The Catholic Church just made a historic announcement, as it officially recognized Protestant reformer Martin Luther as a “witness to the gospel.”
According to Breitbart, the announcement was made in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
The Pontifical Council for Christian Unity released the document, which stated in part that “after centuries of mutual condemnations and vilification, in 2017 Lutheran and Catholic Christians will for the first time commemorate together the beginning of the Reformation.”
However, the Catholic Church did acknowledge its painful history with the reformer.
“Given the fact that the history of the Reformation was marked by painful division, this is a very remarkable achievement,” church leaders admitted. “The Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity has worked hard to produce a shared understanding of the commemoration.”
“Separating that which is polemical from the theological insights of the Reformation, Catholics are now able to hear Luther’s challenge for the Church of today, recognizing him as a ‘witness to the gospel,’” they declared.
“And so after centuries of mutual condemnations and vilification, in 2017 Lutheran and Catholic Christians will for the first time commemorate together the beginning of the Reformation,” the statement concluded.
LifeSiteNews reported that the announcement followed Pope Francis’s controversial visit to Lund, Sweden. He celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with the faithful in that country, despite criticism from many.
However, it might be a good thing that the Catholic Church has decided to set aside their differences with Protestant churches in an effort to work together to further the mission of Jesus Christ and His kingdom.
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