Christian Unity

So I’m interested in the recent ecumenism between Roman Catholics and Lutherans. The new Pope seems to be much more open to new ideas in the Roman Catholic Church.

So after reading “From Conflict to Communion. Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.”, I would be curious about comments from the regulars here and from any Roman Catholic or Lutheran Clergy.

Note I have a personal interest in this as I’m a practicing Lutheran and my wife is a Roman Catholic. We agreed to send our son to the local Roman Catholic School because it’s a better school than public and I did want my son to have a Christian background in elementary school. I attend Catholic mass with my family and respect the Catholic Church’s desire that I’m not allowed to participate in Communion. I hope to be allowed participate in Communion for my son’s first Communion.

I was surprised very young Catholic children participate in Communion while Lutheran children are given first Communion on Confirmation after Catechism completion ( around 13 years old).

My personal opinion would be that of course, Roman Catholics and Lutherans have much in common and can and should work together on a number of charitable and worthy projects. However, I personally do not see how they could unite into one Church because of the serious differences on a number of issues.

Pope Francis is focusing on Christian unity on two fronts (Lutheranism and the EO) and I have no doubt that he is willing to look at certain aspects of our pracsis and doctrine that could be adjusted a bit in order for the Lutherans to come back.

He is only pope however and not any sort of dictator and there aren’t really to much he can change in the end of the day.
Also it is mainly the Lutherans responsibility to get closer to Rome, its not our job to throw our sacred Tradition out the window in order to please anyone.

About you being able to recieve communion on your sons first communion, Im awfully sorry but I can’t see it happening unless you convert to the Catholic Faith or the Lutheran Church drop their heresy and convert their whole church, which is highly unlikely…

Yours in Jesus and Mary

  • MarianCatholic

I could foresee Pope Francis opening up a type of Ordinariate for Lutherans the way Benedict did for Anglicans (as Father Z never tires of reminding us, “Pope Benedict was the pope of Christian Unity”). Or perhaps Francis might expand the mission of the Anglican Ordinariate to include those Lutherans who seek to restore full communion with the Catholic Church en masse.

It might be wise to keep in mind that Christian Unity wasn’t broken by the Catholic Church, but by Luther. It would seem a bit cheeky to complain about Lutherans not being in full communion with the Church, when it was Luther’s conscious decision to break said communion.

Yes, I would be very happy if the Catholic Church returned to unity with the church. But I am afraid there is a long way to go.

I think you might need to study history a little bit more, my friend.

God bless.

While we should all pray to see the divisions of the Church healed, I doubt true unity will happen in my life time or even the lifetime of my six month old’s grandchildren. While the last three popes have all worked towards Christian unity there are still wide chasms that would need to be bridged. Heck even Lutherans don’t agree on a number of things (compare ELCA to LCMS) even though they are theoretically closer in theology then say LCMS and the Catholic Church.

We need to be careful about conflating unity with reunion. Unity talks about joining together on areas of agreement and discussions on where others have missed the boat where they disagree with the Catholic Church. Unity is the first step to reunion. That though assumes that other Christian sects move closer, not further, from Catholic teaching. For instance the Catholic Church will never move to accept many practices of the ELCA (female “ordination”, acceptance of homosexual acts, divorce, and abortion, fluidity of doctrine, etc), so reunion would never be possible as long as those churches continue to move away from the Catholic Church.

Short of swimming the Tiber (aka becoming Catholic) you would not be openly admitted to the Eucharist for your son’s first communion. The 2017 commemoration is not about opening wide the doors and ignoring divisions, but more like the US and Russia standing together against Germany during WWII. Here we are talking about standing against a common enemy of secularism that rejects Christ, not reunification.

As for the practice of communion at 7 that is a fairly recent event in the Latin Church. Before the 20th century Roman Catholics would typically have received Confirmation and first Eucharist between 12 to 14, with Confirmation preceding reception of the Eucharist. In 1910 Pope Pius X effectively lowered the age at which children could received the Eucharist to 7 (aka the age of reason). The basic reasoning is that all Catholic are obliged to receive the Eucharist during the Easter season once they have obtained the age of reason. Pope Pius X simply said that there once a child can understand the difference between bread and wine and the Body and Blood of Christ that that is the bar for the age of reason. While Confirmation should also have been moved earlier in many areas it actually started happening later until it was not uncommon for First Eucharist to precede Confirmation by 8 - 10 years.

The Catholic Church "return?! " to unity with the Lutheran Church?!
You must be kidding? Your church are the one who broke with us, not the other way around.
If there is ever going to be a reunion between the two churches YOUR church has to drop its heresy and humbly approach Rome.

Catholics and Lutherans are extremely close in many respects.

If you can accept the universal jurisdiction of the royal steward (we call him the pope) established by King Jesus and the painfully obvious reality that sola scriptura is not itself biblical, then becoming re-united with the Catholic Church should be relatively easy for you.

Oh, and our music is pretty bad…but that’s OUR cross to bear. :rolleyes:

And we have no reason to take it on. We have enough of our own without adding Haugen Haas to it!

Perhaps, but as a former Protestant myself, I’ll take some of your great hymns over our 70’s folk tripe any day! :thumbsup:

Welcome to CAF Christian_Unity!!

Some of the old music is tough to handle, but it’s quite interesting when you see like 1267 as the original date of the music.

There was one the other day that was really old, even the priest said something like 'did you all catch we just sang to a tune from (I think it was in) the 8 or 900’s.

Take care,


At my Church they recently had a folk band / choir that does the music now. It is interesting to say the least.



This would likely be granted under the right circumstances. The Anglican Ordinates were created in response to a several break away groups asking the Pope for corporate admission; if there were a movement of Lutherans who petition the Pope in the same manner, such an accommodation would likely be made.

It should be noted, that the Anglican groups had already adopted the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and pledged unconditional submission to the Pope. Most were prepared to convert individually if necessary.

"And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love… :banghead::banghead::banghead:

God willing they can work things out and bridge the gap towards unity.

Hi Christian_Unity, Welcome to CAF, still the best Christian forum on the Web.

I am a bit surprised by your comment regarding 1st Holy Communion. When we were still ELCA, my daughter was offered 1st Holy Communion when she was about 9. She took the classes, but chose not to receive, and instead waited until she was confirmed in our current LCMS parish, which incidentally, offers 1st Holy Communion to as young as 8 year olds, after some basic catechesis.

On the main point, however, while I pray for the day that our traditions can share the same altar as Pope Benedict prayed for, it will take time and, frankly, doctrinal unity.

Your synod, however, faces the additional challenge of female ordination, which is not present or possible in either the LCMS or the CC.

I do applaud you, however, for the good way you are raising your child. Not being Catholic, I don’t know what he would say, but I would certainly ask the Bishop if he would permit you to receive for this one event. The worst he can do is say no.


Hmmm … Feel like I’ve heard that before, only different somehow. :hmmm:

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