’s boundless love for all humanity.
You have just been Oprah'd...

the commemoration of Martin Luther’s Revolt




 the official logo of the trip



“Good morning to all of you. I thank you for your company and for your work. This voyage is an important one because it is an ecclesial voyage, very ecclesial in the ecumenical sphere. Your work will help many people to understand it, so that people can understand it well. Thank you very much.”
— Francis aboard the flight from Rome to Malmö —


Lutheran ‘bishop’ Munib Younan, earlier this year, presents Francis with cross at the Vatican after a meeting.  This cross is to become the official logo of Francis’ trip to Sweden.


 Lutheran ‘bishop’ Munib Younan and Francis after signing the ‘Official Joint Statement
on the occasion of the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation’


Francis and female Lutheran ‘bishop’ Antje Jackelén admire the official logo.



Getting the party started at the Lutheran Cathedral of Lund

 

“Abide in me as I abide in you” (Jn 15:4). These words, spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper, allow us to peer into the heart of Christ just before his ultimate sacrifice on the cross. We can feel his heart beating with love for us and his desire for the unity of all who believe in him. He tells us that he is the true vine and that we are the branches, that just as he is one with the Father, so we must be one with him if we wish to bear fruit.
Here in Lund, at this prayer service, we wish to manifest our shared desire to remain one with Christ, so that we may have life. We ask him, “Lord, help us by your grace to be more closely united to you and thus, together, to bear a more effective witness of faith, hope and love”. This is also a moment to thank God for the efforts of our many brothers and sisters from different ecclesial communities who refused to be resigned to division, but instead kept alive the hope of reconciliation among all who believe in the one Lord.
As Catholics and Lutherans, we have undertaken a common journey of reconciliation. Now, in the context of the commemoration of the Reformation of 1517, we have a new opportunity to accept a common path, one that has taken shape over the past fifty years in the ecumenical dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church. Nor can we be resigned to the division and distance that our separation has created between us. We have the opportunity to mend a critical moment of our history by moving beyond the controversies and disagreements that have often prevented us from understanding one another.
Jesus tells us that the Father is the “vinedresser” (cf. v. 1) who tends and prunes the vine in order to make it bear more fruit (cf. v. 2). The Father is constantly concerned for our relationship with Jesus, to see if we are truly one with him (cf. v. 4). He watches over us, and his gaze of love inspires us to purify our past and to work in the present to bring about the future of unity that he so greatly desires.
We too must look with love and honesty at our past, recognizing error and seeking forgiveness, for God alone is our judge. We ought to recognize with the same honesty and love that our division distanced us from the primordial intuition of God’s people, who naturally yearn to be one, and that it was perpetuated historically by the powerful of this world rather than the faithful people, which always and everywhere needs to be guided surely and lovingly by its Good Shepherd. Certainly, there was a sincere will on the part of both sides to profess and uphold the true faith, but at the same time we realize that we closed in on ourselves out of fear or bias with regard to the faith which others profess with a different accent and language. As Pope John Paul II said, “We must not allow ourselves to be guided by the intention of setting ourselves up as judges of history but solely by the motive of understanding better what happened and of becoming messengers of truth” (Letter to Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, President of the Secretariat for Christian Unity, 31 October 1983). God is the vinedresser, who with immense love tends and protects the vine; let us be moved by his watchful gaze. The one thing he desires is for us to abide like living branches in his Son Jesus. With this new look at the past, we do not claim to realize an impracticable correction of what took place, but “to tell that history differently” (LUTHERAN-ROMAN CATHOLIC COMMISSION ON UNITY, From Conflict to Communion, 17 June 2013, 16).
Jesus reminds us: “Apart from me, you can do nothing” (v. 5). He is the one who sustains us and spurs us on to find ways to make our unity ever more visible. Certainly, our separation has been an immense source of suffering and misunderstanding, yet it has also led us to recognize honestly that without him we can do nothing; in this way it has enabled us to understand better some aspects of our faith. With gratitude we acknowledge that the Reformation helped give greater centrality to sacred Scripture in the Church’s life. Through shared hearing of the word of God in the Scriptures, important steps forward have been taken in the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation, whose fiftieth anniversary we are presently celebrating. Let us ask the Lord that his word may keep us united, for it is a source of nourishment and life; without its inspiration we can do nothing.
The spiritual experience of Martin Luther challenges us to remember that apart from God we can do nothing. “How can I get a propitious God?” This is the question that haunted Luther. In effect, the question of a just relationship with God is the decisive question for our lives. As we know, Luther encountered that propitious God in the Good News of Jesus, incarnate, dead and risen. With the concept “by grace alone”, he reminds us that God always takes the initiative, prior to any human response, even as he seeks to awaken that response. The doctrine of justification thus expresses the essence of human existence before God.
Jesus intercedes for us as our mediator before the Father; he asks him that his disciples may be one, “so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). This is what comforts us and inspires us to be one with Jesus, and thus to pray: “Grant us the gift of unity, so that the world may believe in the power of your mercy”. This is the testimony the world expects from us. We Christians will be credible witnesses of mercy to the extent that forgiveness, renewal and reconciliation are daily experienced in our midst. Together we can proclaim and manifest God’s mercy, concretely and joyfully, by upholding and promoting the dignity of every person. Without this service to the world and in the world, Christian faith is incomplete.
As Lutherans and Catholics, we pray together in this Cathedral, conscious that without God we can do nothing. We ask his help, so that we can be living members, abiding in him, ever in need of his grace, so that together we may bring his word to the world, which so greatly needs his tender love and mercy.

