Pope Francis praises German Protestants and Catholics for cooperation

As Reformation Year begins, Pope Francis welcomed a high-ranking Protestant delegation from Germany to the Vatican on Monday. The pontiff urged both denominations to put all remaining differences aside.

In a meeting in Rome with Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, the chair of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD), Pope Francis called for the Reformation’s 500th anniversary to be an opportunity for increased efforts to achieve ecumenism.

“We must, with imploring prayer and all of our strength, strive to overcome the obstacles that still exist,” Pope Francis said.

The pontiff encouraged Protestants and Catholics to use theological dialogue to overcome remaining differences in doctrine of faith and ethics together. These enduring divisions, he added, were particularly painful for mixed-confessional marriages and families.

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