An interfaith statement claiming that Catholics and Lutherans are no longer divided on many key issues related to church, ministry and the Eucharist took another step forward on Aug. 10, when members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (E.L.C.A) voted overwhelmingly to ratify the 120-page document. The vote to ratify “Declaration on the Way” comes just weeks before the Christian denomination begins a year-long commemoration of the 500th anniversary of its church’s founding by Martin Luther in 1517.
There are many key issues that the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church are no longer divided on. On the key issue of birth control their will continue to be a difference between the two churches. I think it’s great that both Churches are looking for areas of agreement but the issue of birth control will remain a stumbling between the two Churches.
There’s a fine thread on this, including the document itself, under Non-Catholic Religions.
There should be a lot of news about Lutherans and Catholics as the anniversary gets closer.
An unintentional pun?
Key issues include salvation by faith and the Eucharist. Birth control is not as significant as these central concerns and should not prevent the Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches from moving toward reunion.
US Lutherans approve agreement with Catholic Church
Nearly 500 years after Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Castle Church door, the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. has approved a declaration recognizing “there are no longer church-dividing issues” on many points with the Roman Catholic Church.
I don’t know. Women Clergy, Gay Marriage, etc… would seem to be church dividing issues since both Churches have polar opposite teaching on many issues of both theology and morality.
I’m reminded of something W.F. Buckley once said, though he applied it to the Anglican church. (and I paraphrase)
“The Anglican church is so eclectic that no one, from the Pope to Mao Tse Tung can say with metaphysical certitude that he is NOT an Anglican.”
This would be bigger news if it was the LCMS, not in terms of numbers but in terms of doctrines truly held.
I would think that the issue of the Church having the Eucharist and the Lutherans having no Eucharist at all would be a dividing point.
How cant there be a meaningful reunion between the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church if birth control is allowed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church but is a mortal sin in the Catholic Church?
I personally would be thrilled if there was to be a reunion between the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. If a reunion between the two churches is going to mean that we forsake Catholic doctrine on life so that we can be a larger church we are losing are Catholicity. I for one would do not want to be part of a church that sacrifices it’s doctrines and teachings in the name of ecumenicalism.
Which is an even bigger reason this is a great feel good moment… but ultimately meaningless. The ELCA is not going to accept Papal Supremacy.
It seems to me that major progress with dialogue seems to be more with the ELCA type Lutherans and not the more conservative confessional Lutherans (eg LCMS). Ironically, I would think Catholicism and confessional Lutheranism would be closer on many issues. I suppose the more “liberal” Lutherans may be more flexible when it comes to understand reformation era formulations such as “faith alone”.
A fair observation. Problem you run into with the confessional Lutherans it would seem would be the faith alone issue and of course that the Confessional Lutherans all believe the office of the Papacy to be the Anti-Christ. It’s hard to see them ever acceding to the authority of the papacy given they hold that view of it.
The Evangelical Lutherans don’t seem to have that qualm per se, but they’d fundamentally change their faith if they bowed to Papal Supremacy in other ways.
That’s not to say ecumenical moments aren’t good, and affirming the bonds we all share as Christians aren’t great, particularly in a world where faith is quickly evaporating. But I’d caution people to not read too much into such ecumenical moments either.