Pope asks forgiveness

Catholics must also forgive past offences, Francis adds

(ANSA) - Vatican City, January 25 - Pope Francis asked for mercy and forgiveness for "unevangelical" conduct by Catholics against members of other Christian churches during a Vespers service to mark the end of the week of Christian unity on Monday. "At the same time I invite all Catholic brothers and sisters to forgive if, today or in the past, they have been offended by other Christians," the pope said in his homily at the Basilica of St. Paul's outside the Walls in a service celebrated with the Orthodox Archbishop of Malta, Gennadios Zervos, and Anglican Bishop David Moxon, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the Holy See. "We cannot erase what has been, but we do not want to allow the weight of past guilt to continue to pollute our relations.
    God's mercy will renew our relations," Francis continued. Earlier in the day the Vatican said Pope Francis would travel to Lund in Sweden on October 31 to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in a joint ceremony between the World Lutheran Federation and the Catholic Church. The pope has repeatedly stressed the importance of ecumenical dialogue with other churches and dialogue with other faiths.