1 November 2016


Well, I do not feel a need to be embarrassed by my Prophecy that at Lund nothing horrendous would actually be done with regard to 'Intercommunion'. I am always happiest when I have been proved right. This is why I am so happy most of the time.

The assertion that both Catholics and Lutherans have wounded the visible unity of the Church seems to me radically similar to the language about 'wounds' in Cardinal Ratzinger's Communionis notio. 

I would want to qualify the Holy Father's suggestion that 'more unites us than divides us' by entering a distinguo: I would deem this to be true with regard to many very worthy orthodox Lutherans, but I believe there is evidence that some Lutherans, not least in Sweden, are way out in some quasi-gnostic stratosphere where very little of the Christian God survives. I suspect that there might be Lutherans who would themselves agree with this analysis, and who would be uneasy about 'Intercommunion' with such "fellow Lutherans".

I disliked most a sly little suggestion that Catholics and Lutherans should be 'creative' in their relationships. It seemed to me an example of a dodgy and very typically Bergoglian trick: the use of words which in themselves cannot reasonably be deemed heterodox, but do represent the tiniest of toes gingerly inserted into doors so that those doors can gradually in the future be prised further and unacceptably open.

However, I have my own, immensely creative, suggestion. The erection of a Lutheran Ordinariate, in which Lutherans who are still Christians would retain their own Patrimony in the full Communion and Magisterium of the Catholic Church. I am not convinced that this is as ludicrous a proposal as most of my readers probably will. I bet Papa Ratzinger would have been open to it.


Unknown said...

Father would that creativity involve changes in regards to the belief in the real presence? if as I believe it would not, pardon my ignorance, are there Lutherans who as with the Ordinariate believe in the real presence?
Many thanks for your enlightening blogs

mark wauck said...

So the fact that "nothing horrendous" was "actually ... done" makes you happy? Well, let me the first, or among the first, to offer you felicitations--with the caveat that happiness in such matters is bound to be a relative thing.

Marco da Vinha said...

Father, why exactly was Lund chosen?

jeff said...

Actually it was announced by Cdl Muller at the time of the erection of the Anglican Ordinariates that Lutheran Ordinariates would be considered should expressions of interest be forthcoming from the Lutheran world.

Sadly it seems that no such expressions have been forthcoming..

Bob said...

perhaps relevant


mark wauck said...

GKirkuk has an interesting take on Lund II.

He begins, like, totally blissed out: "Francis hasn’t said anything disastrous so far at the Reformationfest!" Oh joy! Oh happitude!

But then he goes all dark:

"But is the oft-repeated assertion, that more unites Catholics and Lutherans than divides them, in any sense TRUE?

"It is probably true of SOME Lutherans. But ..."

And, as so often happens when such statements by our Beloved Holy Father are rigorously examined, it turns out that this oft-repeated assertion is in almost NO sense true.

So I'm guessing he's not holding his breath for that Lutheran ordinariate.

B flat said...

A proposal which, in the ear that matters, would evoke the reaction of "Absurd! A sin against Ecumenism!"
Pluribus Annis pater dilecte!

Claudio Salvucci said...

Some questions regarding a putative Lutheran Ordinariate. As far as I know, in the Lutheran liturgy the Roman Canon has been utterly eviscerated well beyond what Cranmer did, leaving little beyond the bare words of Institution.

Are there groups of Lutherans who, furtively or openly, supplement this rite with bits of the Roman Rite like the Anglo-Catholics did with the BCP? Do any Lutheran groups use something akin to the English Missal?

I'm wondering what liturgical patrimony they could realistically bring over.

Mariana said...

As a former high church Lutheran myself I think a Lutheran Ordinariate would be just the thing for many of my former coreligionists here i Scandinavia.

I originally wanted to become Anglican, so a Scandinavian Anglican Ordinariate would sound like heaven on earth to me. Only a handful of Anglicans around here, unfortunately ; ).

Liam Ronan said...

Dear Father,

May I ask of you what your notion of a 'very worthy orthodox Lutheran' might be?

Sixupman said...

I always have had a respect fro Anglo-Catholicism [pre Vatican II era], similarly there exists Lutherans of a similar disposition - a "Lutheran Ordinariate" right on!

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Liam: a group which had moved beyond the Reformation antinomies without embracing the Zeitgeist.

mark wauck said...

It appears that the Lutherans restated their notions on the Eucharist--which are quite distinct from Catholic theology--in a pretty straightforward way. The expected references to "houses" and "tables" and "bread and wine" being shared at those tables in those houses ...

The "Joint Statement" appears to address the situation of mixed marriages--the first sentence is ambiguous but the second seems to clarify:

"Many members of our communities yearn to receive the Eucharist at one table, as the concrete expression of full unity. We experience the pain of those who share their whole lives, but cannot share God’s redeeming presence at the Eucharistic table."

Still, these things are usually foot in the door beginnings. In a Lutheran setting, for a pope to be signing on to references to "tables" rather than altars seems ... unfortunate.

Overall, a distinctly pointless exercise, as could have been expected.

Liam Ronan said...

@ Father Hunwicke,

Dear Father Hunwicke,

Thank you for your kind response, from which I take it that the group of 'worthy orthodox Lutherans' would be distinguished by discerning between:

"He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth." Matthew 12:30

"John answered him, saying: Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, who followeth not us, and we forbade him. But Jesus said: Do not forbid him. For there is no man that doth a miracle in my name, and can soon speak ill of me." Mark 9:37-38

Clearly, the Father must be worshipped both in Spirit and in Truth. John 4:24.

Please God that those Lutherans eager to worhip God in Spirit AND Truth will be one day, through the Grace of God in Christ Jesus, numbered within the Holy Catholic Church.

William Tighe said...

It might justly be said of Cranmer that, in his liturgical reforms, he left "little beyond the bare words of Institution." Luther left nothing beyond them, even, in his second essay at liturgical reform, the German Mass, ditching the Preface and Sanctus. In Sweden, the first essay at liturgical reform retained the Preface, adding the Words of Institution to it at its end, followed by the Sanctus (ironically in this adopting what the Anglican litirgical scholar Edward Cradock Ratcliff [1896-1967] was later to see as the original form of the Eucharistic Prayer) but at a later date the "Swedish Rite" was conformed to the general Lutheran patters of Dialogue-Preface-Sanctus + Lord's Prayer + Words of Institution + (Lord's Prayer - here if not prior to the WoI) + Amen + Agnus Dei.

I was given to understand, at one point, that, here in North America at least, the Anglican Ordinariate was intended to be open to other Protestants, both those somehow linked historically to Anglicans (e.g., Methodists) and those sharing a similar liturgical sensibility (e.g., Lutherans), but I have read nothing on that score lately.

Schutz said...

Just to point out that historical confessional Lutheranism shares faith in the real presence with the Catholic Church. They don't teach transubstantiation, but neither do the Orthodox and we don't doubt their sincerity in this belief. Nor - for the record - did they ever teach "consubtantiation"; that was a Catholic idea of Lutheran doctrine.

As for an Ordinariate, the comments are correct re liturgy and the a sense of the Canon. There is little to distinguish a distinctively "Lutheran" rite of the Eucharist except the a sense of the canon. I know of no Lutherans who surreptitiously use the Catholic canon because Lutherans reject the sacrifice of the mass.

Anonymous said...

The "best" Lutherans out there that would go for the actual teachings of the Church on moral issues might also be the most anti-Papal Lutherans imaginable. Take the Missouri Synod folks who sometimes jokingly refer to themselves as "Catholic without the Pope".

As an ex-Lutheran myself, I know some who would, and some who wouldn't want anything to do with the One True Church. But most who do, just DO, as I did, and convert.

Curiously, the one might almost say that the Lutherans already have a Catholic Ordinariate. It's called the "Novus Ordo Mass". {Joke...sort of?}

When I first darkened the door of the Catholic church just up the street, literally, one block from my Lutheran gathering place, I was stunned at how "Lutheran" the liturgy was and then looking back and reflecting on the innards of the Lutheran church, how Catholic it was.

Especially since the Lutheran church hadn't yet been gutted by the iconoclastic vandals who I noted later had also taken their crowbar to the Mass itself.

See, sadly, we took from THEM after Vatican 2. But except for the common lectionary, now defunct, they didn't take from US after Vatican 2.

In many a US town, an FSSP or ICKSP startup congregation could buy and waltz right into a Lutheran church and get right going {after the necessary exorcisms and consecrations, etc} while if they were given a Catholic church they'd plumb have to raze the building and start from scratch before getting with it.

As a convert, when I convert, I don't want the outfit I convert to to convert back to what I converted from.

So now tho it is a 1 1/2 hour drive, I am happily a member of a Catholic congregation that both, fancy that, actually teaches the doctrines of the Catholic faith AND worships in a reverent and traditional fashion, it being FSSP.

My we do live in a topsyturvy world. I often wonder what Jesus would think...

John Vasc said...

