Rorate Caeli

500 years of Wittenberg: 'We cannot celebrate a sin'

From the news agency of the German dioceses (KNA), via the news website of the Diocese of Münster:

Kurt Koch for commemoration and acknowledgment of guilt
Ecumenism Cardinal: Reformation is no reason to celebrate

Vienna. There is no reason to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, in 2017, in the opinion of the "ecumenical cardinal" of the Vatican, Kurt Koch. He pleads for, not an anniversary, but a "reformation memorial", said the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on Tuesday night (04/24/2012) in Vienna: "We cannot celebrate a sin." On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther published 95 theses on the state of the Church, which started the Reformation and led to the secession of the Protestant churches.

He was aware that, with his statement, he might be perceived as an "anti-ecumenist," Koch said. He expects to make an anniversary commemoration a "two-sided admission of guilt", following the model of reconciliation seeked by John Paul II in 2000. The commemoration of the Reformation would then lead to progress in the ecumenical discussion of the churches.

With the atonement plea in the the Jubilee Year of 2000, the pope apologized extensively for the first time in 2000 years for the errors and sins of Christians. Among these, John Paul II denounced the division of Christendom.