Pope Francis has visited Sweden as 12 months of events leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Church begin.
Considered the greatest rift in western Christianity, Lutheranism prompted the Reformation – a Europe-wide religious, political, social and cultural revolution.
The pontiff was in Lund for a two-day visit. In the city’s cathedral, he told worshippers that both Catholics and Lutherans had a “new opportunity to accept a common path.”
He and Reverend Martin Junge, the General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation signed a joint declaration stating that the two traditions have more uniting them than dividing them.
Lutheranism began here in Wittenberg, east Germany, in the 16th century. In his address, Francis acknowledged that Luther was an “intelligent man”, who was rightly upset by the corruption, greed, worldliness and lust for power that existed in the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation