“After Five Centuries of Division, Catholics and Lutherans Consider Their Common Heritage”

Aug 23rd, 2013 | By | Category: Unity in the News

A new joint document has been released in advance of the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.

by CHARLOTTE HAYS 08/21/2013

WASHINGTON — Although Martin Luther likely simply sent his Ninety-Five Theses — his harsh critique of contemporary Catholicism — to the local archbishop instead of dramatically nailing them to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, the event is commonly regarded as marking the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

A new document, “From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017,” has been released to pave the way for joint observances of Luther’s action by both Lutherans and Catholics, a development that certainly could not have been foreseen in previous centuries.

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  1. All I can say is, its about time for Catholic Christians, of which I am one, to recognize the Christianity within our Protestant sisters and brothers. The Catechism tells us to very clearly, but I see website after Catholic website whose sole goal seems to be tearing down the “Protestant heresies.” While we have the right and perhaps even the duty to express and share the fullness of the Faith we embrace as Roman Catholics, I so often see a fine line being crossed which saddens and frustrates me. I am glad this is happening.

  2. The article ponders the notion of Luther agreeing with the union and it mysteriously answers in the positive. Certainly Luther would not unless Rome repented of her heresies- most of all a denial of justification by faith alone. The reformation is by no means over.

  3. At one of the websites I frequent a popular commentator differentiates between the ‘Lutheran Reformation’ and the ‘Protestant Reformation.’ She has recognized the existence of the joint declaration on faith, but notes that it is recognized by the Lutheran World Federation and not by her particular Lutheran church. That leaves me with the impression that the Lutherans are badly splintered, as a look at my phone book’s yellow pages under Church notes. Some Lutheran churches will recognize a move in the right direction, and others won’t.

    As part of the morning prayer I do pray “for the reunion of all Christians” but as a former Protestant I know that there are many who are not open to receiving that particular part of the good news. I also know that there are those who will admit to something on our side in order to get something for their side. That is not a winnable position. The Truth must be the goal at the highest level. A tit for a tat kind of exchange by a pew sitter like me won’t bring about the result we all hope and pray for. I also hope for more like Richard John Neuhaus to arrive.

    I think he brought some of the same kind of oomph that Scott Hahn brought, and those high level conversions are powerful in their effect on attentive high church pew sitters; as well as bringing real enlightenment to people like me.

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