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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis: Catholics and Lutherans must step forward for unity, without grudges


The Pope held a meeting with an ecumenical delegation from the German Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The Protestant bishop greeted the Pope with a strong handshake. Also in attendance were Cardinal Kurt Koch and Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German Episcopal Conference.

Pope Francis recalled the fifth centenary of the Reformation, and said that it is time for Catholics and Protestants to go further in the quest for unity.

"This year of commemoration offers us the opportunity to take a step forward, looking at the past without resentment but according to Christ and in communion with Him."

He also explained that the reformers wanted to renew the Church, but the result ended in a tragic division. To overcome it, the pope suggested finding the common roots of Catholics and Protestants.

"The rediscovery of the common sources of faith, the strengthening of memory in prayer and in the concrete collaboration in spreading the Gospel, and serving our brothers and sisters serve as a way to act more quickly along the path.” 

Finally, Pope Francis invited the delegation to continue to seek formulas to overcome the division, a situation that harms believers in everyday matters, such as when Christians want to marry different confessions.