Pope, Lutheran leader pledge to work for restored communion [CWN]

“The spiritual experience of Martin Luther challenges us to remember that apart from God we can do nothing,” Pope Francis said at an ecumenical prayer service in Lund, Sweden on October 31.


This post is somewhat repetitious but in view of the serious differences between the two, I don;t see how Catholics and Lutherans could possibly restore communion. The two could work together on joint projects, such as pro-life marches, but i don;t see the Catholic church recognizing SS marriage, birth control, divorce, etc. Also the Lutheran state churches in the Nordic countries ordain women as pastors and have women as bishops.

I’m concerned about the direction the Church has been taking of late. :frowning:

Simple: the Lutheran Church can change its teachings. They are pretty open about that. They are currently Not open to changing their teachings on the areas where they disagree with us, but that attitude can be changed over time.

Remember that the Southern Baptist Convention used to support abortion in certain circumstances, but they have since changed in part due to the popularity of Baptist preachers who agreed with Catholicism on this issue. If it happened with the Baptists, it can happen with the Lutherans.

When they change on one issue, we’ll sign a joint statement of agreement, and continually add these agreements until there are no more dividing issues. Pray and work!

Lutherans have a whole lot more disagreements with the Roman Catholic church than does the SSPX. Do you expect all Lutheran women pastors and bishops to resign. do you expect that all married Lutheran SS couples will divorce and renounce their marriage?

Agreed. My thoughts exactly.

All we can do now is hope and pray for the complete conversion of Lutherans and their compete dismantling of sola scriptura and acceptance of liberalism such as abortion and female minsters

No, I expect it will be gradual and piecemeal. Some sectors of Lutheranism will continue opposing these things and refusing to do them. Some of their seminaries won’t allow women to enter, and the leadership won’t have the backbone to force them. As this position grows in popularity, more seminaries will adopt this position, until the majority of Lutheran synods only have male clergy.

Throughout this period the traditionalists will gain leadership positions in the World Lutheran Federation. When they are a majority, they will announce a new policy: no Lutheran seminaries anywhere can accept female applicants, and no new same-sex ceremonies will be permitted. The elderly female pastors won’t be replaced by new ones and same-sex couples will look for a different church to get “married” in. When there are none left, or few enough not to cause a problem, the World Lutheran Federation will sign a joint declaration with the Vatican against female pastors and “same-sex marriage.”

A similar thing happened with the Southern Baptist Convention on abortion, except I don’t think there has yet been a joint declaration against abortion, though I wouldn’t be surprised if one was in the works. If it can happen with the Baptists, it can happen with the Lutherans too. All protestant churches change their doctrines as the winds of popularity drive them. Only the Catholic Church does not. We just have to wait them out and help make it happen.

Thank you! Very nice explanation. :thumbsup:

I know changes can be hard. There were a lot of people who left the Church at the beginning of the aftermath of Vatican ll. Unfortunately I see similar possibility for abandonment of faith or a fierce rebellion. Either way it is not pretty. The Traditionalist get kinda cranky when upsetted by religion or politics. :o

This meeting was with the World Lutheran Federation. In the US the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a member of the WLF. The Missouri Synod is not.

Interestingly we are talking to the most liberal Lutherans where the chance of reconciliation is absolutley zero.
The more Conservative Lutherans whose values more closely resemble Catholicism want nothing to do with us.
I find this whole episode a charade.
I’m sure Pope Francis means well
But as my late mother frequently reminded me "The road to hell is paved with good intentions "

Define “of late”

I don’t think that’s the case with ILC/LCMS Lutherans anymore

Are you insinuating he is leading souls astray? :eek:

What is with people here lately. So many are against Pope Francis is sickening. He is an awesome pope and I see nothing conflicting with Church teachings. Maybe against “perceived” teachings but not the official stance of the Church. UNbelievable!

Jon is right. People from the more conservative branches of Lutheranism find company with Catholics picketing abortion clinics and at religious liberty rallies. Some very traditional Catholics, who previously would not set foot in a non Catholic church, found themselves at the local Baptist church 2 weeks ago, because that is where the “40 Days for Life” rally was held. Times are starting to change.

With regard to the mainline Lutherans, I can see moderate value in the Pope meeting with them. He has some pastoral responsibility. Keep in mind just because a denomination is extremely liberal, not everyone in that denomination thinks alike. Keep the lines of communication open with persons. The pope isn’t there to applaud their (regrettable) drift away from confessional Lutheranism, he emphasizes some of the very positive features of Lutheran tradition and spirituality. This process won’t stop the drift of mainline Lutheran **organizations **away from Christian orthodoxy, but may benefit some individuals. It is for individuals the pope has some pastoral concern.

I would like to make mention that my wife, who converted to Catholicism, is formerly of the LCMS branch of the Lutheran faith. Her mom used to be heavily Lutheran, but since she stopped attending much… she risked the threat of being thrown out of her church she belongs to… so she has just started attending Mass with my wife, our baby, and I. It isn’t a regular basis, but a lot more than I ever thought would be possible.

There definitely has been an idea that Catholics are judgmental coming from the other side. When the truth is learned, it is shown that isn’t the case for a majority. Actually, I believe the Catholic church subscribes very well to allowing “free will” of a person. It outlines the rules very well in our Catechism, but no one will be thrown out for being a “casual Catholic” or being felt like they are watching their every move. I am not saying that is right by any means, but at least the “judgement” portion isn’t there. We are all sinners in different ways, working to become saints (which is fitting on today’s “All Saints Day”)

A gradual conversion of hearts can happen. I have seen it on a much smaller scale. When the Catholic church that speaks the truth, but with love (and not judgement) comes out, and when things are taught properly and fully, with reasoning behind why we do things (which has been lacking for so many years in our CCD/Faith Formation classes), I think the Church will be much better off.

I pray that these bridges, at least to an extent, can be mended. For some of the situations that Pope Francis hasn’t been super clear on, at least he has made a large effort in trying to “welcome home” groups such as SSPX, the Orthodox Church, and Lutherans. Even if only the more conservative groups of the Lutheran church try to make it happen. It is a great start and a wonderful thing to see.

Can you tell us what Pope Francis has done about the objections that the Eastern Orthodox and the objections that the SSPX have toward full reconciliation?

There is absolutely no place for criticism here. What Pope Francis is doing expresses an openness that unfortunately is often perceived not to be there. I’m not sure how many people here know Lutherans, but as a former Lutheran I can say that these things do make a difference.

I am not sure that the Pope can be open to accepting some of the teachings we see today in the Lutheran community.

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