‘We both believe that there is only one church’ (Findlay, OH)

On Oct. 31, 1517, the monk and theologian Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” to the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, protesting the Roman Catholic Church’s practice of asking payment or “indulgences” for forgiveness of sins.

It was the start of what would become known as the Protestant Reformation.

Since then, Lutherans and Catholics have worshipped separately. But this year, throughout the country and the world, Catholics and Lutherans are coming together to mark the anniversary — with an emphasis on what they do, in fact, have in common.

The Rev. Bob Cochran, pastor at First Lutheran Church in Findlay, said “this has been a long journey” on the part of Lutherans and Catholics.

“We both believe that there is only one church” and it is “only through human failing” that we have created different denominations, Cochran said.

And, as both denominations mark the 500th anniversary, they aren’t celebrating the split, but commemorating it, several local pastors said.

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