His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav and Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden met today His Holiness Pope Franz in the southern Swedish city of Lund; here they attended an event in the celebration of the 500-years anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.
The Pope landed at Malmö Airport at 11, local time, this morning; this started the pope’s two-day long visit to Sweden. He was welcomed by the Swedish prime minister, Stefan Lofven and members of the Church of Sweden and the Swedish Catholic Church. The King’s bodyguard performed several marches upon his arrival, including the Vatican anthem. Over 30 journalists stood ready in Malmo to follow the Pope and the King’s meeting, 70 journalists came with Pope. The Pope’s visit has been followed closely by Swedish media, and the major television channels have broadcast live large parts of the day from the events.
King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia had a meeting with the Pope in the royal residence in Lund. The press did attend a few moments before the three had a private conversation. Watch the Pope and the King’s meeting here.
The Church service in Lund Cathedral today was historic. Church leaders from the Catholic and the Reformed Church hold a common service. Lund cathedral was built in the twelfth century, at the time when Sweden was a Catholic nation. After the service the Pope signed a document with several Lutheran archbishops of the Church of Sweden. The document buries struggle between the two churches and gets the two churches to promise to cooperate in the future. Also guests from the Norwegian, Danish and Finnish churches where present.
The cause that the city of Lund was chosen to be the centre of the meeting between King Carl Gustav, Queen Silvia and the Pope is because it was here that the Lutheran World Federation was formed in 1947 and they celebrates its 70th anniversary, next year, in 2017. The Swedish royal family has met with the pope before and through time regularly been in the audience with the various popes who have served the Catholic Church in the time that King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia have sat on the throne. As recently as April of 2015 Queen Silvia, Princess Madeleine and Princess Leonore was in the Vatican.
You can see more pictures of the meeting with the Pope at the Swedish royal family website here.