Brother Roger and the Taize Community

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Taize Community in France. It is an ecumenical community of Christians from different traditions and denominations. It was founded Brother Roger Shultz–a Protestant, but seems to have a very Catholic flavor.

Anyway, according to his Wikipedia page, Brother Shultz was allowed to enter into full communion with Rome, yet without conversion and while keeping his status as a Protestant. By all accounts, he was a very Godly man.

I was wondering what others think about this. Would allowing Protestants to enter into communion with Rome without conversion be an acceptable way forward as we strive for unity and fellowship between all Christians?

I’d be interested in hearing from both Protestants and Catholics a like.


If the Roman Catholic Church allows it, why would I dispute it?

Pray for unity!

Prayer for the Unity of Christians
(Pro christianorum unitate oratio)

Almighty and eternal God,
you gather the scattered sheep
and watch over those you have gathered.
Look kindly on all who follow Jesus, your Son.
You have marked them with the seal of one baptism;
now make them one in the fullness of faith
and unite them in the bond of love.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Handbook of Indulgences, #44 (1991)

What does “full communion with Rome” mean? He certainly would not be allowed to receive the sacraments without being formally admitted into the Church. Can you please give us the link?


That is exactly what being in full communion with Rome means – that he would be allowed to receive the sacraments.

But … agreed. A link would be helpful to figure what’s going on. :slight_smile:

Not necessarily. Canon law allows some rare cases where a non-Catholic is allowed to receive Communion. It seems that Brother Roger was granted that permission from the Pope.

The Wikipedia aticle actually has more information. He never came into full communion with the Church although he participated in the liturgical life of the Church. He did seem to be moving in the direction of full communion but, according to the Cardinal quoted in the article, he still had some theological barriers at the time of his death.

You’re right. The Wikipedia article said he was “progressing toward full communion.” Still, I find his story fascinating. I’ll be in Europe next month, and wish I could arrange it to visit this community, but I don’t think it’ll work out.

I found out about Taize while looking for information on a song we sang in mass last year at Pentecost. It was so beautiful. It’s called Veni Sactus Spiritus. I’m sure many of you have heard it, but it was new to me. Anyway, this Taize community puts out a lot religious music. You can hear them sing this song on YouTube.

Here’s the link. It really moves me emotionally.

Yes, as far as I know Brother Roger never formally converted prior to his assassination—though I think Cdl. Kasper presided at his funeral. The religious order he founded includes both Catholics as well as Protestants from a variety of religious backgrounds. Communion at Taizé is very open.

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