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
“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.