The Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Foundation are preparing a common declaration for 2017 about reform, since that year will mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.
Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Christain Unity, disclosed that information during an interview at the German Catholic agency, KNA.
The document should interpret the event of the Reform, in light of 2,000 years of Christian history, 1,500 of which came before the division of Catholics and Protestants.
According to the Cardinal, the joint commemoration of the Reform could be an opportunity to arrive at a common admission of guilt by both parties, in the wake of a request for foregiveness by Pope John Paul II in 2000, because of the role the Catholic Church played in the “division of the Church.”
“With no joint awareness,” the Cardinal said, “ with no common purification of memory, and without an admission of guilt by both parties, there cannot, in my opinion, be any kind of a sincere commemoration of the Reform.”
The Cardinal also emphasized that Pope Benedict XVI has personally asked that the ecumenical dialogue have a more central role during his visit to Germany next September.