What is keeping the Anglicans and Lutherans from unifying?


King Henry is too proud to unite with the likes of Luther.

The Episcopal Church in the United States is part of the Anglican Communion and is in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

Frankly, I haven’t thought too much about it even though there are many aspects of High-Church Anglican liturgy that I greatly admire.

As I understand it, The non-confessional Lutherans are in communion with Episcopalians, and seem to be on a path to merge with them to stem the membership exodus.

But among the Lutherans who know of the Confessions and Anglicans who know of the XXXIX Articles, I would probably sat the largest practical stumbling block would be church Governance, with the Anglicans having more episcopal model and the Lutherans having more presbyterian model.

Speaking as a grumpy Lutheran, the ability for Anglicans to tolerate a range of doctrines on important things like the Eucharist would be another issue.

They both might be shocked to see what has happened to their churches under the Lutheran and Anglican communions. Especially considering Henry was staunchly Catholic and never heard a Mass that wasn’t in Latin.

Basically true. Though he did get a little theologically creative.


I was going to make a similar topic asking a question to Anglicans and Lutherans but I suppose I’ll just ask here.

I am an Evangelical Protestant who will be starting RCIA in October and there was one main thing that kept me out of the Anglican Church (even though I was baptized Anglican as an enfant) and it’s the history. Does anyone deny that the original break from the CC by king Henry was for his own personal interests? We know that he wanted to divorce Catherine and marry Anne Boelyn thus starting his own Church. So my question is, how does one who wants to join an Apostolic Church choose one that was created for selfish reasons?

As for Lutherans, (and this is specifically for me, so don’t take this as a hit on your religion) how does one take a spiritual belief named after a man? To be a Lutheran I then take on Luther’s name in my identity. Why choose a belief named after a man, instead of the universal belief that existed 1500 years before?

This is simply an observers point of view who had to choose between Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican or Lutheran.

Speaking as a former Anglican, you’re right.

But the question is rather vague. Which Anglican church? Which Lutheran church? There are many flavors of both.

Which begs the question: What is keeping the Lutherans from uniting? Fuggetabout uniting with the Anglicans - how about uniting with each other? (and the same goes for the Anglicans).

(I’m not *really *asking what is keeping Lutherans from uniting with each other - that’s a whole nuther thing. I’m just pointing out that if Lutherans can’t seem to unite with other Lutherans, they’re unlikely to unite with Anglicans.)

I presume the OP is asking about unity, not just communion - ie, the Lutheran and Anglican churches become one bigger church under common leadership (unity). Not that they just get along (communion).

The Articles are not normative for Anglicans, generally, except (technically) for clergy of the Church of England, IAW provisions of the 1571 Act of Subscription.


Not divorce. Hank wanted a decree of nullity, with respect to his marriage to Catherine, for personal and dynastic reasons. A thing that was commonplace at the time, and a thing that he tried to play by the rules on. And a subject I’ve posted on, in detail, here many times, it being a hobby of mine.


Tough questions indeed, but they must be asked in all honesty. Allegations are that both Lutheran and Anglican communions have altered their ordination rites either during or after the reformation, such that the continuity has been lost.

If so, what was the reason for the change in rites? Was there an original defect? This again raises the issue of the apostasy in the original Church and when and where it occurred. I see only one way out of this dilemma.

With respect to Anglicans that is, for RCs, more than an allegation; it’s a judgement, as found in Apostolicae Curae. But the issue of the sacramental form of ordination /confirmation is intertwined with the sacramental intent, in that judgement. A complicated issue.


Their inability to bind and loosen?

An important distinction to be sure.

And when he did not receive the decree…?

He got his pantaloons in a bunch and went against the Pope. Interestingly enough Henry didn’t have a problem with submitting to Papal authority, that is until the day the Pope told him, NO!

He took steps. His causa was as good as was commonly seen in such cases. Certainly better than that of his sister Margaret, who received her first decree just before Henry applied for his, and there was an even better case lurking in the original dispensation which Julius had issued to permit the marriage between Henry and Catherine in the first place. But the entire subject, dispensations/impediments/decrees of nullity, was an intertwined one of theology and politics. And here, politics ruled.


No, Henry and English monarchs in general had a long history of conflict between the Throne and Rome, running back at least to the Statues of Westminister.


Funny, didn’t Henry dedicate his book “Defense of the Seven Sacraments” to the Bishop of Rome, Pope Leo? And wasn’t he given the title Defender of the Faith in October 1521? Also wasn’t this book directed against Martin Luther and wasn’t Henry at that time a Roman Catholic hence why he was called defender of the faith by the Pope? I’m sorry but it doesn’t sound like he had a problem with the Throne and Rome until he wasn’t given a dispensation from his dispensation.

Awesome question!

We’re really not ‘Lutheran’ - we’re Evangelical Catholics. The name ‘Lutheran’ was given to us by our opponents and in true feisty German fashion, we took it and ran with it. We consider the Church to have started at Pentecost.

A quote from Martin Luther.

It is true that you should never say: I am Lutherish or popish; for neither of them died for you; neither is your master. Only of Christ may this be said. Therefore you should profess to be a Christian. But if you believe Luther’s doctrine is evangelical and the pope’s unevangelical, you must not flatly disown Luther; otherwise you also disown his doctrine, which you admittedly recognize as the doctrine of Christ. Rather you must say: Whether Luther personally is a scoundrel or a saint means nothing to me. His doctrine, however, is not his but Christ’s own. For you see that the object of the tyrants is not only to slay Luther but also to extirpate the doctrine. They lay hands on you because of the doctrine, and for this reason they ask you whether you are Lutheran. Truly, here you should not speak in a weak whisper but should freely confess Christ, whether Luther, Nicholas, or George preached Him. Let the person go. But the doctrine you must confess

One can certainly find the occasional chuckle in history, yes.

The* Assertio Septem Sacramentorum*, which was credited to Henry (and he likely wrote at least the first chapter) was indeed dedicated to the Pope. And it played a part, though not a major one, in his receiving the* Defensor Fide*i title (an amusing story, that; I’ve related it here before, always glad to do it again.

Your last sentence seems a little garbled, but what I said about Henry and the English monarchy, over the 300 years up to the Henrician Acts, in general, is correct. Henry’s first prominent run-in with the Church was indeed over his decree. That was the sort of thing (conflict of interests and power struggles) that had led to the Council of Westminster, Council of Clarendon, First Statute of Winchester, Statute of Mortmain, the Writ Circumspecte agatis , the Statue of Carlisle, and the double Statutes of Provisors and Praemunire, over those 300 years or so.


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