[quote=Angainor]That link was from lcms.org as well.
Personally, I think it would be hard to be less “ecumenical” than Catholicism. When Catholicism claims that only it can perform the Eucharist, that pretty much nipps any chance of religious unity in the bud!
Ecumenism is important, and it is important to the Catholic Church, but not when it is at the expense of the truth. I addressed some of this in a previous post:
The Church has always held that you need a “valid” priesthood in order to consecrate the Holy Eucharist. A member of the priesthood includes the bishop [a successor to the Apostles] or someone appointed by the bishop, meaning a priest.
Here are the words of St. Ignatius of Antioch, 2nd successor to St. Peter as Bishop of Antioch. He was also a disciple and auditor for the Apostle, St. John the Evangelist.
Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. [The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyraeans, 107 A.D.]
St. Ignatius tells us that anything done “as the Church” has to be approved by the local bishop. And that a valid Eucharist only comes from the bishop or a priest appointed by him. And wherever there is Jesus Christ, there is the Catholic Church. That is a powerful statement, early on in Christianity, just a couple of years after the death of the last Apostle. This is the earliest written record I have found that identifies the Church as the “Catholic Church”.
The Catholic Church does not claim “that only it can perform the Eucharist”, it acknowledges that the Eastern Orthodox have a valid priesthood as well. I have even heard by virtue of Orthodox ordination, that there may be some small strains of Anglicanism and Lutheranism that have valid orders. If you are looking strickly at the worldwide numbers, Catholicism and Orthodoxy alone make up over two-thirds of Christianity so this is certainly not being exclusive. It is not ecumenical nor acceptable to discard the truth just to please the smaller minority. My previous post listed above addresses in more depth the reasons why the Catholic Church does not allow all Christians to the receive the Eucharist. I hope this helps.
BTW, Angainor, what is it that you, as a Lutheran (LCMS), believe about the Eucharist? “Consubstantiation” comes to mind … thanks very much, I am sincerely interested!
Peace to you,