January 25, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will visit Sweden in October to participate in an ecumenical service and the beginning of a year of activities to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
Leaders from the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation had already been set to meet Oct. 31, 2016, for the ecumenical celebration in Lund, Sweden, where the LWF was founded in 1947.
Pope Francis “intends to participate” in the joint ceremony to commemorate next year’s anniversary, the Vatican press office said in a written communique. The announcement came Jan. 25, the feast of the conversion of St. Paul — “an important day with regard to ecumenism,” said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. It is the last day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.