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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis listens to indigenous Sámi, who share their story

Every year, around January, an ecumenical delegation from Finland travels to Rome on pilgrimage. The event brings together Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox.

This year, the president, a Lutheran bishop, brought a delegation of Sámi, indigenous people from Lapland. He gave the Pope a bible written in their language and told them that this indigenous community has been hurt by attempts to strip them of their culture and language.

This matter is at the heart of a truth and reconciliation process underway in Finland.

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
“...aim at hearing the indigenous narratives and seek through and reconciliation on the painful issues of the past. The Church will, without a doubt, have a role in this process.”

"May God accompany you on the path of reconciliation and of the healing of memory, and make all Christians free and decided in the sincere search for the truth."

The Pope reminded those present about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and he asked that different religious confessions help one another.

"We walk like brothers and sisters toward a communion that each time is more complete. Let us help each other mutually, on our ecumenical pilgrimage, to grow closer and closer to God."

The Pope also talked about the two upcoming anniversaries for all Christians.

The year 2025 will mark 1,700 years since the Council of Nicea, which officially recognized Jesus as “true God from true God, begotten, not made.” They are beliefs that unite Christians.

And 2030 will mark 500 years since the production of the Augsburg Confession, which sought to prevent the Protestant division.