Personally I rejoice (with the Introit of the Mass) in today's glorious and all-important Feast of All Saints, in which we thank the Saints and Martyrs in heaven for their intercession for us on earth who pray to them: a belief and practice that was sternly rejected by the Protestant reformers - even though they dared not abolish the feast day itself.
I also look forward to the great feast of All Souls tomorrow, in which we pray - as we do throughout the month of November - for the souls in Purgatory: yet another belief and practice that was rejected by the reformers (in England as well).
The Lutheran church - as far as I know - did not copy the Anglo-Catholic movement of the early nineteenth century, and so one cannot imagine how Roman Catholic beliefs (or liturgy) could be reasonably expected from any followers of Martin Luther: his name is rather a clue.

S. Guinefort said...

Well, the idea — harboured by some — that Lutherans deny the Real Presence is unfair. I can only speak for the Swedish church, which espouses Concordia Pia, thus Formula Concordiae (Sol. Decl.) VII 9, "de Coena Domini in Confessione Augustana ex Verbo Dei sic docetur: verum corpus et sanguinem Christi vere, sub specie panis et vini, in Sacra Domini Coena praesentia esse, distribui et sumi; secus autem docentes improbari." To what extent individual Lutherans adhere to this doctrine is impossible to say.

Claudio Salvucci: there used to be a prescribed silence, during which clerics prayed the Canon. That practise is gone now, the liturgy was adapted in 1987 to the new Roman rite, permitting, for instance, new eucharistic prayers, westward-facing celebration, and changed structures.

Interest in a Lutheran Ordinariate has been expressed, but in too small a scale for it to be considered. The answer was, that it would have to spring off the official ecumenical dialogue (will not happen.) One community converted last year under the guidance of the CDF. The local Lutheran bishop was outraged by this "catastrophe for the unity of the church." Some bishops delivered in writing a warning, that continued proselytism will ruin ecumenical relations. Another called it theft...

Kyrkliga Betraktelser said...

We are many in the Church of Sweden who are already Catholic in faith and practice and who would love to have an Ordinariate. But most of us would never identify ourselves as "Lutherans", most of us say we are "high church", "catholics within the Church of Sweden" or just "Church of Sweden".

The more selfidentified orthodox Lutherans though would not very likely accept an offer from the pope - but that group is very small and most are already affiliated to the Mission Province.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"I believe there is evidence that some Lutherans, not least in Sweden, are way out in some quasi-gnostic stratosphere where very little of the Christian God survives."

I left Swedish Church, back then Swedish State Church, or Swedish Established Church (it was then disestablished, except for HMtheK in 2000) before Antje Jackelén was on the scene. She has the dévise "Gud är större" which translated to Classic Arabic is "Allahu Akbar".

And she, not Göran Beijer of the Swedish Church free synod (since Bertil Gärtner already died) is who a certain man we differ on the proper title of came to visit.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

@ Schutz

"They don't teach transubstantiation, but neither do the Orthodox and we don't doubt their sincerity in this belief. Nor - for the record - did they ever teach 'consubtantiation'; that was a Catholic idea of Lutheran doctrine."

Luther's formula was a restriced Real Presence without transsubstantiation. How real presence worked without transsubstantiation, Luther could not really tell. Consubstantiation would probably be the most orthodox of his various ideas - and Orthodox who are serious about rejecting Transsubstantiation would teach consubstantiation - without the Lutheran restrictions.

mark wauck said...

@ Hans Georg Lundahl

Perhaps one way of conceptualizing this might be as follows. The doctrinal formulations that we refer to as Real Presence and/or Transsubstantiation arose in the Church because the Eucharist is intimately associated with the Sacrifice of Calvary as a re-presentation of that Sacrifice in a non-bloody way. While the Orthodox may differ from us in some respects regarding what we call Transsubstantiation, they certainly DO regard the Eucharist in the same basic way as does the Roman Church: as a re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary. Luther, as I understand it, rejected that sacrificial understanding of the Eucharist. In the absence of such a sacrificial understanding of the Eucharist the Lutheran notion of "presence" must be essentially different than that of orthodox Christians. If I'm mistaken in this, perhaps someone can correct me, but it does seem that once the idea of the Eucharist as a real sacrifice goes, then the idea of "presence" will also change drastically.

Matthew Roth said...

They do teach sacramental union, which is incorrect and not the Orthodox belief at all.

William Tighe said...

"In the absence of such a sacrificial understanding of the Eucharist the Lutheran notion of "presence" must be essentially different than that of orthodox Christians. If I'm mistaken in this, perhaps someone can correct me, but it does seem that once the idea of the Eucharist as a real sacrifice goes, then the idea of "presence" will also change drastically."

Perhaps, but I don't see the necessity of it. Some readers might find this old posting on the general subject, by an Orthodox Christian and Medieval Historian friend of mine, of interest:


Hans Georg Lundahl said...

True enough, the restrictions Luther put on Real Presence were precisely there in order to EXCLUDE a sacrificial understanding of the Mass.