In reflecting on the Reformation and the events that took place 500 years ago, as a Catholic bishop I feel a sense of deep sadness and regret at the loss of unity in the Western Church. I think most Catholics, when we think about the Reformation, think about the division of the Church. That is why we would never think of October 31st as a day of celebration. I imagine that many Lutherans may look at October 31st differently, perhaps as a day to celebrate a rediscovery of the Gospel, a day to celebrate reform. This year, it is significant that, for the first time, Catholics and Lutherans are commemorating together the Reformation. I highly recommend for your reading the joint document entitled “From Conflict to Communion” regarding the Commemoration of the Reformation by Catholics and Lutherans this year. It is really unprecedented to have an ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation and shared reflections on Martin Luther and the Reformation as well as on the beginnings of the Reformation movement and the Catholic response. Of course, this was possible because of the past 50 years of Lutheran-Catholic dialogue and especially because of the basic consensus reached in the Joint Declaration on Justification.
Check out Formed.org: parish access code is MDJGCJ.