Should Confessional Lutherans Be Catholic Now?

The Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity represents most north American and European Lutherans. The irony is that most of the apostolic succession Lutherans are not welcome at this time. Francis points this out:

This year marks fifty years of theological dialogue, and the anniversary of the fifth centenary of the Reformation is approaching. The Lutheran-Roman Catholic International Commission on Unity has therefore published the text “From conflict to communion: the Lutheran-Catholic interpretation of the Reformation in 2017”. The Pope underlined the importance for all to “meet each other in dialogue on the historical reality of the Reformation, on its consequences and the responses that should be given to it. Catholics and Lutherans can ask forgiveness for the harm they have done to each other and for their guilt before God, and together rejoice for the nostalgia for unity that the Lord has reawakened in our hearts, and which makes us look ahead with hope”.

“In the light of the journey through these recent decades, and of the many examples of brotherly communion between Lutherans and Catholics to which we are witnesses, and comforted by trust in the grace that is bestowed upon us by the Lord Jesus Christ, I am sure that we will be able to continue along our path of dialogue and communion”, he continued, “also facing fundamental questions, as well as divergences that arise in the anthropological and ethical fields. Certainly, there are and there will be difficulties, which will require further patience, dialogue, and mutual comprehension, but let us not be afraid! We are well aware, as Benedict XVI reminded us many times, that unity is not primarily the result of our efforts, but of the action of the Holy Spirit, to which we must open our hearts with trust in order that it might lead us along the paths to reconciliation and communion”.
visnews-en.blogspot.com/2013/…-conflict.html

What do you mean by the bolded?

The link doesn’t seem to work…

Certainly, there are and there will be difficulties, which will require further patience, dialogue, and mutual comprehension, but let us not be afraid! We are well aware, as Benedict XVI reminded us many times, that unity is not primarily the result of our efforts, but of the action of the Holy Spirit, to which we must open our hearts with trust in order that it might lead us along the paths to reconciliation and communion”.

Pope Francis seems to recognize that we have a ways to go before unity.

Jon

There are lots of Missouri-Synod and a few Wisconsin-Synod Lutherans in my area. From what I know about them through interaction with members and my own study, neither group is very ecumenical, and I’ve had it suggested by some LCMS members that other Christians outside their church will not be saved. :frowning: I hope that’s not what they actually teach.

True of Wisconsin.
The LCMS has membership in the ILC (International Lutheran Council), which has indeed begun “informal dialogue” with the Catholic Church. Additionally, the LCMS has been involved with all but one of the sessions between Lutherans and the USCCB here in America.
Sometimes, admittedly, we have been more reluctant than vigorous, but that seems to be changing, in part because of the mutual enemy in this country in the form of secularism in general and the HHS mandate in particular.

Jon

Oops visnews-en.blogspot.com/2013/10/lutherans-and-catholics-from-conflict.html

The Catholic-Lutheran Dialogue represents all Lutherans to my knowledge. The Lutheran World Federation/ Provoo Communion led the talks. Conclusion:

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
lutheranworld.org/sites/default/files/From%20Conflict%20to%20Communion.pdf

Female priests/ gay marriage is what separates Lutherans from Catholics.

Wisconsin Synod lutheran checking in.

I highly doubt the talks will get any attention at all from my synod, and if there is any acknowledgement at all it will be reluctance, and caution, and possibly condemnation. The WELS is very guarded about ecumenical relations, I mean guarded. We cannot even normalize relations with the LCMS, who are almost the same as us. I don’t see us normalizing relations with the Catholic Church anytime in the near future.

And yes, its true, a WELS minister will not pray with other denominations as part of an ecumenical prayer group or something, however laypersons can individually. I pray with my buddy who is a baptist all the time.

