Pope Francis: Christian unity only another 500 years away

Print More
Pope Francis, Queen Silvia and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden leaving Lund cathedral, Sweden on October 31, 2016 after the ecumenical mass. Photo courtesy of TT News Agency/Bjorn Lindgren/via Reuters

Pope Francis, Queen Silvia and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden leaving Lund cathedral, Sweden on October 31, 2016 after the ecumenical mass. Photo courtesy of TT News Agency/Bjorn Lindgren/via Reuters

LUND, Sweden (RNS) Happy Reformation Day to everyone who just learned about the holiday by reading the RNS ‘Splainer.

As we mark five centuries since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door, there are new signs the doors to reconciliation might be cracking open an inch.

The Pope-who-made-the-Pope-cool-again went to Sweden to mark the historic event.

“It is a great joy for me,” Francis told reporters in route to the secularized Scandinavian nation, “to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation by visiting the five remaining Christians in Sweden.”

The Pontiff met with each of them for an hour before delivering an homily at Lund Cathedral.

“My visit with the three Catholics and two Lutherans convinced me that we must work harder towards the elusive goal of Christian unity,” he said as his words echoed in the cavernous environs that were cleared of tourists for the occasion. He proposed what he called “an achievable but optimistic” timeline for the reunification of Protestant and Catholic churches by 2516.

  • Catholic Church embraces full ordination for women by 2116, by which time women will have become political leaders in almost most every nation on earth.
  • Catholic Church goes from “not judging” homosexual and trans folks to actually loving and affirming them by 2216. Only 10% of world’s population by this time self-identifies as “strictly hetero.”
  • The reconciliation plans will then take a century long break as Protestants and Catholics fight over evangelizing other solar systems.
  • Catholics and Protestants then agree to a 100 year period of prayer and discernment until 2516.

“On October 31st of the year 2516,” Francis declared boldly, “I’m confident that Catholics and Protestants aboard the spaceship departing Earth to find a new homeworld with a hospitable environment will unite under one Christian church.”