Ecumenical Delegation From Finland Meets With Pope Francis

Pontiff Hopes Further Dialogue Will Strengthen Relations Between Catholics and Lutherans

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Earlier today, Pope Francis received an ecumenical delegation from Finland at the Vatican. The group was in Rome on their annual pilgrimage to celebrate the feast of St. Henry, the patron saint of Finland.

The annual visit to the Successor of St. Peter is a tradition that dates back 30 years, when St. John Paul II received the first ecumenical delegation of Catholics and Lutherans.

Addressing the group, Pope Francis recalled that first visit, quoting his predecessor’s words saying that the delegation is “a witness to the one common faith of the whole of Christianity.”

The Holy Father noted that their visit comes during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which concludes on Sunday. The Pope is scheduled to preside over Evening Vespers at the Basilica of St. Paul in Rome.

Commenting on the theme of this week’s Prayer for Christian Unity, “Give Me to Drink (Jn. 4:1-42), the Jesuit Pope, said that it was a reminder that the “source of all grace is the Lord Himself.”

“As the Gospel tells us, many Samaritans believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony,” he explained.  

“A shared Christian witness is very much needed in the face of the mistrust, insecurity, persecution, pain and suffering experienced so widely in today’s world.”

Pope Francis went on to say that progress in theological dialogue between Lutherans and Catholics can help sustain a common Christian witness. “Let us hope,” he said, “that further convergence will emerge from that dialogue on  the concept of the Church, the sign and instrument of the salvation brought to us in Jesus Christ.

Concluding his address, the Holy Father expressed his hope that the ecumenical delegation’s visit to Rome would continue to strengthen relations between Lutherans and Catholics in Finland.

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To read the Pope’s address to the Ecumenical Delegation from Finland, go to:

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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