One of the first 'ecumenical commemorations' of the Reformation was staged in Sweden in October 2016. It involved the Pope and the Church of Sweden (a member of the World Federation of Lutherans).
Faithful pastors denounced this event as an exercise in compromise.
If any further proof of the anti-biblical nature of both celebrants was required, recent days have provided it.
• First, The Church of Sweden is urging its clergy to use gender-neutral language when referring to the supreme deity – refraining from using terms like “Lord” and “He” in favour of the less specific “God.”
This move is one of several taken by the national 'Evangelical' Lutheran church in updating a 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted in terms of language, liturgy, hymns and other aspects.
The decision was taken Thursday, 21 November, at the end of an eight-day meeting of the church’s 251-member decision-making body, and takes effect May 20.
A former state church, headquartered in Uppsala, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of the capital, the church has 6.1 million baptised members in a country of 10 million. It is headed by a woman, Archbishop Antje Jackelen. Jackelen told Sweden’s TT news agency a more inclusive language had already been discussed at the 1986 conference.
“Theologically, for instance, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human,” Jackelen was quoted as saying by TT.
Keeping pace with this kind of compromise that imagines it can rewrite the Bible at will is the other part of this unholy amalgam.
• Apparently Pope Francis has called for a translation of a phrase about temptation in the Lord's Prayer to be changed. The current wording that says "lead us not into temptation" he insists is not a good translation because God does not lead humans to sin.
"A father does not do that, a father helps you to get up immediately."
Ironically, when the Daily Mail reported on Francis' ecumenical trip to Sweden, one of its bullet point summaries of the Pope's activity was:
"Francis praised Luther for having restored centrality of Scripture to church."
No surprises there of course. Duplicity knows no bounds in the world of ecumenism ... .