ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton joined Lutheran and Catholic leaders for a joint ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation Oct. 31 in Lund, Sweden.

Pope Francis; Munib Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and Lutheran World Federation (LWF) president; and Martin Junge, LWF general secretary, led the historic service at the Lund Cathedral. About 500 worshipers attended.

“With joy we have come to recognize that what unites us is far greater than what divides us,” said Younan, in his opening welcome.

Following the Common Prayer service at Lund Cathedral, thousands gathered at Malmo Arena under the theme “Together in Hope.”

According to a LWF press release, the event included performance artists and testimonies by Lutheran and Catholic advocates for social justice and climate issues from Burundi, Colombia, India, South Sudan and Syria. Pope Francis and Younan offered responses to their testimonies.

During the event, Maria Immonen, LWF Lutheran World Service director, and Michel Roy, Caritas Internationalis secretary general, signed a declaration of intent mutually committing the global Christian organizations to deepened relationships and closer cooperation in humanitarian response and sustainable development.

Pope Francis and Younan signed a joint statement committing Catholics and Lutherans to deepening their communion and common witness for justice.

The joint statement is available here.

More information about the events in Sweden is available here.


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