The Pope took part in Ecumenical divine service in Sweden in the name of reconciliation of Catholics and Lutherans in honor of the 500th anniversary of the reformation
The head of the Roman Catholic Church Pope Francis arrived on Monday, October 31 a two-day visit to Sweden, in Lund, participated in the Ecumenical service in the Cathedral, which was dedicated to reconciliation and unity among Catholics and Lutherans divided in the result of the reformation in the sixteenth century (wider religious and political movement in Western and Central Europe aimed at reforming the Catholic Christianity according to the Bible).
The last time the Pope visited Sweden in 1989, then visit made by John Paul II.
The service passed in a special prayer book, a specially trained Catholic and Lutheran priests. As reported by Swedish newspaper The Local, worship in addition to religious leaders of the two churches was attended by the Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan löfven, foreign Minister Margot wallström and the Swedish Royal family, with which the Pontiff met before the service. As reported by “Interfax”, Pope Francis presented gifts to the Royal couple in the painting, which depicts the seven churches of Rome and various good deeds.
The General Secretary of the Lutheran world Federation Martin Junge said “Vatican Radio” about his belief that “working on the road to reconciliation between Lutherans and Catholics, we work towards justice and reconciliation in a world torn by conflict and violence”.
The Bishop of the Catholic Church in Sweden Anders Arborelius added: “the Ecumenical situation in our part of the world is unique and interesting. I hope that this meeting will help us to look to the future, so we can be witnesses of Jesus Christ and His gospel in our secularized world.”
The beginning of the reformation in Europe is October 31, 1517, when the Christian theologian Martin Luther nailed his “95 theses” on the door of All Saints Church in German Wirtenberg, which opposed the abuses of the Catholic Church – such as, for example, the sale of indulgences (a document that is bought for money and was freed from punishment for sins). Luther’s theses initiated the Protestant areas in Christianity – Lutheranism and Calvinism.
In Sweden the ideas of Luther were in the same 1517 through the brothers Petri, who, while studying in Germany, witnessed the performances of Luther. One of them, returning to Sweden and becoming a deacon and teacher of one of the Church schools, began to spread Protestant ideas. With 1524, the conflict between the Swedish king Gustav Wacom and Pope Clement VII relations between the Kingdom and the papal throne was interrupted and never resumed.
In this regard, the visit of Pope Francis in Sweden has a historical significance and marks the resumption of dialogue between the two churches.
Lately in Sweden there is a growing multiculturalism. One result of this phenomenon is the emergence of non-religious cemeteries. Since 2009, Sweden allowed same-sex marriages.