DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     November 3, 1999     vol. 10, no. 208

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE, CARDINAL PRAISE CATHOLIC-LUTHERAN ACCORD

        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- At his Sunday Angelus audience on October 31, Pope John Paul II pointed to the signing of a Catholic-Lutheran agreement as "an event of great importance," and a step toward "unity and communion among Christians."

        The Pope was alluding to the formal signing, in Augsburg, of an agreement between the Holy See and the World Lutheran Federation, on the subject of justification. The accord was signed, he observed, "in the same city where, in 1530, the Augsburg Confession wrote a decisive page in the Lutheran Reformation." The new document, the Holy Father said, lays the groundwork for further ecumenical advances, by establishing a common understanding on one of the most hotly disputed theological points that has divided Catholics and Lutherans.

        Cardinal Edward Cassidy, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, led a Vatican delegation to Augsburg for the ceremony. The cardinal urged all Christians to redouble their efforts to promote Church unity. He added: "Unfortunately, we also have the duty to begin work to repair the damages inflicted on the building by the storms, conflicts, and sometimes even earthquakes caused by men."

        The greatest task facing all Christians, the Australian-born prelate continued, is to spread the word of the Gospel around the world. "Our divisions are a great obstacle to that task," he observed. But the new Catholic-Lutheran accord, he said, could "give new life and new hope to the ecumenical movement as a whole."

        In a separate development on the ecumenical front, a Vatican delegation headed by Cardinal Cassidy and Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, the prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, will soon visit Armenia to greet the new leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and to sign an accord strengthening ties between that church and the Holy See. The election of a new Armenian leader, or Catholicos, was delayed because of the terrorist attack on the Armenian national parliament last week.


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November 3, 1999       volume 10, no. 208
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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