Paven kommenterer undertegnelsen av felleserklæringen

"A Corner Stone in the Complex Ecumenical Road"

VATICAN CITY, OCT 31 (ZENIT).- John Paul II expressed satisfaction over the signing of the Joint Declaration of the Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation on the doctrine of justification by faith, which took place this morning in the German city of Augsburg, lifting the mutual condemnations due to theological differences that go back to the time of Martin Luther.

"This is a corner stone for the complex road in the reconstruction of full unity among Christians," the Bishop of Rome said, when greeting thousands of pilgrims who had congregated in a sunny St. Peter's Square at noon today, to recite the traditional Marian prayer -- the "Angelus."

The Holy Father also revealed that it is especially significant that the event took place "precisely in the city in which a decisive page of the Lutheran Reformation was written in 1530 with the 'Confessio Augustana.'"

Stage on Ecumenical Road

The document approved by Catholics and Lutherans "is a sure base to continue the ecumenical theological research and to address the difficulties that still exist, with a more well-founded hope so that difficulties can be resolved in the future. At the same time, it is an extraordinary contribution to the purification of the historical memory and to common testimony."

The Holy Father thanked God for having been able to witness "this intermediary goal in the difficult -- but full of joy -- road of unity and communion among Christians." The Pope explained that this step offers a significant response to Christ's desire who, before his passion, prayed to the Father so that all his disciples would be one."

In addition, the Pontiff has seen the desire expressed in November, 1994, in the letter "Tertio Millennio Adveniente" (n. 34) fulfilled, where he gave renewed impetus to the ecumenical road "so that before the Great Jubilee we shall be able to appear, if not totally united, at least much closer to overcoming the divisions of the second millennium."

John Paul II concluded by thanking everyone for their collaboration in "praying and working to make this joint Declaration possible," and he recalled that the Synod of Bishops for Europe, which ended in the Vatican on October 23, and which was attended by representatives of other Christian denominations, mentioned the ecumenical road among the signs of hope of this Continent, which has been the origin of almost all the divisions that have taken place among Christians.



av Webmaster publisert 02.11.1999, sist endret 02.11.1999 - 21:34