"one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church"

The issue of who is “catholic” is often discussed in CAF and I don’t mean to rehash old arguments. But I am interested in what readers think about the affirmation that both “Catholics and Lutherans have never ceased to confess together the faith
in the »one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church” in the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue. lutheranworld.org/sites/default/files/From%20Conflict%20to%20Communion.pdf

Does the statement mean the catholic universal Church [including Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Reformed, etc]? Or does it apply only to Lutherans as a part of the Catholic faith?

Any thoughts?

it is catholic with a little “c”, meaning universal

As I understand it, there are two degrees of Catholicity:

  1. Having received all the Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic Church.

  2. Complete agreement with and assent to the doctrine and precepts of the Church.

The document seems to speak of a different, lower-case form of catholicity. I’m not sure about what that means, though.

I think the real question should be regarding the word one, as opposed to Catholic. When this creed was formulated there was indeed one church. There is still one church today, and I would think one should look at historical evidence for which church that is.

From the cotent and the context of that statement, I would think it refers to a belief in the article of the creed, which has always been confessed (or at least not rejected) by Catholics and Lutherans. Here is the full paragraph:

Although the documents Church and Justification and Apostolicity of the Church made significant contributions to a number of unresolved issues between Catholics and Lutherans, further ecumenical conversation is still needed on: the relation between the visibility and invisibility of the church, the relation between the universal and local church, the church as sacrament, the necessity of sacramental ordination in the life of the church, and the sacramental character of episcopal consecration. Future discussion must take into account the significant work already done in these and other important documents. This task is so urgent since Catholics and Lutherans have never ceased to confess together the faith in the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”

What it is saying is that since Catholics and Lutherans both profess a belief in “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church,” it is urgent for Lutherans and Catholics to reconcile their disagreements (enumerated partially above) over the nature of that Church.

I believe it means both Catholics and Lutherans believe in that same ideal.

The question of who is “Catholic:” is probably up in the air (I mean collectively speaking - obviously, the Catholics are big-C “Catholic” :)).

I also agree with brother Jon’s observation.


I was LCMS-Lutheran for five years, they have officially replaced the word ‘catholic’ with ‘Christian’. One of their many changes that eventually woke me wide awake to leave the protestant world forever and come back home. I will admit the introduction to a liturgical service is what helped my husband finally consider the Catholic church.

The time for Lutheran-Catholic dialogue has past, what we have seen left in their pews is staunch anti-CAtholicism and their newest seminarians are more pro-Calvin than Luther. Hence why a popular Christian magazine calls this the post-Christian era, protestantism is dying.

Is there a LCMS-Lutheran here that can tell me why the newer hymnals have the Magnificat removed from the Advent services? Its in the red hymnal, if you can find a church that still uses it. A recently graduated pastor caused a choir director to quit his position and leave the LCMS because of nixing the Ave Maria for the Christmas play.

I have a Lutheran Service Book in front of me. Your assertion is simply untrue. But let’s entertain a “what if;” doesn’t catholic mean Christian? :shrug:

Our respective communions don’t seem to think so. Never before has the light of reunification gone so bright! We still have a long way to go, but the progress of the past 50 years is incredible given how wide the chasm once was. Also, if there is a single Crypto-Calvinist coming from our seminaries, I’d appreciate if you’d PM me your experiences and names of the pastors. It’s my experience that a majority of our newest pastors are rather staunch supporters of traditional, orthodox Lutheran belief, practice and worship (I’m very pleased to say there is a growing disdain for “praise worship”).

I think it refers to the idea that Lutherans are baptized, hence connected to the Church, as are most Christians, but are separated. I would assume, then, that any baptized Christian who believes in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds would also be in that category as well. The statement, from the Catholic Church’s perspective, would be a call that if we all talk the talk, lets formally walk the walk.

As long as the Lutherans hold to separate organizational status, I don’t think they would be seen as part of the Catholic Church proper.

For the Catholic position on this, I’d suggest this document:



You’re really going to imply that the post-Vatican II mess of a church we call the RCC is the historical church?

Ask yourself what church still teaches and worships the way it was done when the Nicene Creed was formulated.

Did the Nicene-fathers believe in papal infallibility? Did they believe in destroying the mass to a Protestantized ‘if it feels good, do it’-farce? Did they believe in the filioque? Did they believe in ecumenism? Did they reform the fast for the Eucharist from a day to three hours to an hour? Did they believe in Immaculate Conception? Were they schismatics? …

Sorry, but talking Nicene creed and historicity, historicity is no argument for the RCC.

“And the gates of hell will not prevail against it”

“And I will send you the Holy Spirit”

“I am Peter and on this Rock I will build my church”

Times change and the church changes. It has changed many times over the years.

The truth is constant, but practices change. That is good.

I imagine when the mass changed from Greek to Latin there was uproar.

Or when Pope Gregory introduced music perhaps people cried apostate.

Bottom line. God promised us his church not your opinion.

Yes that is precisely what is being said and it is correct.

:stuck_out_tongue: Where does this confer papal infallibilty? The church fathers certainly didn’t seem to think it did. You’d think they would put something like that in the Creed by the way… Also, taking some Bible-verses out of context and quoting them stand-alone, come on, how protestant of you.
I’ll take the Christian tradition, the tradition of the Church fathers, over the proclamations of a mere man, coming from a church that is shedding every ounce of tradition, declaring his own infallibility or a post-Protestant on the Sola My Interpretation’-path

Your church changed. I can honestly say to myself that I know my church to be as historical as it gets. It survived to this day, based on practices and liturgy that can be traced back more than 1500 years without big changes. Can you? Especially post-Vatican I and II?

Unless Luther did it? Though, I imagine this day and age in the RCC, Luther would be considered a visionary.

The truth is not constant in Catholicism.
Remember how it went from ‘let him be anathematized’ to ‘The brethren divided from us also use many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community. These liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation.’

Yet the church survived, because it’s not the worship or sacraments that were altered, just the language.

What happened to the believers and their faith in Catholicism since the Novus Ordo? Dwindling and pure chaos.

My opinion? On the contrary, I’m no protestant ‘let me interpret some bible-verses and prove my point’-heretic. My question is: did the historical Church do it? Because I’m not infallible and neither is the Pope, but the Church is. That’s why you don’t see me quoting scriptures, but asking questions of historicity.

Your protestantized offshoot of what used to be catholicism is indeed a small letter ‘c’ church, and nothing more. But don’t call it ‘God’s church’.

St. Augustine was a big fan of the Novus Ordo, right?

No it is not. It is an at best schismatic and at worst heretical sect that is completely lost in the liturgical chaos. Everybody does what he pleases, nobody knows what they believe, nobody knows what the sacraments are or when to give them, worship is a farce, … It almost puts Protestantism to shame.

This is NOT the Church of any of the church fathers (East or West), and anyone who thinks about this for a minute in all honesty knows this. You really think any of the church fathers walking into a Novus Ordo mass or reading Vatican II decrees, would have anything less than a seizure? Remember these people lost their s*** about things like Arianism, something that is merely a mild difference of opinion compared to the chaos and sectarian ideas in the RCC and all so-called christianity as a whole (because most of them are in fact not Christians).

I’m curious, since you don’t belong to the Catholic Church, which one do you belong to?

I’m converting to orthodoxy.

So Eastern Orthodox then?

This type of post is a violation of more forum rules than I can count. It’s been reported. Have a nice day. I pray God removes the hate from your heart.

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