During their meeting, Pope Francis highlighted that the collaboration between Lutherans and Catholics has grown substantially in recent decades.
"I feel a profound sense of gratitude towards Jesus Christ, for the many steps that have been taken to improve the relationship between Lutherans and Catholics in recent decades. Not only through theological dialogue but also by means of brotherly collaboration in many pastoral fields and, above all, in our commitment to advance in spiritual ecumenism.”
The Pope explained that Catholics and Lutherans can ask for mutual forgiveness for the harm that they have inflicted on one another. He added that more challenges surely lie ahead, but still he said, there's no need to panic.
At the end of their meeting, the General Secretary for the Lutheran World Federation gave the Pope a symbolic gift, to mark the recent incident in Lampedusa, where hundreds of African immigrants drowned.
"I give you this simple teapot from a refugee. Her name is Fatima. She's from Somalia. She fled a refugee camp in Kenya, Dadaab. It's currently the largest refugee camp in the world, with over 400,000 refugees.”
"We're attacked by those who don't accept us, regardless of whether a person is Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox or Coptic. Our blood is not divided.”
The Pope was very moved as he received the gift. He added that it gives a new dimension to ecumenism, which he described as an ecumenism of martyrdom.