The Pope met with an Evangelical-Lutheran delegation, headed by a female bishop. Among the group was a Catholic.
"But very ecumenical.”
The female bishop, Antje Jackelen, serves as the Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden. She addressed the Pope highlighting the achievements both Churches have accomplished in the field of ecumenism.
"We have reasons to highlight some solid ecumenical developments between Catholics and Lutherans. This may not always capture the positive imagination of all experts but they do inspire the ecumenical hopes and dreams of people at parishes.”
It was 50 years ago that a document on Ecumenism, titled Unitatis Redintegratio, was issued. The Pope highlighted that ecumenism is a task for all Christians.
"With this document, it's evident that ecumenism cannot be ignored. All Catholic faithful have to undertake this responsibility, in light of the times, by recognizing the path towards unity to overcome divisions among Christians.”
He then added that Christians of different denominations are not enemies, but brothers and sisters in faith. Furthermore, divisions he said, harm the core mission of evangelization.
"Not only does it openly oppose the will of Christ. It's an open scandal in the world that damages the most Holy of causes: Preaching the Gospel to all people.”
Part of Christian unity, he added, means charity towards those who need it most, especially persecuted Christians.
The Pope thanked the Swedish Lutheran Church for welcoming many South Americans at the height of dictatorships. He also mentioned his admiration for pastor Anders Root, who the Pope said, helped him in his spiritual life.