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Historic moment for Lutheran-Catholic unity


One of the largest national gatherings of Lutherans and Catholics will take place in Adelaide this month to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

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The Lutheran Roman Catholic Reformation Commemoration will take place on Tuesday October 31,  the date in 1517 that Martin Luther posted 95 theses concerning abuses he saw in the church.

His action shaped the religious and cultural history of the West and is regarded as the symbolic beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations and the bishops of the Lutheran Church of Australia have prepared a joint statement for release on the day to acknowledge the anniversary (a copy is included in this month’s edition of The Southern Cross).

The statement acknowledges the damage caused by conflict and division in the past, the healing of the relationship between Catholics and Lutherans that has taken place in recent decades and the commitment to a common path in the future.

It will be signed by Bishop John Henderson from the Lutheran Church of Australia and Archbishop Chrisopher Prowse, chair of the Bishops Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations.

The commemoration will commence with worship in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church Adelaide followed by breakfast for 120 invited guests at Bethlehem House.

The history of Lutherans and Catholics in Australia will feature in a visual arts display and talks at Bethlehem House in the morning.

A highlight of the event will be lunch in Victoria Square with an open invitation to all city workers.

Archbishop Wilson and Bishop Henderson will take part in a tree planting ceremony at Pilgrim Peace Park in the Veale Gardens and there will be a music concert in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral from 3.30-5pm, followed by a Lutheran Roman Catholic Dialogue presentation of dialogue documents and history. This will also include the signing of the joint statement in the Cathedral.

The day will conclude with a reception and dinner in the Judith Redden Centre from 7.45pm. Invited guests will have priority.

A calendar of events can be found here.





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