Joint Lutheran-Catholic Commemoration in Sweden to highlight aid cooperation
The humanitarian and development arms of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Roman Catholic churches will be making a new commitment to responding together to human need throughout the world.
The Lutheran World Federation’s World Service and Caritas Internationalis will participate in the Joint Catholic-Lutheran commemoration of the reformation in Lund and Malmö on 31 October 2016.
Pope Francis, LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan and LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge will lead the common prayer service in Lund and the event in Malmö in cooperation with leaders from Church of Sweden and the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm.
Common service in the world
The Malmö Arena will be the stage for activities focusing on the commitment to common witness and service of Catholics and Lutherans in the world.
Caritas and LWF World Service will be signing a Declaration of Intent, with the objective to strengthen the collaboration of the two organisations.
“Diakonia or service is an area where we have already and continue to be able to find each other easily. It is a central calling to all Christians,” LWF World Service Director Maria Immonen said. “Our joint action unites and gives a deeper meaning to the slogan ‘Together in hope’. We work together, side by side, as we are called to do. It is outward looking – the face of the church to the world at large and open to collaboration with each other as well as other actors working for justice and peace.”
“The ecumenical events in Sweden will be more than commemoration, they will be the start of concrete action by Lutherans and Catholics in service of the world’s poor,” Caritas Internationalis’ Secretary General Michel Roy said.
Testimonies from Aleppo and Olympic refugee athlete
Highlights of the joint work of LWF World Service and Caritas Internationalis will be featured before and after the signing, including care for refugees, peace building and advocacy for climate justice.
The arena visitors will hear testimonies from Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, Olympic athlete Rose Nathike Lokonyen, who is a South Sudanesse refugee living in Kenya, Colombian peace activist Fr. Héctor Fabio Henao, Burundian humanitarian Marguerite Barankitse, and Pranita Biswasi, Indian activist for climate change.
Responding to the crisis in Syria will be a central focus, with a prayer for the end to the war said by 10,000 people at the arena and thousands more at events in Damascus in Syria, Geneva in Switzerland to St Paul in Minnesota (Minneapolis,US) and many other places around the world.
The entire proceeds of the Malmö arena ticket sales (10 € per person) will be going to projects of LWF World Service to help young Syrian refugees in Jordan and to Caritas to support children in Aleppo.
Patrick Nicholson – Caritas Director of Communications
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Arni Svanur Danielsson – LWF Head of Communications
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Secretary General: Michel Roy
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