On the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Bishop Teemu Sippo, SCJ, Bishop of Helsinki, with representatives of the Evangelical-Lutheran Churches (Rt. Rev. Irja Askola – Lutheran bishop of Helsinki, Rev. Dr. Kimmo Kääriänen, Ms. Kaisa Kariranta, Mr. Tuomo Pesonen), Orthodox (S.E. Ambrosius, Orthodox Metropolitan of Helsinki) and Catolica (Don Marco Pasinato, parish priest in the diocese of Helsinki, Ms. Auli Nukarinen, secretary of the Bishop of Helsinki) who work in Finland, were guests at our community. This has become a tradition and highly valued meeting during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity because it allows us to give concreteness to our thinking, the search for communion between the churches. In simple fraternity with a meal that is shared there is the possibility to listen and to communicate the richness that every reality carries within it. Empathy and friendship are the first ingredients to create paths and challenging initiatives. Many times the attempts develop far from our realities, but everyone can benefit from the good that grows and spreads.
A “promising path is found in your dialogue towards a shared understanding on the sacramental level, of Church, Eucharist and Ministry.” These are the words that Pope Francis used to define the dialogue between Lutherans and Catholics during their meeting on Monday morning, January, 18. The ecumenical delegation of the Lutheran Church of Finland was received at the Vatican as part of the traditional pilgrimage for the feast of St. Henrik. Accompanied by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and by Monsignor Matthias Türk, assistant to the western section of the department, were: for the Catholic Church, Bishop Teemu Sippo, the Bishop of Helsinki; Father Marco Pasinato, parish priest; Auli Nukarinen, the secretary of the curia; two religious nuns, Sister Marja Liisa Makiranta and Sister Irene Dang; and two seminarians, Tuomas Nyssola and Oskari Juurikkale; for the Orthodox Church of Finland, Ambrosius, the metropolitan of Helsinki, with an assistant; and for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Irja Askola, the Bishop of Helsiniki, with the Executive Director Kimmo Kaariainen and a collaborator.