Catholic Herlad har to artikler som viser både den nøkterne og den entusiastiske forståelsen av pavens besøk hos lutheranerne ved starten av reformasjons-markeringen. Her er først den nøkterne, skrevet av Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith, som er en av avisens redaktører:
The Pope’s visit to Sweden to take part in an ecumenical prayer gathering in the cathedral there, to mark the beginning of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, is certainly a historic event. Given that the Reformation represented a revolt against the power of Rome, the enthusiastic welcome given to the Roman Pontiff marks a significant turning point. Perhaps when the history of our times comes to be written, Lund 2016 will be in every child’s textbook. Let us hope so.
While it cannot be denied that the gulf between Catholicism and Lutheranism is now wider than ever, thanks in part to the ordination of women – the Pope was greeted by a female archbishop – and also in part to the wide divergences that have developed in moral teaching, the real question remains, where do we go from here?
For us Catholics, the continuing divisions in Christianity remain a distressing burden. Let’s be clear: schism is the worst of sins, and the existence of schism must surely distress us all, simply because it cannot be for the good of souls.
So we must all work our hardest for reconciliation. This will not be easy given the differences between us and the differences Lutherans have between themselves.
En mye mer entusiastisk beskrivelse av møtet er forfattet av Ulf Ekman, med overskrift: It was a privilege to watch Pope Francis make history in Lund. Her er litt av innholdet:
… The excitement in the air as Pope Francis arrived at Lund Cathedral fully compensated for the gloomy wet weather outside. The cathedral was full as he entered for this truly historic meeting. In a nearby town square, thousands of people watched the gathering on big screens in reverent silence. …
And historic it was: never before had a pope participated in a meeting of this kind. The prayers and the commitments between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) were both promising and demanding. …
The act of asking for forgiveness was very sincere and contrition was truly present as Pope Francis mentioned the historic sins on both sides that must be healed. The Pope stressed that this event is a step on the way, another starting point for the walk to unity, balancing the heavier emphasis on already being united, based on the Gospel reading about the vine tree in John 15, that the Lutherans brought into focus. This seemed more realistic, as there is still a long and winding road ahead.
A number of times the desire for inter-communion was raised from the Lutherans. As a hunger for unity, it seemed understandable; as a demand, it would be far fetched.
But certainly history has been made in Lund today.