Rome (NEV), November 30, 2016 – “A great opening, a turning point for the ecumenical dialogue”: this was the enthusiastic comment of Pastor Luca Negro, president of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI), about the commemoration of Luther’s Reformation. As known, the ceremony was held in the Cathedral of Lund (Sweden) last October 31, in the presence of Pope Francis, Munib Younan and Martin Junge, respectively president and general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). “In previous years the feeling was that ecumenism had different speeds: more swift with the Orthodox, slower with the Anglicans, in slow motion with the Protestant churches. Thanks to the ecumenical prayer of Lund and Malmö, not only Lutherans, but all the Protestant Churches, are again fully recognized partners. Not necessarily privileged: the ecumenism of Pope Francis is a full spectrum one”.
Significant for Pastor Negro the willingness to reconcile memories mentioned in the document signed by the Pope and Munib Younan, in which can be read: “the past cannot be changed, the memory and the way in which we remember can be transformed”. Very important for Negro also the insistence on joint action in the world to overcome violence and extremism, to build peace, to preserve creation. Negro concluded: “The experience of Italian Protestants and Catholics united in the organization of ‘humanitarian corridors’ for refugees goes in this direction”.
The moderator of the Waldensian Board, pastor Eugenio Bernardini, spoke of “the stones of Lund”: “Every word and every action have been like a stone, a stone used to outline a new path on which every man and every woman can walk, blessed by the grace of God, not only the professionals of ecumenism”.
On November 4th the vice-president of FCEI, Christiane Groeben, attended the reception organized by the State of Palestine Embassy to the Holy See, in honor of Palestinian Bishop Munib Younan and pastor Martin Junge.