Cardinal opens door to Lutheran ordinariates

The president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said in an interview that the Vatican would entertain a hypothetical proposal by Lutherans to establish ecclesial structures modeled on the ordinariates developed for Anglican communities that wish to enter into full communion with the Holy See.

“Anglicanorum coetibus was not an initiative of Rome, but came from the Anglican church,” said Cardinal Kurt Koch, referring to the 2009 papal document that established the ordinariates. “The Holy Father then sought a solution and, in my opinion, found a very broad solution, in which the Anglicans’ ecclesial and liturgical traditions were taken into ample consideration. If similar desires are expressed by the Lutherans, then we will have to reflect on them. However, the initiative is up to the Lutherans.”

This group of Lutherans has apparently been seeking full communion with Rome for a while now:

Perhaps they’ll be able to help form a “Lutheran” ordinariate in time.

I could see them using a traditional form of the Lutheran Divine Service, which is quite similar to the Roman Rite, but I’m not sure if they could identify as “Lutherans” as Martin Luther was clearly a heretic from a Catholic perspective. Perhaps these would be Catholics who worship according to the “Evangelical Germanic Use” or something to that effect.

This would be a great thing to see happen to the Church, as any group that has once split away and tries to come back is wonderous indeed. Hopefully it will be an inspiration and realization to many Protestant churches around the world.


There is very little difference between a conservative Lutheran Church and a progressive Catholic Parish.

That would anger the followers of Ellen Gould-White. o:

I disagree, there are big differences particularly in the Eucharist and apostolic sucession.

The link is to Bishop Klinefelter’s group. I see.


Of course there’s apostolic succession and papal infallibility differences, but frankly, a lot of progressive Catholics would walk out during one of our sermons. Our rules and morals may be a bit more lax, but they are talked about, admonished, and adhered to.

I base my understanding progressive Catholics here in Washington State, so you milage may very.

That said, any overture from the Catholic church is welcome.

It will be interesting to see who grabs this ball and runs with it. I can’t see the ELCA attempting it because of the issues with female ordination. And we’re probably at least 30 synodical conventions away from a resolution in the LCMS (that’s 90 years to my non-Lutheran friends).

Still, although it’s taken 500 years to get us facing in the same direction, we may walk together eventually.

Hi, Ben…as the good cardinal said…"However, the initiative is up to the Lutherans.”

I take this as a hint…from the Holy Spirit…for the Lutherans now to take the initiative.

plays the role of Noah and builds an ark in suburbia…anyway, I recalled this dialogue in the movie:


If you ask for courage, will God zap you to give you courage suddenly or will God give you the opportunity to be courageous, to act courageously?

If you ask for Love and togerness, will God suddenly zap you to give you love and togerness, or God will give you the opportunity to show love and togerness?

Along this lines…I think this is God’s way of showing…prompting…I am giving you an opportunity to come together.

Steve Carrell, a very devout Catholic, not Jim Carrey.

The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is the heart of the Catholic faith. That truth is unchangable dogma and universal for Roman Catholics.

In my own experience of how God answers prayer this seems most likely. If you want patience be prepared for someone to really start testing it. Of one thing we can all be certain, and that is that Christ desires unity within his Church. I pray that this opportunity does not go unattended.

I look forward to the day when talk about a Unitarian Ordinariate! :smiley:

I’m not really sure what the point of a Lutheran ordinariate would be… it seems to me that, unlike Anglicanism, Lutheranism doesn’t really have a distinctive liturgical patrimony. If you take Lutheranism and strip away all its Protestant theology, you’re going to be left with something looking an awful lot like normal Roman Catholicism. Besides married clergy, of course, but I believe there’s already plenty of married former Lutheran pastors in the priesthood.

We claim the true Body and Blood of Christ. Catholic teaching says otherwise about us, though a rather interesting Catholic cardinal stated that the Lutheran Body and Blood is “salvation granting.”

That’s not the Church dividing part. :wink:


Hey Pablo,
Can you, or another Catholic, explain what the Cardinal means?

Cardinal Koch also said that both “'progressives and traditionalists suffer from the same ailment”: a refusal to interpret the Second Vatican Council with a hermeneutic of “renewal in continuity.”

“Both see the Council equally as a break, even if in a very different way,” he said. “The Holy Father has questioned this understanding of the conciliar hermeneutics of the break and proposed the hermeneutics of reform, which unites continuity and renewal.”


I would only need a small brief case: may I bring The Augsburg Confession, the Lutheran mass, and Lutheran hymnody?


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