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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis at Rome's Lutheran church: Both sides must seek forgiveness

When Pope Francis visited Rome's Lutheran church on Sunday, he was greeted with the same enthusiasm he has received on his many trips to Catholic parishes throughout the Eternal City. With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation coming up, the Pope's trip held special significance. The Pope took questions from three people. A nine-year-old boy asked him what he liked most about being Pope. He responded that while the office work isn't enjoyable, he most likes being a pastor. A woman who is married to a Roman Catholic gave testimony about the pain of not being able to take communion with her husband. Another woman who works with refugees asked the Pope how to keep hope. He told her the first step is always prayer, but it doesn't stop there. POPE FRANCIS "And, always with service, the walls will fall by themselves; but our selfishness, our desire for power, always tries to build them.� The Pope didn't neglect to recall tougher times between Catholics and Lutherans. He decried that those who share the same baptism had once persecuted and burned each other alive. POPE FRANCIS "We must ask forgiveness for this, the scandal of division, because everyone, Lutherans and Catholics, we are in this option, without other choices, the option of service, as He has been a servant, the servant of the Lord.� In a prepared text, the Pope described "pillars� for ecumenism: common prayer, a commitment to helping the poor, and theological dialogue. Pope Francis is the third Pope in a row to visit the same church. Pope Benedict XVI came in 2010, and Pope John Paul II did so in 1983. ATO CTV -SV -BN: Up:FV