“A solidarity woven into life by God’s mercy”

Pope Francis and LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge at the Joint Commemoration of the Reformation in Malmö Arena. Photo: Church of Sweden
Pope Francis and LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge at the Joint Commemoration of the Reformation in Malmö Arena. Photo: Church of Sweden

LWF General Secretary writes foreword to new publication by Pope Francis 

(LWI) - LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge has written the foreword to a new publication by Pope Francis “Il cielo sulla terra. Amare e servire per trasformare il mondo” (Heaven on Earth. Love and Serve for the Transformation of the World). 

“The invitation to write was a significant ecumenical gesture by Pope Francis,” said LWF Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations Prof. Dr Dirk Lange. 

In his foreword, Junge writes: “Throughout his life and ministry and in the pages of this book, Pope Francis has highlighted the fundamental bond that is ‘constitutive’ of the human family, a bond, a solidarity woven into life by God’s mercy, source of creation and redemption. And God’s mercy, revealed in Jesus Christ, continually calls us into the work of reconciliation, of making visible this solidarity and God’s mercy.” 

General Secretary Junge recounts significant milestones of the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue especially the signing of The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999 and the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation in 2016 where LWF World Service and Caritas Internationalis “committed to jointly serve our suffering neighbors in the world.”  

“The journey from conflict to communion that draws us close to each other is always a journey into a communion with the whole human family and in care for all creation,” Junge writes. 

He emphasizes the Christian vocation for the benefit of the human family: “The liberating grace of baptism is a divine gift that calls us together and unites us! Baptism is the prophetic announcement of healing and unity in the midst of our wounded world, and thus becomes a gift of hope for humanity that longs to live in peace with justice and in reconciled diversity.” 

The book was published and distributed in Italian, translations are forthcoming. 

LWF/A. Weyermüller