At the end of October, Pope Francis and and Bishop Munib Younan, the president of the Lutheran World Federation, signed a joint statement in hopes of unifying the two churches once more. The statement had a common goal of realigning the two religions and creating a shared Eucharist once more.
The agreement marked the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, when Martin Luther published his 95 Theses — complaints essentially — about the Catholic Church. The joint statement was created to bring the two religions closer together and help create a unified Eucharist.
The Joint Statement begins by emphasizing how an ecumenical dialogue brought the two churches back together and allowed them to overcome their differences. It continues on to say that in their division, they have “wounded” the church and hope to repair those wounds with a common Eucharist. The statement then calls on all members of both churches, not just clergy, to join together and recommit themselves to a unified church.
This groundbreaking statement has moved the two churches even closer to becoming a unified front, but the Joint Statement was the second step in the unification process.
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