Ecumenical event in Malmö Arena in Malmö

I thank God for this joint commemoration of the five-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation.  We remember this anniversary with a renewed spirit and in the recognition that Christian unity is a priority, because we realize that much more unites us than separates us.  The journey we have undertaken to attain that unity is itself a great gift that God gives us.  With his help, today we have gathered here, Lutherans and Catholics, in a spirit of fellowship, to direct our gaze to the one Lord, Jesus Christ.
Our dialogue has helped us to grow in mutual understanding; it has fostered reciprocal trust and confirmed our desire to advance towards full communion.  One of the fruits of this dialogue has been cooperation between different organizations of the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church.  Thanks to this new atmosphere of understanding, Caritas Internationalis and the Lutheran World Federation World Service will today sign a joint agreed statement aimed at developing and strengthening a spirit of cooperation for the promotion of human dignity and social justice.  I warmly greet the members of both organizations; in a world torn by wars and conflicts, they have been, and continue to be, a luminous example of commitment and service to neighbour.  I encourage you to advance along the path of cooperation.
I have listened closely to those who gave the witness talks, how amid so many challenges they daily devote their lives to building a world increasingly responsive to the plan of God, our Father.  Pranita talked about creation.  Clearly, creation itself is a sign of God’s boundless love for us.  Consequently, the gifts of nature can themselves lead us to contemplate God.  I share your concern about the abuses harming our planet, our common home, and causing grave effects on the climate.  As we say in our land, in my land: “In the end, it is the poor who pay for our great festivity”.  As you rightly mentioned, their greatest impact is on those who are most vulnerable and needy; they are forced to emigrate in order to escape the effects of climate change. All of us, and we Christians in particular, are responsible for protecting creation.  Our lifestyle and our actions must always be consistent with our faith.  We are called to cultivate harmony within ourselves and with others, but also with God and with his handiwork.  Pranita, I encourage you to persevere in your commitment on behalf of our common home.  Thank you!
Mgr Héctor Fabio told us of the joint efforts being made by Catholics and Lutherans in Colombia.  It is good to know that Christians are working together to initiate communitarian and social processes of common interest.  I ask you to pray in a special way for that great country, so that, through the cooperation of all, peace, so greatly desired and necessary for a worthy human coexistence, can finally be achieved.  And because the human heart, when it looks to Jesus, knows no limits, may it be a prayer that goes further, embracing all those countries where grave conflicts continue.
Marguerite made us aware of efforts to help children who are victims of atrocities and to work for peace.  This is both admirable and a summons to take seriously the countless situations of vulnerability experienced by so many persons who have no way to speak out.  What you consider a mission has been a seed, a seed that has borne abundant fruit, and today, thanks to that seed, thousands of children can study, grow and enjoy good health.  You invested on the future!  Thank you!  And I am grateful that even now, in exile, you continue to spread a message of peace.  You said that everybody who knows you thinks that what you are doing is crazy.  Of course, it is the craziness of love for God and our neighbour.  We need more of this craziness, illuminated by faith and confidence in God’s providence.  Keep working, and may that voice of hope that you heard at the beginning of your adventure and your investment on the future, continue to move your own heart and the hearts of many young people.
Rose, the youngest, gave us a truly moving testimony.  She was able to profit from the talent God gave her through sport.  Instead of wasting her energy on adverse situations, she found fulfilment in a fruitful life.  While I was listening to your story, I thought of the lives of so many young people who need to hear stories like yours.  I would like everyone to know that they can discover how wonderful it is to be children of God and what privilege it is to be loved and cherished by him.  Rose, I thank you from the heart for your efforts and your commitment to encouraging other young women to go back to school, and for the fact that you pray daily for peace in the young state of South Sudan, which so greatly needs it.
And after hearing these powerful witnesses, which make us think of our own lives and how we respond to situations of need all around us, I would like to thank all those governments that assist refugees, all the governments that help displaced persons and asylum-seekers.  For everything done to help these persons in need of protection is a great gesture of solidarity and a recognition of their dignity.  For us Christians, it is a priority to go out and meet the outcasts – for they are truly cast out of their homelands – and the marginalized of our world, and to make felt the tender and merciful love of God, who rejects no one and accepts everyone.  We Christians are called today to be active players in the revolution of tenderness.
Shortly we will hear the testimony of Bishop Antoine, who lives in Aleppo, a city brought to its knees by war, a place where even the most fundamental rights are treated with contempt and trampled underfoot.  Each day the news tells us about the unspeakable suffering caused by the Syrian conflict, by that conflict in our beloved Syria, which has now lasted more than five years.  In the midst of so much devastation, it is truly heroic that men and women have remained there in order to offer material and spiritual assistance to those in need.  It is admirable too, that you, dear brother Antoine, continue working amid such danger in order to tell us of the tragic situation of the Syrian people.  Every one of them is in our hearts and prayers.  Let us implore the grace of heartfelt conversion for those responsible for the fate of the world, of that region and for all those who are intervening there.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us not become discouraged in the face of adversity.  May the stories, the testimonies we have heard, motivate us and give us new impetus to work ever more closely together.  When we return home, may we bring with us a commitment to make daily gestures of peace and reconciliation, to be valiant and faithful witnesses of Christian hope.  And as we know, hope does not disappoint us! Thank you!

