Pope Francis recognizes positive aspects of the Reformation sparked by Martin Luther in a gesture of reconciliation to Lutherans, who split with Rome 500 years ago. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
A royal welcome for Pope Francis in Sweden. Standing side by side with Sweden's King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia, the Pope marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Crowds welcome the Pope -- the first to visit Sweden in nearly 30 years. He makes an appeal for unity and forgiveness -- holding a historic joint prayer service in the Lutheran cathedral of Lund. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) (PART AUDIO OVERLAYED WITH WIDE SHOT OF CATHEDRAL) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "We too must look with love and honesty at our past, recognizing error and seeking forgiveness, for God alone is our judge." He acknowledged that some good came from Luther and the Reformation, particularly his emphasis on the Gospel. Martin Luther started the Reformation in 1517, criticizing the Catholic Church for corruption. It led to a violent schism throughout Europe -- prompting war, the destruction of English monasteries, and the burning of numerous "heretics" on both sides. Theological dialogue between Roman Catholics and Lutherans began 50 years ago -- but the two are still officially not allowed to take communion at each other's services. While some were hoping for a breakthrough during the pope's visit, a joint statement effectively re-stated the status quo, but said both sides were committed to further theological dialogue.