Photo: L'Osservatore Romano/TT.
Pope Francis. Photo: L'Osservatore Romano/TT.

Pope to visit Lund

3:41 min

The Roman Catholic Church's Pope Francis will visit Sweden this fall for the first time, according to the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm.

Anders Arborelius, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Stockholm, told Radio Sweden, "For the Catholics of Sweden, it's a very special event that the Pope is coming."

Antje Jackelén, the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, which is Lutheran, also had positive things to say about the Pope's upcoming visit. In a press release on the church's website, she said, "I am delighted that the Pope will visit Lund and that the Roman Catholic Church together with the Lutheran World Federation have invited us to take part in this exceptional meeting. It is a step forward in the churches' work. In a time of major global challenges we have a joint mandate to proclaim the Gospels in words and actions."

The press release continues: "The meeting in Lund stems from a process of dialogue spanning several decades. A milestone in this process consists of the document From conflict to communion dating from 2013. In this document Lutherans and Catholics express sorrow and regret at the pain that they have caused each other, but also gratitude for the theological insights that both parties have contributed. At the same time, there is an emphasis on the joint responsibility to talk about Christian faith, not least through work for justice and peace."

The church leaders will meet in Lund to commemorate Reformation Day, what is traditionally said to be the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses onto the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg in 1517. The date in 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. According to the press release it also marks 50 years since dialogue between Lutherans and Catholics began.

The Pope's visit is the first by the Catholic head of the Church since Pope John Paul II visited Sweden in 1989 in connection with a mini-tour through the Scandinavian countries.

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