A Danish delegation went on a study trip to Rome
For several years, a theological working group under The Council on International Relations of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark (Folkekirken has been in conversation with the Roman Catholic Church in Denmark. From The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark and the Catholic side side, the group has consisted of members from the universities, educational institutions and bishops.
The participants of the study trip got the opportunity to personally greet Pope Francis, who gave each participant a commemorative medallion in recognition of the fruitful work in the Lutheran-Catholic discussion group.
A Lutheran-Catholic conversation group
The Bishop of the diocese of Aalborg writes: "The ecumenical relationship between Folkekirken and the Catholic Church has long been good, and the talks are characterized by trust and openness. Over the years there the conversation has centered around central topics such as apostolicity and the Petrine office; i.e. the papacy, which is at the same time a stumbling block for Folkekirken and a crucial part of Catholic self-understanding.
A central part of the conversations is also meeting each other. Therefore, in the first week of November this year, the interview group went on a four-day study trip to Rome, where we were accommodated in the Vatican. The trip was for a large part organized by the Catholic bishop Czesław Kozon, who was able to get the group very close to key persons and institutions in the Vatican. Bishop Kozon must be greatly thanked for the trip and for its content which both had a professional and a social nature.
Meeting Archbishop Paul Gallagher og Cardinal Kurt Koch
The group met with both archbishop Paul Gallagher, who is often called the Pope's "minister of foreign affairs". This was an opportunity to learn about the Holy See's diplomatic work.
They also met cardinal Kurt Koch from the Council for Christian Unity, who is a central figure in relation to the ecumenical relations between the churches.
The following participated in the trip:
From the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark:
- Peter Skov-Jakobsen, bishop, Diocese of Copenhagen, chairman of the conversation group
- Marianne Christiansen, bishop, Diocese of Haderslev
- Ole Burchardt Olesen, priest, Gilleleje Kirke
- Birgitte Graakjær Hjort, FUV
- Bo Kristian Holm, University of Aarhus
- Thomas Reinholdt Rasmussen, bishop, Diocese of Aalborg
- From The Council on Interchurch Relations of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark: Thorsten Rørbæk
From the Catholic Church:
- Jacob Egeris Thorsen, University of Aarhus
- Czeslaw Kozon, bishop, The Catholic Church in Denmark
- Jesper Fich, priest, Sankt Mariæ Kirke