Lutheran ordinariate proposed: The Church of England Newspaper, November 11, 2012 p November 13, 2012Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ordinariate, Church of England Newspaper, EKD, Roman Catholic Church.
Tags: Gerhard Feige, Kurt Koch
A Lutheran Ordinariate within the Roman Catholic Church might be the next step for Catholic Lutheran relations, Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has told a Catholic news service.
In an interview with Zenit published on 24 Oct 2012 the Swiss cardinal said that since the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in August of 1999 “great step forward in the ecumenical dialogue with Lutherans.”
The present stage of the talks was centered round the “ecclesiological consequences” of the declaration. However, “evangelicals have another understanding of the Church in regard to Catholic Christians. It’s not enough to recognize one another mutually as a Church. What is needed, rather, is a serious theological dialogue on what constitutes the essence of the Church,” the cardinal explained.
One way forward was to offer Lutherans an option akin to Anglicanorum coetibus, he said, adding that such a step, however, must be initiated by Lutherans.
In response to pleas from Anglo-Catholics, “the Holy Father then sought a solution and, in my opinion, found a very broad solution, in which the Anglicans’ ecclesial and liturgical traditions were taken into ample consideration. If similar desires are expressed by the Lutherans, then we will have to reflect on them. However, the initiative is up to the Lutherans,” Cardinal Koch said.
While dialogue between the churches has seen a softening of attitudes over the past 50 years, Lutheran-Catholic relations have not moved forward at the same speed as Anglican – Catholic relations.
In a statement released on 31 Oct 2012 for Germany’s Reformation Day holiday, Bishop Gerhard Feige of the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference said “Catholic Christians consider the division of the western Church as a tragedy and – at least until now – do not think they can celebrate this merrily,”
Noting that the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) had begun preparations to mark the 600th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, Bishop Feige said it would be “very helpful if both denominations could come to a common understanding of what happened,” before the Catholic Church agreed to participate.