EKD Press Releases
EKD Delegation sets out for Rome
Meeting with Pope Francis; EKD delegation accompanied by Cardinal Marx. Bedford-Strohm: "Time to reflect together on further real steps towards visible unity"
February 4, 2017
This weekend (4/5 February 2017) a top-level delegation from the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) is setting out for Rome. Accompanied by Reinhard Cardinal Marx, chairman of the German Bishops Conference, the EKD delegation will be received on Monday (6 February 2017) by Pope Francis for a private audience. Shortly before he left for Rome, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Lutheran bishop of Bavaria and chair of the EKD Council, remarked: "I am looking forward to another encounter with Pope Francis and our ecumenical talks in Rome. It is time to reflect together on further real steps on our way towards visible unity." Bedford-Strohm first visited the Vatican to get to know Pope Francis at the end of April 2016.
On Sunday (5 February 2017) the EKD delegation has been invited to a service at the Waldensian Church, followed by an encounter with the congregation and representatives of the Waldensian university in Rome. In the evening, the EKD delegation will be hosted by ambassador Annette Schavan in the German embassy at the Holy See.
On Monday (6 February 2017) the EKD delegation will meet with Pope Francis. Afterwards, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Praeses Annette Kurschus, deputy EKD Council chair and Reinhard Cardinal Marx will report on the encounter at a press conference (at 12.30).
The afternoon programme will feature a visit to the early Christian tombs under St Peter's Cathedral and a service of Holy Communion at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Rome.
The EKD delegation consists of EKD Council chair Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, deputy chair Praeses Annette Kurschus, EKD synod president Irmgard Schwaetzer, contact group chair and church president Christian Schad, plus the Council members Andreas Barner, Praeses Michael Diener, Bishop Markus Dröge, Elisabeth Gräb-Schmidt, church president Volker Jung and OKR Dieter Kaufmann.
Hanover, 4 February 2017
EKD Press Office