Tokyo, 24 July 2017 – During a visit to Tokyo to accept the Niwano Peace Prize for his interreligious dialogue, Bishop Dr. Munib Younan was invited to deliver an ecumenical address to Japan’s Catholic and Lutheran communities as they prepare to commemorate the 500th year of Reformation and celebrate a Joint-Common Prayer this November, as was done in Lund, Sweden 31 October 2016.
In a historical world event, the Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, Bishop Younan then President of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and LWF General Secretary The Rev. Martin Junge met in Lund co-hosted by Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Since Lund, some LWF member churches and Catholic churches around the world have been recreating the joint commemoration in their own context.
In February 2016, the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) co-hosted a commemorative prayer service with The Catholic Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Bethlehem, Palestine at St. Catherine’s Chapel of the Catholic Church of the Nativity, and at The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Amman, Jordan.
Gathering in The Chapel of St. Mary at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Tokyo, The Catholic Archbishop of Tokyo, Peter Takeo Okada and the Catholic Archbishop of Nagasaki, Joseph Mitsuaki Takami together with The Rev. Tadahiro Tateyama, President of The Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Lutheran Pastor Naoki Asano invited members to listen to Bishop Younan speak about the meaning and spirit of Lund. In his speech to the group of about 125, Bishop Younan said,
“If Lund only remains in Lund and does not infiltrate into the Catholic and Lutheran churches, its meaning will diminish day by day. The more we receive and implement it into our churches, the more energy will be created, just as we experienced today in Tokyo.”
Bishop Younan’s speech was translated into Japanese by Rev. Asano during the speech.
Bishop Dr. Munib Younan’s AddressJapan Lutheran Catholic Service (1)
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