Pope and Lutheran leaders mark 'a new beginning' in Sweden

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis and leaders of the Lutheran World Federation on Monday spent the day together in the Swedish cities of Lund and Malmo, leading thousands of people in a common commemoration of the Protestant Reformation.
Philippa Hitchen is in Sweden following this two day papal visit and takes a closer look at the day’s unprecedented events….

Listen: 

Before leaving on this historic visit to Sweden, Pope Francis spoke in an interview about the goal of Catholics and Lutherans moving closer together, furthering what he calls the ‘culture of encounter’.
He himself had already encountered the Lutheran president, Palestinian Bishop Munib Younan and General Secretary, Chilean theologian Rev Martin Junge, on several occasions in the Vatican. But the event in Lund cathedral on Monday marked a new step in the relationship between their two communions, as they presided together at a deeply symbolic prayer service, asking forgiveness for sins committed against each other in the past and pledging to work and witness closer together in the future.
Catholics and Lutherans from all parts of the globe were gathered in the ancient cathedral, which echoed with music and song in different languages and diverse religious traditions. From a haunting lament in Aramaic, through many of the well-known Taize chants, to a rhythmic song of thanksgiving from Botswana.
The three leaders processed in at the start of the service behind a colourful wooden cross, painted in typical Latin American style. It’s the handiwork of an artist from San Salvador, whose own life has been a journey from the conflict of civil war, in which he lost family members, to his current role of providing work to keep other young men away from the widespread gang culture.
Wearing simple white cassocks and red stoles, the Pope and the Lutheran leaders led the congregation in prayer, before signing a joint statement pledging to continue the journey from conflict to communion, to make sure that Christian divisions are never again exploited and instrumentalised for political ends.
From the sombre setting of the cathedral, the Pope and the Lutheran leaders then travelled together to the nearby city of Malmo, where thousands of cheering young people were waiting inside the local ice hockey arena. The event, organised by Caritas Internationalis and by the Lutheran World Service featured music and testimonies about the way Catholics and Lutherans are working together on some of the most urgent issues of the day, from supporting refugees to combatting climate change, from educating orphans in Africa to promoting peace in Colombia or Syria.
So will today’s encounters really change the world for the better? Yes, I’m sure that in this northern corner of Europe, where the wars of religion raged, an Argentinian pope, a Palestinian bishop and a Chilean theologian have taken a significant step forward towards the goals of healing and reconciliation. Cardinal Koch of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity called it ‘a new beginning’, and surely that is something to celebrate - even if it has taken us five centuries to achieve.