Pope apologizes for Catholic wrongs against other Christians

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has concluded an annual weeklong prayer for Christian unity by making a sweeping apology for Catholic wrongs committed against other Christians and by announcing he will visit Sweden to mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.

See Full Article

The one-day trip Oct. 31 to the southern city of Lund, where the Lutheran World Federation was founded in 1947, will be the first papal visit to Sweden since Pope John Paul II toured five Scandinavian nations in 1989.

Francis has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors by encouraging efforts to heal the rifts with Anglicans, Lutherans, Orthodox, evangelicals and other Christian denominations. But Francis has also used personal friendships to forge ahead where official dialogue has stalled.

On Monday, Francis celebrated an annual vespers service to mark the end of a weeklong prayer for Christian unity which this year also falls during Francis' Holy Year of Mercy.

In his homily, Francis asked forgiveness for the "sin of our divisions" -- an appeal he made in June last year during a visit to a small evangelical house of worship in northern Italy.

"As the bishop of Rome and pastor of the Catholic Church, I would like to invoke mercy and forgiveness for the non-evangelical behaviour of Catholics toward Christians of other churches," he said Monday. "At the same time, I invite all Catholic brothers and sisters to forgive if today, or in the past, they have suffered offence by other Christians.

"We cannot cancel what has happened, but we don't want to let the weight of past harm continue to pollute our relations."

Earlier Monday, the Vatican said Francis' visit to Sweden will "highlight the important ecumenical developments that have taken place during the past 50 years of dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans." It will include a common worship service based on a recently published Catholic Lutheran liturgical guide to help churches commemorate the Reformation anniversary together.

The Catholic Church estimates there are about 150,000 Catholics in Sweden, including 113,000 registered members, according to Kristina Hellner of the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm.

Martin Luther's challenge to the Catholic doctrine of indulgences in 1517 is remembered as the start of the Reformation, from which the Protestant churches originated out of criticism of the Church of Rome led by the pope.

Significantly, when Francis issued his apology Monday, he said he was doing so as bishop of Rome -- a title he often emphasizes in ecumenical settings where the primacy of the pope is still a cause for tension.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Recent French PM Valls backs centrist Emmanuel Macron for president

    World News CBC News
    French former Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday he would vote for Emmanuel Macron in the coming presidential election, the biggest Socialist party name to date to turn his back on its official candidate and back the centrist instead. Source
  • 'Nature has flung her best': Aussies clean up after northeast cyclone

    World News CBC News
    Australia's army and emergency workers headed to areas of tropical Queensland state hardest hit by Cyclone Debbie on Wednesday, finding roads blocked by fallen trees, sugarcane fields flattened and widespread damage in coastal towns. No deaths were reported after Debbie tore a trail of destruction through Australia's northeast on Tuesday as a category four storm, one rung below the most dangerous wind speed level, before being gradually downgraded to a tropical low. Source
  • Environmental groups vowing to fight Trump climate actions

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO -- Environmental groups are preparing to go to court to battle President Donald Trump's efforts to roll back his predecessor's plans to curb global warming. They've hired scores of new lawyers and have been raising money for months. Source
  • Expeditions to send huge trash bags to clean Mount Everest

    World News CTV News
    Tents are seen set up for climbers on the Khumbu Glacier, with Mount Khumbutse, centre, and Khumbu Icefall, right, seen in background, at Everest Base Camp in Nepal on Saturday, April 11, 2015. (AP / Tashi Sherpa) Source
  • Water emergency declared in Picton, Ont., due to leak from sunken barge

    Canada News CTV News
    PICTON, Ont. -- The mayor of Picton, Ont., has declared a water emergency as a precautionary measure and is asking residents to limit their water use because of contaminants leaking from a partially submerged barge. Source
  • Pair behind secret Planned Parenthood videos charged in California

    World News CBC News
    California prosecutors on Tuesday charged two anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood with 15 felonies, saying they invaded the privacy of medical providers by filming without consent. Source
  • Tornado chasers in Texas crash vehicles, 3 people killed

    World News CBC News
    Three storm chasers were killed when their vehicles collided at a rural crossroads during severe West Texas storms on Tuesday. The storms spawned multiple funnel clouds and an occasional tornado in open areas of West Texas on Tuesday afternoon. Source
  • Cyclone rips off roofs, flings boats onto land in Australia

    World News CTV News
    TOWNSVILLE, Australia - Residents of Australia's cyclone-battered tropical northeast emerged from their homes on Wednesday to find roofs lying in their yards, boats flung onto rocks and roads blocked by tangles of fallen trees and power lines, as emergency officials tried to reach communities cut off by the powerful storm. Source
  • Contaminants from sunken barge cause 'water emergency' in southeastern Ontario county

    Canada News CBC News
    Prince Edward County's mayor has declared a water emergency because of contaminants leaking from a partially sunken barge and is asking people on the Picton-Bloomfield drinking water system to limit their water usage. The county in southeastern Ontario said Tuesday night about 30 litres of an undetermined substance had leaked from the barge and had floated too close to a water intake pipe in Picton Bay, without actually going into the pipe. Source
  • Trump talks readiness to revive health bill as Senate looks to back away

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans and White House officials sounded ready to abandon efforts to repeal and replace the nation's health care law, at least for now, even as House Republicans - and the president himself - insisted Tuesday they were not ready to give up. Source