In preparation for the five hundredth Anniversary of the Reformation, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) have invited Lutheran churches and Catholic bishops’ conferences across the world to join together in expunging the sixteenth century.

Said Cardinal Kurt Koch, head of the Pontifical Council: ‘Statues have been toppled and books burned in the past, but this is the first time that church authorities have combined to eliminate an entire era.’

LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge agreed: ‘There is simply no place in the modern ecumenical world for the sort of principled fanaticism which people associate with the Reformation period. We should condemn it to the dust-bin of history.’

The campaign, which will have a radical effect on the teaching of Church History in schools, universities and seminaries, will begin on Reformation Day 2017 with a public burning of an effigy of Leo X in front of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

On the following day the decretals of the Council of Trent will be solemnly burnt in St Peter’s Square in the presence of Pope Francis, and from the funeral pyre will emerge an aluminium Dove of Peace representing the Spirit of Vatican II.

Lutherans are also considering similar events, to be notified at a later stage.

Destroying Icons

Further details from:
Rev. Árni Svanur Daníelsson, LWF Head of Communication, Tel: +41 22 791 6367
Monsignore Dr. Matthias Türk, Pont. Consiglio per la Promozione dell`Unità dei Cristiani, VA-00120 Città del Vaticano, Tel.: +39.06.698.84385, Fax.: +39.06.698.85365.

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