Senior Roman Catholic and Lutheran officials announced today (June 17, 2013) they would mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 as a shared event -- rather than highlight the clash that split Western Christianity -- the Reuters website reports.
The Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) presented a report in Geneva admitting both were guilty of harming Christian unity in the past and describing a growing consensus between the two churches in recent decades.
The 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses -- the doctrinal challenge that launched the Protestant Reformation -- will be the first centenary celebration in the age of ecumenism, globalization, and the secularization of Western societies.
"The awareness is dawning on Lutherans and Catholics that the struggle of the 16th century is over," the report said. It added, "The reasons for mutually condemning each other's faith have fallen by the wayside,"