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Pope in Sweden: the joy of Finnish Bishop Teemu Sippo

Teemu Sippo

“Joy for the fact Pope Francis will go to Lund for the meeting that commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Reform”. It has been expressed on the website of the diocese of Helsinki by the Finnish bishop Teemu Sippo, in response to the news posted yesterday that the Pope will be in Sweden on 31st October. “For us Catholics it is extremely important, and it will certainly be for Lutherans too”, the bishop writes. “The Pope’s visit will be felt as an approach between these two Churches and as a message of hope for the path on the road to unity between Christians”. The Jesuit bishop Sippo wishes the Finnish will take part “in large numbers in this meeting in Lund, where we will also be able to meet the Supreme Pastor of our Church”. There are no details yet about the calendar of the Pope’s Swedish Day. “Many of us have tried to persuade the Pope to come to Sweden, and in the end he was ‘sick’ of all these invitations”, the bishop of Stockholm, Anders Arborelius, said today in an interview on the newspaper Dagen, speaking also of Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. “His coming – Arborelius added – shows interest in ecumenical dialogue and in the small Catholic Church that lives here. It will be a great encouragement”. Registered Catholics in Sweden today are about 113 thousand, but the actual number is about 150 thousand. Pope John Paul II had been to Central Sweden in 1989.

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