Together in Hope: the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the 500 Years of Reformation

by His Emminence Kurt Cardinal Koch, President, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
Rev. Dr Martin Junge, General Secretary, The Lutheran World Federation

In the year 1517, in the German city of Wittenberg, the monk Martin Luther made public his opposition to the prevailing practice of selling indulgences. He did so on the grounds of his theological and spiritual convictions. His public voice triggered a profound process of transformation in an already convoluted context of social, political and economic upheaval. While Luther had never intended to start a new church, further developments eventually divided Western Christianity and sparked conflict and violence, whose ramifications are still felt today. Centennial anniversaries of the Reformation have been a source of polemics and confrontation between the two confessions.

This time, it will be different. On 31 October 2016, Pope Francis, for the Catholic Church, and Bishop Munib Younan and Rev. Dr Martin Junge, representing the worldwide communion of 145 churches of the Lutheran World Federation, will cohost the joint commemoration of the Reformation, launching its 500th anniversary.


Published by the LWF and the PCPCU
11 October, 2016