Pope Francis began a two-day visit to Sweden today (October 31, 2016) to help celebrate 12 months of events leading to the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Church, the Euro News website reports.
In the city of Lund's cathedral, the Pope told worshipers that both Catholics and Lutherans had a "new opportunity to accept a common path."
He and Reverend Martin Junge -- the General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation -- signed a joint declaration stating that the two traditions have more uniting them than dividing them.
Lutheranism began in Wittenberg in eastern Germany in the 16th century. In his address to worshipers today, Pope Francis acknowledged that Rev. Martin Luther was an "intelligent man," who was rightly upset by the corruption, greed, worldliness, and lust for power that existed in the Catholic Church, when Luther sparked the Protestant Reformation in 1517.