On October 31st, 2017, Lutherans and Catholics marked the 500th anniversary of the day on which German theologian Martin Luther published his 95 theses, setting in motion the events of the Protestant Reformation and to mark the occasion, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation issued a joint statement, giving thanks for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation.

As reported by Vatican radio, the statement says the shared journey of the past fifty years has resulted in the removal of prejudices, the increase of mutual understanding and the identification of decisive theological agreements. The statements also recalled many historic events, in particular, the commitment by Holy Father Pope Francis and former LWF president His Excellency Bishop Munib Younan to continue the ecumenical journey.

The statement concluded with a commitment to continue the journey towards unity, guided by God’s spirit, in the knowledge that “what we have in common is far more than that which still divides us.”