At the joint Catholic/Lutheran service in Sweden, commemorating Reformation Day, Pope Francis was said to have “issued some of the most positive language ever used by a pope to describe Martin Luther and his beliefs.”
The Pope said that the doctrine of justification “expresses the essence of human existence before God.” The Reformation “helped give greater centrality to sacred scripture in the Church’s life.” And in his teaching that salvation is “by grace alone, ” Luther “reminds us that God always takes the initiative, prior to any human response, even as he seeks to awaken that response.”
The Pope also signed a commitment with the head of the Lutheran World Federation to work towards full intercommunion between the two theological traditions.
After the jump, a news story about the developments from a Catholic publication. For the full text of the Pope’s remarks, go here. For the Communion agreement, go here. See also my thoughts on the matter.