Vugt: Pope Francis – ecumenism and Rembrandt | SunStar

Vugt: Pope Francis – ecumenism and Rembrandt

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Vugt: Pope Francis – ecumenism and Rembrandt

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

REMBRANDT is a famous painter who lived in the Netherlands during the middle ages. In the Netherlands, there is a big museum which displays his paintings. I read in the UK magazine The Tablet that in Rome, there is also a museum dedicated to Rembrandt that displays his paintings.

The exhibition has been organized by the Dutch and Swedish embassies to the Holy See. It is intended that 50 etchings by Rembrandt along with an oil painting will be on display. The aim is to build mutual respect between Christians of different nominations. One of the key themes in the events that are being organized by Lutheran churches throughout the world is to mark the anniversary of the day Martin Luther is thought to have nailed his 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. The exhibition opened on November 23, 1916.

Some time ago, I wrote in one of my columns that the Pope went to Sweden and he had talks there with many Protestant, Luthern, and Anglican pastors. The Pope was encouraging the pastors to have a union with Catholic priests and pastors and share with each other the tables.

The Tablet said also that the healing power of art was put to the test when the Pope went to Sweden. The Pope’s decision to go to Lund, a town in Sweden, is part of this healing process. While he was there, he participated in a common prayer liturgy in the Church of Sweden’s cathedral. That itself had symbolic value, for the cathedral was built before the reformation led to the divisions between the Christian churches.

What is significant also is that Rembrandt himself was a Protestant but his mother was a Catholic. Personally, I didn’t know this. Another thing is that the Dutch master will be shown in the Vatican Museums, which is the sixth of most visited museums in the world.

It is ironic that the NDF peace talks with the government are held also in Rome, because it is too cold in Norway.

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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 12, 2017.

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