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Martin Luther praised by Pope in call for unity

Pope John Paul II Sunday called for greater progress toward Christian unity, breaking new ground in the Vatican view of Martin Luther, father of the Protestant Reformation. The call came in a message marking the 500th anniversary of the birth of Luther, whose revolt against Rome split the Christian Church in the 16th century.

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The Pope, who called Luther ''a man of deep religiousness,'' has accepted an invitation to deliver a sermon at a Lutheran Church in Rome.