Office for Christian Unity,
Thursday, November 10th, 2022
Moving from conflict to communion
Joint statement on the occasion of the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation
31st October 2016, Lund
“Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4).
While we are profoundly thankful for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation, we also confess and lament before Christ that Lutherans and Catholics have wounded the visible unity of the Church. Theological differences were accompanied by prejudice and conflicts, and religion was instrumentalized for political ends. Our common faith in Jesus Christ and our baptism demand of us a daily conversion, by which we cast off the historical disagreements and conflicts that impede the ministry of reconciliation. While the past cannot be changed, what is remembered and how it is remembered can be transformed. We pray for the healing of our wounds and of the memories that cloud our view of one another. We emphatically reject all hatred and violence, past and present, especially that expressed in the name of religion. Today, we hear God’s command to set aside all conflict. We recognize that we are freed by grace to move towards the communion to which God continually calls us.
To be used as appropriate
1 / On 23 September, members of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in France launched a call for mobilization and prayer concerning the situation in Armenia. This country has been experiencing tensions with Turkey and Azerbaijan for several years.
Lord, guide the political leaders of these nations so that their commitment may be at the service of all people and the common good. We entrust to you in particular the Christians of Armenia – strengthen their faith and their hope.
2/ On Thursday, October 27, the French premiere of the first episode of season 2 of ‘The Chosen’ took place in Paris. This series, based on the life of Christ, has touched many people since its release.
Thank you Lord for this initiative to announce the Good News. Bless the actors and all those who watch these films, that each person may let themselves be transformed by You.
3/ Last Monday, October 31, marked the fifth anniversary of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Lund, Sweden.
Thank you, Lord, for the path of reconciliation that has taken place in the last century between the churches of the Reformation and the Catholic Church. Lord, our history is full of wounds and reconciliation. Make each of us an instrument of peace and reconciliation.