As Pope Francis prepares for his visit to Sweden on Monday and Tuesday for the launching of the the 500th anniversary of the Reformation commemoration, La Croix looks back at the advances in dialogue between Catholics and Protestants.The fact that the Lutherans have invited Pope Francis to come to Sweden and open the 500th anniversary jubilee of the Reformation is clearly much more than a polite gesture. In fact, it is a revolution. To see this, we simply need to recall Luther’s harsh words attacking the papacy.“Accursed, damned, reviled be the name of the papists. When I say, ‘May your kingdom come!’ I am also obliged to cry: ‘ Accursed, damned, reviled be the name of the papists!’” wrote the German founder of the Reformation. For their part, Catholics were equally unsparing with respect to what they regarded as “the abominable heresy.”Since that time the tone between Rome and the Protestants – in plural – as completely changed. Plural because it is necessary to recall that from its beginnings the Reformation opened up a theological effervescence based on the work of Ulrich Zwingli, Jean Calvin, Guillaume Farel and others as well as Luther himself. Moreover, Protestantism developed several currents including Lutheranism and Calvinism in particular.

Source: Small steps signal grassroots ecumenical progress – La Croix International