The year 2017 marks the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther and the nailing of his 95 Theses on the doors of Wittenberg Cathedral in Germany.  It was a sad day in the history of the Church.  “That they may be one,” these words of Jesus are an ecumenical imperative to pray and work together for the Church’s unity.  Last January, our Holy Father, Pope Francis received in audience an Ecumenical Delegation from Finland who were taking part in the Week of Christian Unity.  He noted that a significant step was made in Lund, Sweden when Catholics and Lutherans agreed to a joint commemoration of the Reformation through common prayer.  He stated:

…Therefore 2017, the commemorative year of the Reformation, represents for Catholics and Lutherans a privileged occasion to live the faith more authentically, in order to rediscover the Gospel together, and to seek and witness to Christ with renewed vigor. At the conclusion of the day of commemoration in Lund, and looking to the future, we drew inspiration from our common witness to faith before the world, when we committed ourselves to jointly assisting those who suffer, who are in need, and who face persecution and violence. In doing so, as Christians we are no longer divided, but rather united on the journey towards full communion. (Address of Pope Francis to Members of the Ecumenical Delegation from Finland on the Occasion of the Feast of St. Henrik, January 19, 2017).

In the same spirit of prayer and thanksgiving, repentance and common witness, we will gather in The Cathedral of Christ the King (2699 Peachtree Road, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30305) on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.  Lutheran Bishop Julian Gordy of the ELCA Southeastern Synod will join me for a special ecumenical service “Common Prayer – From Conflict to Communion, Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017” created by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation.

A reception will follow in Kenny Hall.

2699 Peachtree Rd Atlanta, GA 30305

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