Pope to visit Sweden to commemorate 500 years of Reformation

The Vatican says that Pope Francis will visit Sweden in October to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation at celebrations planned in the southern city of Lund.

The Vatican on Monday announced the one-day trip on Oct. 31, the first papal visit to Sweden since 1989 when Pope John Paul II visited.

The Lutheran World Church said in a separate release that the event, being held ahead of the Reformation anniversary in 2017, was meant to highlight "the solid ecumenical developments between Catholics and Lutherans." Celebrations will include a common worship based on a recently published Catholic Lutheran liturgical guide.

Martin Luther's challenge to the Catholic doctrine of indulgences in 1517 is remembered as the start of the Reformation.