(Rome) Pope Francis received a delegation on Thursday of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany at the Vatican. In his address to the Lutherans, the Catholic Church leader said some astonishing things. Catholics and Lutherans should "remember together" the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Celebrate the schism as a common event? An idiosyncratic form of "historicization" of the Reformation?
What the Pope said: "Ecumenical dialogue can not now be separated from reality and the life of our churches. In 2017, Lutheran and Catholic Christians commemorate together the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. On this occasion, Lutherans and Catholics will, for the first time, have the opportunity to keep one and the same global ecumenical commemoration, not in the form of a triumphalist celebration, but rather to confess our common faith in the Triune God. "
This is a shared "Reformation Memorial" reported Miguel Angel Yáñez, as the chief editor of Adelante la fe considers: "I really wonder: Are we seriously commemorating as Catholics of the unfortunate schism that enticed by the millions of souls to the fall away from the Catholic faith"
Lutherans and Lefebvrians?
And Yáñez continued, "If this ecumenical discourse is coherent, then we would soon get to hear the following statement from Rome:
, Ecumenical dialogue can not be separated from the reality and the life of our church today. In 2018 we commemorate together with Catholics associated to Archbishop Lefebvre the 30th anniversary of the consecration of bishops who have separated from us. On this occasion, the two sides will, for the first time, have the opportunity to keep the world one and the same ecumenical commemoration, not in the form of a triumphalist celebration, but to confess our common faith in the Triune God,'" says Miguel Angel Yáñez.
Pope Francis continued to the German Lutherans. "Let us invite all, with God's help and with the support of his spirit to make further steps towards unity and not just to limit ourselves to what we have already achieved with this Reformation Memorial"
The German Bishops' Conference is actively pursuing the "common" Memory of the Church's schism by Martin Luther. For this purpose, a separate "project office of the Reformation Memorial" was set up.
2017: 100th Anniversary of Fatima
The 2017 does not mean 500 years of Church division but really, 100 years since the apparitions of Fatima. For the latter, Pope Francis has not taken to commemorate it so far. In Portugal they have been trying to descure a Pope visit since 2013 for the Pope's visit on the occasion of the 100th anniversary celebrations in Fatima. Last April, the retired Portuguese Cardinal José Saraiva Martins said there is no secure commitment, but it was "normal and natural" that the Pope would come to a "so momentous occasion" to Fatima.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org