Ecumenical pilgrimage “With Luther to the Pope” from Eastern Germany to Rome

29 Oct 2021

On 25 October, Pope Francis welcomed in the Vatican about 500 participants of the ecumenical pilgrimage group “With Luther to the Pope”. Under the motto "Better all together", Lutherans, Catholics and people with no ecclesiastical ties made the journey from Eastern Germany to Rome. They were accompanied by Bishop Feige from Magdeburg, Landesbischof Kramer and Church President Liebig. The pilgrimage aimed at enabling participants to reflect on aspects that unite Christians, the obstacles that have already been overcome in the journey to unity, and the challenges that must still be faced. It is the second time the group has come to Rome, with the group meeting previously with Pope Francis in 2016. 

The group commenced the audience with a choral greeting, to which in his address the Holy Father responded: “Singing connects. In the choir, no one is stands alone”. Pope Francis then encouraged the pilgrims “to listen also to the melody of God in your life; the melody that the Lord has composed in your life. … If you sing with an open heart, you are already touching, perhaps without realising it, the mystery of God”. Pope Francis concluded, “Always remain attentive to God’s melody. Then many voices will join to form one song. This is also where ecumenism happens, in Germany and in many other parts of the world”.

The stay of several days in Rome ended on 28 October with an ecumenical prayer in the gardens of Castelgandolfo. Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, delivered a homily on: “Gottes Wohnen in der Mitte seines Volkes in ökumenischer Gemeinschaft bezeugen”.