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Cardinal Koch: it is better to commemorate the Reformation than to celebrate it

December 07, 2016

The president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity told a French Catholic newspaper that it is better to “commemorate” the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation than to “celebrate” it.

In commemorating the Reformation, said Cardinal Kurt Koch, “we first stress the gratitude for a history that is not only constituted by 500 years of conflict, but is also marked by the last 50 years of intensive dialogue.”

“We must then do penance,” he continued, for the Reformation “did not bring about the renewal of the Church desired by Luther, but division and the terrible confessional wars, notably the Thirty Years’ War.”

Cardinal Koch also expressed gratitude for several ecumenical developments during 2016 but added, “I perceive in the Orthodox churches a growing opposition in regard to ecumenism.”

This opposition, he said, does not come from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople or Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, though the latter “fears division in his church” over ecumemism.


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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Dec. 07, 2016 4:24 PM ET USA

    I wish such remarks were forcefully directed towards Francis who never encountered a Protestant remake of history and denigration of Catholicism he not only didn't resist but instead blindly repeated.