I think, for the sake of true unity, that it is naïve to believe that those are the issues that divide Lutherans and Catholics. If they were, then you would be right that confessional Lutherans would have no cause not to come into reconciliation with Rome.
In actuality, the issues you mention separate confessional Lutherans from LWF/ELCA type Lutherans, quite sadly. As a result, I would humbly suggest that the ELCA join us first by returning to orthodox Lutheran teaching on these issues, strengthening to dialogue with Rome, and improving the chances for unity. :wink:

Jon

Happy I didn’t misrepresent the WELS position. :yup:

Jon

Not what we teach!!(I’m WELS) however, we do have closed communion which angers some other protestant Christians as we teach that you must be an instructed believer in the faith before taking of the body and blood, as WELS believes in the Real Presence.
Also we are not allowed to attend Eucumenical bible studies, ect(which I don’t agree with necessarily) as the WELS do believe that other Churches have error, which can lead one astray.
BTW my hubby and I are studying both the Catholic and Orthodox faiths, with the thought we may convert. But they(WELS,LCMS) do believe from my understanding that other Trinitarian Christians who are properly baptized (in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and that trust in Jesus as their Savior are saved. They do teach that Jehovah’s Witnesses, and LDS are not saved as they don’t have the right Jesus.
This is what I was taught in my congregation. Want to add I think I’m Catholic at heart but still need to work through some issues.

Yes this is correct.

The Commission concluded that Lutherans and Catholics are in agreement on much more than where we amicably disagree.

Lutherans don’t disagree from one another except in the area of gender/ orientation.

Originally Posted by House Harkonnen View Post
Wisconsin Synod lutheran checking in.

Nice to have some WELS siblings here. :thumbsup:

Jon

Alright, but similarity and agreement in general ways in very different from full-communion-agreement.

At the risk of over-simplifying the whole issue, I think the major devide between Lutherans and Roman Catholics is simply authority.

Is the Bishop of Rome the “Supreme Pontiff” or not? I think we’re not very far apart theologically (based on what I read here), but the issue remains “who’s in charge”? I know Jesus Christ is the “Head of the Church”, but that’s not what I’m talking about here…

There are other issues to be sure… but I think that’s A-number-one.

Just my two cents…

Of course we are in agreement on more than we disagree on. That has always been the case, even in the heat of the Reformation (though not always amicably :o ). There may also be some things that both sides could say, “well we don’t exactly agree but it is isn’t Church dividing.”
But there are some things in doctrine that must be resolved, that are Church-dividing, that can’t be swept under the rug for the sake of faux unity.

Lutherans don’t disagree from one another except in the area of gender/ orientation.

Largely, this is true, and we prayerfully wait for the ELCA’s return to orthodoxy in these issues.

Jon

Your humbly suggesting that the ELCA should first return to orthodox Lutheran teaching, the ELCA would have to repudiate at least fifty years of history and ELCA churches such as this one herchurch.org in San Francisco. The ELCA would like to change orthodox Lutheran and Catholic teachings on abortion, women and homosexual ordination, and gay marriage.

I can’t really agree to that - as I would say the priestess/psudo-marrige issues are symptoms of discounting the confessions and scripture.

Thanks for clarifying this! I actually was taught (I am WELS) we weren’t supposed to pray with anyone who was not WELS. My immediate family never observed this as my mom is WELS and dad was raised Catholic but no longer participates in organized religion. I also was taught not to participate in non-WELS services (i.e. don’t stand, sing, or pray)…yeah, that doesn’t happen with me with all the Catholic weddings and funerals in the family.

Its certainly the biggest issue for me. And it isn’t simply a question of is the Bishop of Rome the Supreme Pontiff, but what exactly does that actually mean. I don’t see Lutheranism, generally, accepting universal jurisdiction and papal infallibility as it is currently articulated.

Jon

Thanks,Jon, same to you!
Actually baptized and confirmed LCMS,attended the ELCA from 1989 to 1993 became so alarmed at their statement on abortion and what I then saw as heading towards accepting same sex unions that hubby and I joined a WELS church. That was 20 years ago. Very impressed with their Christian education program(WELS) as we have raised our boys.

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