An Example

Note: This is a copy and paste of a conversation i had on a Lutheran forum. Of which i was banned from. I quickly got this and came back for the rest and other topics but they blocked me. There are some repetitive loops for some reason. To keep the integrity of the event; i have not edited it.The pompous detached intellectualism of them showed. They deleted a comment of which i stated that their intellectual theory conflicts with spiritual reality. And then another one of which i voiced my opposition towards requested college dissertation. So i quickly started to copy and paste. I called some  — Emergents… That lead to their action. They met a man of true Protestant faith and looked in the mirror.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #98 on: November 01, 2012, 01:53:42 PM »
Reunion? They are talking  mother-church nonsense. The spiritual ‘disunity’ is by God. As The  Reformation was made in heaven. Leaving the Catholic and his spiritual  kingdom exposed as Satanic. While the naive  tried to establish  brotherhood with the dark Eastern Orthodox. Faced with our  distinction..we realise we are on our own. Only since the Western  upheaval of the Counterculture has Protestantism forsaken. Now the vast  majority of Protestants wonder their place..as if wondering in faith.  Yes its true most are not of the faithful. As with the Anglicans–so  with you. I am an Arminian theologically. Although i do go to a Missouri Synod Church on occasion. I do not find much conflict with Lutheranism. I do find conflict with Calvinism. Although you all are our brethren  regardless of piety. We Protestants are spiritually unified despite  denominations in my understanding and observation, as it has been shown  by God. May the Priesthood of All Believers assert its anti-clerical  level 5.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #99 on: November 01, 2012, 02:06:59 PM »
David,
No question on  the historic primary of Peter and his see historically. But the  experience of the Lutheran Church is that just as Peter could confess  the Gospel one moment and proceed to stand in the way of our Lord moving toward His cross the next, or could betray the Gospel in Antioch so  that even St. Paul had to call him to repentance, so it also happened  that the Roman see (whose primacy early on was established above all due to its unwavering and simply expressed orthodoxy) ended up, sadly,  opposing the saving Gospel. Rather than the see of St. Peter  guaranteeing the apostolic truth, it ended up anathematizing it. In such a sad situation, the faithful response (though gut-wrenching) was to  cling to truth even though Rome anathematized you for it. Unity that  would have been preserved by denial of the truth confessed at Augsburg  would not have been worth preserving.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #100 on: November 01, 2012, 02:28:39 PM »
I suggest (again) that to speak of “reunion” as something structural is so airy as to be meaningless in human terms. Some Lutherans have a romanticized longing for “Rome,” and I think that is  partially due to a sense of insecurity, a desire to be a part of  something that has certain hoopla and hoodoo, or the sky-blue view that  under “Rome,” the church was truly “One” in doctrine and practice. Brzzzz! Wrong on a lot of counts. OTOH, should we not be pleased that Roman Catholicism is not waging war on  us; that decades of dialogue have produced some remarkable writings;  that millions of priests, bishops and lay people of the Roman Catholic  Church are – in many, repeat many – ways, favorably disposed towards Luther and the Reformation? Should we not be pleased that a Lutheran-Roman Catholic wedding is no longer a cause for scandal or a reason for a family to disinherit or denounce a  son or daughter? Read Lutheran ecumenists (Dr. Braatan, for one) on  how the papacy might serve as a symbol of unity without requiring all  Christians to adopt everything Rome says about the pope. Most of  all, pay attention to what your people – your council members, your lay  leaders, your young adults and children – are saying about the Church,  Roman Catholicism and their Roman Catholic friends. Maybe, the two or three pastors who served before you hammered an anti-Roman nail into  their catechumenate heads; but I think many have pulled that nail and  soothed and healed the wound with ecumenical Christian charity.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #101 on: November 01, 2012, 02:39:45 PM »

OTOH, should we not be pleased that Roman Catholicism is not waging war on  us; that decades of dialogue have produced some remarkable writings;  that millions of priests, bishops and lay people of the Roman Catholic  Church are – in many, repeat many – ways, favorably disposed towards Luther and the Reformation? Should we not be pleased that a Lutheran-Roman Catholic wedding is no longer a cause for scandal or a reason for a family to disinherit or denounce a  son or daughter? Read Lutheran ecumenists (Dr. Braatan, for one) on  how the papacy might serve as a symbol of unity without requiring all  Christians to adopt everything Rome says about the pope. Most of  all, pay attention to what your people – your council members, your lay  leaders, your young adults and children – are saying about the Church,  Roman Catholicism and their Roman Catholic friends. Maybe, the two or three pastors who served before you hammered an anti-Roman nail into  their catechumenate heads; but I think many have pulled that nail and  soothed and healed the wound with ecumenical Christian charity.

