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U.S. Catholic, Lutheran bishops mark 500th anniversary of Reformation


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CHICAGO (CNS) -- Catholic and Lutheran bishops gathered in Chicago March 2 for a prayer service commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and to release a statement on the event.

The service took place at the Lutheran Center during a joint meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations.

Each year Lutherans mark Oct. 31 as Reformation Day, honoring Martin Luther, who was a Catholic priest in 1517 when he began the process that became the Protestant Reformation. His "95 Theses" were a list of topics on which, Luther believed, the Catholic Church needed to reform.

In a joint statement issued March 2, the U.S. Lutheran and Catholic bishops acknowledged the two churches' ongoing relationship.

"Lutherans and Catholics in this country have long affirmed the ecumenical principle that 'what unites us is greater than what divides us.' For more than 50 years we have contributed to the theological dialogues that have helped move us 'from conflict to communion,'" the statement read.

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