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quod pro nobis traditum est

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lutheran Ordinariate?

This week we hear the possibility of a "Lutheran Ordinariate" which, better described by Catholics themselves, is an avenue for former Lutherans to be welcomed into full communion with the Holy See via an ecclesial structure. This would be similar to what developed with former Anglicans as outlined in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus of 4 November 2009.

What is the significance of this and why am I sharing this? First of all, this development is surprising and not surprising. It is surprising, in part, because I am not involved on a daily basis in discussion of ecclesial matters as I once was. I considered that this might become a similar possibility with Lutherans in light of the developments of 2009. Then it is not surprising since there is always the impetus for Christian unity and, Lutherans, like others, continuously face pressures from both progressive and traditionalist directions, neither which offer fully satisfactory solutions to ecclesial questions.

(Parenthetically, some Lutherans have told me that we ought not speak of "church" or that there is no such thing. Oh well, how to answer that?!)

Among Lutherans, today is Reformation Day, so the timing of this development and the news coming out now is good. This possibility is not a final answer but it does not portray itself as one either.

In John 15, the Gospel reading for last Sunday, St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles, Jesus speaks to his disciples of the commandment to love one another even in the face of the world's hatred. In the Gospel reading for Reformation, John 8, Jesus speaks about the truth and freedom of abiding in His words.

When I was growing up bashing Catholics was a tradition (man-made?) The Creed is helpful in this regard. In confessing the Creed we remember that we are not the only Christians who believe, teach and confess the faith in the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that Jesus is the Son of God, true God, true Man. Since these teachings are the most important held in the faith, any impetus to attack fellow Christians is not consistent with what we jointly confess. Leave that to the world. We are not the arbiters of truth, God is. His Son, Jesus, gives us His words of truth. His words lead His disciples to the Sacrament of the Altar where there is true Communion between God and man.