Tuesday, January 22, 2013


This is a "High Mass" Lutheran Eucharist:

MY COMMENTS FIRST: There is actual talk about a Lutheran Ordinariate similar to the one for the Anglicans. It would bring Lutherans who request it back into the full communion of the Catholic Church, i.e. union with the Vicar of Christ and the bishops in union with him, which is essential to the nature of the true Church.

They would be able to keep some of their spirituality and liturgy but it would have to be brought into line with Catholicism.

I've always felt that true Christian unity can only come about in the way that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict is making it happen. We remain as Catholic as always and allow them to adjust their expression of Christianity and make it conform to us in all that is essential while retaining that which is good in their own tradition of prayer and spirituality. Let's see how this works out! It is very exciting and shows that Pope Benedict is a genius when it comes to the Church, liturgy, governance and ecumenism.

From the Vatican Insider and written by Alessandro Speciale
vatican city

The Secretary of the International Lutheran Federation has rejected the proposal presented again about a day or so ago by the Prefect of the former Holy Office

An ordinariate for Lutherans who wish to re-enter into communion with the Vatican, whilst preserving their traditions at least partially? The idea of extending the solution offered by Pope Benedict XVI to groups of traditionalist Anglicans to followers of Martin Luther was suggested for the first time by the President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch.

But just as the proposal is being put forward again by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mgr. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, it is beginning to trigger heated protests and concerns among the Catholic Church’s ecumenical partners –as happened with the Anglican Church.

The creation of an ordinariate – intended for those groups of Anglicans that wish to join the Catholic Church but also maintain their own identity – was “not Rome’s idea; it originates in the Anglican Church,” Koch said last 30 October. “The Holy Father looked for a solution and found a wide-reaching one which took into account the Anglican Church’s ecclesial and liturgical traditions. If the Lutherans made a similar request - he went on to say - we will have to consider their situation carefully. But the initiative remains in the hands of the Lutherans.”

The issue was recently addressed by Mgr. Müller. The German theologian chosen by Pope Benedict XVI to lead the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, recognised that the “Lutheran world is different to the Anglican one because Anglicanism has always had an element that is closer to Catholicism.” But this would not stop the Church from allowing Lutheran groups to convert to Catholicism, preserving “legitimate traditions developed” over the centuries.

According to Mgr. Müller, there are Lutherans in his homeland, Germany, who hope to enter once again into communion with the Roman Catholic Church and who believe that the changes introduced by the Second Vatican Council were an adequate response to Luther’s request for reforms five centuries ago. “Protestants – he added – do not oppose Catholicism because they have hung onto many Catholic traditions.”

However, the idea of establishing a Lutheran ordinariate was turned down by the Secretary General of the International Lutheran Federation which has approximately 70 million Christian Lutheran members. The Rev. Martin Junge said individual believers naturally still have every right to convert, but the establishment of an ordinariate would not only pose “theological problems” it would also have “serious ecumenical repercussions.”

Protestant Churches are preparing to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the 2017 Reform and have invited the Catholic Church to take part in the celebrations. But - Junge said - the creation of an ordinariate “would send out the wrong signal to Lutheran Churches which are preparing to celebrate the anniversary of the Reform in a spirit of understanding and ecumenical cooperation.” This is why Müller’s message to the “small number” of Lutherans who wish to convert to Catholicism has triggered “a great deal of concern.”


Marc said...

Forgive my ignorance of Lutheranism in the following questions:

1. What "traditions" do they seek to retain if they enter the Catholic Church?

2. Why don't those Lutherans who want to be Catholic just enter the Catholic Church?

John Nolan said...

With regard to the liturgy the Catholic Church in Germany, at parish level anyway, was Lutheranized decades ago. Lutherans feel quite at home at Catholic services, although they miss ad orientem and the prominent crucifix in the centre of the high altar. A Lutheran couple I know regularly took Communion at Catholic Masses until the bishop, after being prodded by Rome, stopped it.

ytc said...

And how about we Latins stop being embarrassed of our own traditions?

Gene said...

Marc, I agree. I also have no idea what "traditions" they wish to retain. The huge stumbling block, Justification by Faith, was agreed upon and a theological rapproachment was made on this issue a few years back. This was huge "ecumenical" news, but went largely unnoticed. In my opinion, Lutheran theology and worship have been less tainted by modernism/humanism than the Anglicans have. Lutherans have been pouring into the Catholic Church in large numbers according to a Lutheran theology prof friend of mine in Chicago. Several years ago, nineteen students and professors from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago left and entered Catholic seminaries, among them, Karl Braaten, a premiere Lutheran theologian. Somehow, and ordinariate does not fit the feisty Lutheran spirit so well. If they are already coming in, just let them continue and deal with them on a casr by case basis.Their liturgy is already every bit as close to ours as the Anglican.

John Nolan said...

According to the Prefect of the CDF "Anglicanism has always had an element that is closer to Catholicism". That is not strictly true. Cranmer was influenced more by the Swiss reformers than he was by Luther, and by and large the Lutherans did not embark on the systematic and virtually complete destruction of late medieval art which characterized the English Reformation. The doctrinal position of the Church of England was Calvinist, accepting Calvin's position on predestination.

In the 17th century Archbishop Laud, with the support of Charles I, tried to steer the CofE in a more Catholic direction. He lost his head (literally) as did his sovereign. It was only in the 19th century, with the Oxford Movement, that the Anglican Church began to look more 'Catholic' and this provoked vociferous and sometimes violent reactions.

The Lutheranism of JS Bach had a more sacramental dimension than did 18th century Anglicanism. Nor did it ban Latin from the liturgy. Those who hear Latin sacred music in, say, Westminster Abbey, should be reminded that this would not have been allowed until quite recently. Barely 80 years ago the Three Choirs Festival would not allow a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis since a Catholic Mass could not be sung in an Anglican Cathedral, even in a concert performance.