They are waging war. We do not need their approval, nor acceptance. Such relation with Catholics is obviously detrimental. You are playing games. Pardon? The few anti-Roman pastors were in the grace and guidance of Christ. Unhindered by that which hinders you.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #102 on: November 01, 2012, 02:42:00 PM »

I suggest (again) that to speak of “reunion” as something structural is so airy as to be meaningless in human terms. Some Lutherans have a romanticized longing for “Rome,” and I think that is  partially due to a sense of insecurity, a desire to be a part of  something that has certain hoopla and hoodoo, or the sky-blue view that  under “Rome,” the church was truly “One” in doctrine and practice. Brzzzz! Wrong on a lot of counts. OTOH, should we not be pleased that Roman Catholicism is not waging war on  us; that decades of dialogue have produced some remarkable writings;  that millions of priests, bishops and lay people of the Roman Catholic  Church are – in many, repeat many – ways, favorably disposed towards Luther and the Reformation? Should we not be pleased that a Lutheran-Roman Catholic wedding is no longer a cause for scandal or a reason for a family to disinherit or denounce a  son or daughter? Read Lutheran ecumenists (Dr. Braatan, for one) on  how the papacy might serve as a symbol of unity without requiring all  Christians to adopt everything Rome says about the pope. Most of  all, pay attention to what your people – your council members, your lay  leaders, your young adults and children – are saying about the Church,  Roman Catholicism and their Roman Catholic friends. Maybe, the two or three pastors who served before you hammered an anti-Roman nail into  their catechumenate heads; but I think many have pulled that nail and  soothed and healed the wound with ecumenical Christian charity.

Well stated, Charles. Thanks. I’m with you and Melanchthon. (AC, Preface, 13.)
Peace, JOHN

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #103 on: November 01, 2012, 02:43:41 PM »

David,
No question on the historic primary of Peter and his see historically. But the experience of the Lutheran Church is that just as Peter could  confess the Gospel one moment and proceed to stand in the way of our  Lord moving toward His cross the next, or could betray the Gospel in  Antioch so that even St. Paul had to call him to repentance, so it also  happened that the Roman see (whose primacy early on was established  above all due to its unwavering and simply expressed orthodoxy) ended  up, sadly, opposing the saving Gospel. Rather than the see of St. Peter  guaranteeing the apostolic truth, it ended up anathematizing it. In such a sad situation, the faithful response (though gut-wrenching) was to  cling to truth even though Rome anathematized you for it. Unity that  would have been preserved by denial of the truth confessed at Augsburg  would not have been worth preserving.

Correct.  We split at different times, but for essentially the same base  reasons.  For us, the primacy of honor was dishonored, and therefore  could not be preserved among the other Patriarchates.  For you, those  holding the position of primacy rejected your teaching and you had to  choose between preserving the primacy and preserving your doctrine.  My  point is simply that the primacy issue should be dealt with along with  the ecclesiological issues rather than being simply dismissed.  And I’ve said more than once that Lutherans would have the historic episcopate  today (indeed, some Lutherans do) if not for historical accidents that  kept them from being preserved by more faithful bishops.  Had that  happened, my guess is a lot of this conversation would be unnecessary.   Had that happened, I’d also guess reunion would be far more easily  accomplished.
As it is, we have to live with the train wreck.  I don’t see either side going away, nor capitulating, en masse.  And even though I could foresee East/West reunion, I don’t think it is  anywhere near imminent, and I think what I say above is true here as  well — had there never been a power struggle between Constantinople and Rome, we probably would not have had a schism.  Without the Great  Schism, we probably would not have had a Reformation, much less the huge fracturing we see today between East and West and between West and  West.  Lord have mercy on us all.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 02:49:48 PM by David Garner »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #104 on: November 01, 2012, 02:49:45 PM »
Perhaps “rejected your  teaching” is how it appears; certainly it is not at all how we conceive  it. The teaching is not ours. I’d be rather surprised if such  innovations as the treasury of merit, purgatory, indulgences, and such  would be conceived of by Orthodox as not contrary to the Apostolic  deposit?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 02:52:26 PM by Weedon »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #105 on: November 01, 2012, 02:50:26 PM »
P.S. to the one who asked: The cruise ship service was on a Palm Sunday. I had gone to the Roman  Catholic chaplain to say that I was an ordained Lutheran and willing to  do a service for Protestants, if he would help me schedule it. As we talked, he said, somewhat cautiously “would you considering helping at Mass and inviting protestants to attend?” I asked what “helping” meant, and he said he wanted me to 1) read the  Gospel, 2) lead the prayers of the faithful, 3) stand at his side during the eucharistic prayer and 4) (if I had no problem with the words)  offer part of that prayer myself. Then both of us would distribute the  Bread and he had communion assistants lined up to handle the Chalice. I asked, flat out: “Is that ‘legal?'” I explained that I had a second  seminary degree from a Roman Catholic school and considerable ecumenical experience. “My bishop knows I do it this way,” he said, “and he’s o.k. with it.” And that’s what we did. The priest explained at the beginning that I was an ordained Lutheran assisting at mass and he said that those who believed we were receiving the “true Body and Blood of Our Lord” were welcome to commune. After the eucharist, five people – two Lutherans, two Roman Catholics and a Methodist – came to me saying how happy they were with  my presence and assistance. And later in the cruise, I had a couple of  conversations with Roman Catholics who had been there about ecumenism  and what Christian unity might mean. You may tell me a thousand times how “wrong” this was, and how many “laws” were broken, and how  “unLutheran” or “unRoman” this was, but I will not be convinced. This does not mean that I advocate this kind of practice in general; nor  that I fail to grasp the serious issues raised. But the Holy Spirit was  present in Word and Sacrament in that service on that ship that Palm  Sunday. Legalistic Lutherans or canon-law Catholics might have wanted to throw the Spirit overboard, but I didn’t.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 02:52:22 PM by Charles_Austin »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #106 on: November 01, 2012, 02:51:49 PM »

