Pope Francis received the representatives of the World Lutheran Union on June 25. He encouraged the faithful of the Lutheran Christian Church and the Catholic Church to continue on the path from conflict to communion.
(Vatican News Network)On the opportunity to commemorate the 491th anniversary of the “Augsburg Creed”, Pope Francis received representatives of the World Lutheran League in the Vatican on the morning of June 25. In his speech, the Pope emphasized that the visit of representatives of the World Lutheran League to Rome is to “promote unity between us”. The “Augsburg Creed” was originally intended to avoid the division of Western Christianity, and later became the main creed of Lutheran.
The pope first mentioned in his speech that Catholics and Lutheran Protestant believers came together in 1980 to recognize the common belief expressed in the “Augsburg Creed”, the core of which is “one body… one baptism, one God’s declaration.
Therefore, the Pope reflected on these three elements. He started with our common belief, the Trinity of God, and the declaration of this basic belief came from the Council of Nicaea in 325. The Pope stated that the faith in the Holy Trinity is a treasure shared by the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Orthodox Church and many Christian groups. The Pope encourages all Christians to celebrate the 1700th anniversary of the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 2025 as a “new impetus for the journey of Ecumenical Unity.”
Next, the Pope reflected on the “baptism of forgiveness” that unites all Christians. He said: “Holy baptism is the basis for all our Christian communities to strive to achieve complete unity. It is the most basic divine grace. All the processes of overcoming differences, healing the scars of history, and reconciling peace are based on this sacrament.” The Pope encourages the faithful of the Lutheran Church and the Catholic faithful to insist on dialogue, so as to achieve greater unity among the members of the Christian Olympiad.
The Pope continued to reflect on the theme of Christ’s “one body”, and he said that our Christian community was hurt by the division. The pope said: “When we were suffering from the division between Christians, we approached Jesus’ own experience, and he saw that his disciples were still divided and his coat was torn.” The pope said , We experience the suffering of the Lord because we cannot share the same altar, even if we are passionate about seeking Christian unity. The Pope then encouraged everyone to continue the path from conflict to communion with enthusiasm. He said: “It is very important to examine the situation that led to the division with spiritual and theological humility. Although the tragic events of the past cannot be undone, it is still possible to believe that it is possible to reinterpret them as part of the history of Xiuhe.”
Finally, the Pope emphasized that on our path from conflict to communion, Lutheran and Catholic believers are not alone, because “Christ walks with us.”
At the end of his speech, the Pope invited all those present to read the “Sutra of God” and pray together “for the restoration of complete unity between Christians”.
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