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Pope jokes in ecumenical meeting: Who is better - Catholics or Lutherans?

2016-10-13

The pope met in the Vatican with this group of Catholics and German Lutherans who have traveled to Rome together.

The pope had the scarf for Catholic pilgrims, and it was symbolically tied to the one worn by Lutherans, so he wore both at the same time. Later, the pope held this funny dialogue with them, where they tried to trip him up with "trick questions."

POPE FRANCIS
"The question reads: Who do you think the great reformers are?"
"I think the greatest reformers of the Church are the saints who hear the word of God and act on it."

A German theology student asked him about what  he likes and does not like about the Lutheran Church. 

POPE FRANCIS
"I really like the good Lutherans, the Lutherans who follow the true faith of Jesus Christ."
"However, I do not like lukewarm Catholics and I do not like lukewarm Lutherans."

The pope's proposal was for Catholics and Lutherans to understand each other better and to support theological dialogue by helping those in need together through charitable works and prayers.

Afterwards, he bade them farewell with a joke.

POPE FRANCIS
"I also want to ask you a question."
"Who is better: Lutherans or Catholics?"
"It is better when they are together.”

The surprising meeting ended in much applause when he said that despite the issues that divide them, deep down Lutherans and Catholics are already united, because they are all Christians.

One important element of this meeting is the anticipation of the spirit with which Pope Francis will travel to Sweden in late October, for the start of the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.


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