Perhaps “rejected your teaching” is how it appears; certainly it is not at all how we conceive it. The teaching is not ours.

Sorry, I spoke carelessly.  Rome departed from the Church’s doctrine.  I think both of us agree on that much, whether we agree on the particulars or  not.  I didn’t mean to imply anything beyond that.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #107 on: November 01, 2012, 02:53:34 PM »

P.S. to the one who asked: The cruise ship service was on a Palm Sunday. I had gone to the Roman  Catholic chaplain to say that I was an ordained Lutheran and willing to  do a service for Protestants, if he would help me schedule it. As we talked, he said, somewhat cautiously “would you considering helping at Mass and inviting protestants to attend?” I asked what “helping” meant, and he said he wanted me to 1) read the  Gospel, 2) lead the prayers of the faithful, 3) stand at his side during the eucharistic prayer and 4) (if I had no problem with the words)  offer part of that prayer myself. Then both of us would distribute the  Bread and he had communion assistants lined up to handle the Chalice. I asked, flat out: “Is that ‘legal?'” I explained that I had a second  seminary degree from a Roman Catholic school and considerable ecumenical experience. “My bishop knows I do it this way,” he said, “and he’s o.k. with it.” And that’s what we did. The priest explained at the beginning that I was an ordained Lutheran assisting at mass and he said that those who believed we were receiving the “true Body and Blood of Our Lord” were welcome to commune. After the eucharist, five people – two Lutherans, two Roman Catholics and a Methodist – came to me saying how happy they were with  my presence and assistance. And later in the cruise, I had a couple of  conversations with Roman Catholics who had been there about ecumenism  and what Christian unity might mean. You may tell me a thousand times how “wrong” this was, and how many “laws” were broken, and how  “unLutheran” or “unRoman” this was, but I will not be convinced. This does not mean that I advocate this kind of practice in general; nor  that I fail to grasp the serious issues raised. But the Holy Spirit was  present in Word and Sacrament in that service on that ship that Palm  Sunday. Legalistic Lutherans or canon-law Catholics might have wanted to throw the Spirit overboard, but I didn’t.

Serious question, Pastor Austin — is the last sentence the best construction  you can put on those who disagree with what you and this priest did?

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #108 on: November 01, 2012, 02:54:46 PM »
David Garner writes (re my commentary on an ecumenical service): Serious question, Pastor Austin — is the last sentence the best construction  you can put on those who disagree with what you and this priest did?
I respond: Yes. No. Maybe. I’m not sure.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #109 on: November 01, 2012, 02:57:55 PM »

David Garner writes (re my commentary on an ecumenical service): Serious question, Pastor Austin — is the last sentence the best construction  you can put on those who disagree with what you and this priest did?
I respond: Yes. No. Maybe. I’m not sure.

Thank you for recounting the experience just the same.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #110 on: November 01, 2012, 03:31:47 PM »

I suggest (again) that to speak of “reunion” as something structural is so airy as to be meaningless in human terms. Some Lutherans have a romanticized longing for “Rome,” and I think that is  partially due to a sense of insecurity, a desire to be a part of  something that has certain hoopla and hoodoo, or the sky-blue view that  under “Rome,” the church was truly “One” in doctrine and practice. Brzzzz! Wrong on a lot of counts. OTOH, should we not be pleased that Roman Catholicism is not waging war on  us; that decades of dialogue have produced some remarkable writings;  that millions of priests, bishops and lay people of the Roman Catholic  Church are – in many, repeat many – ways, favorably disposed towards Luther and the Reformation? Should we not be pleased that a Lutheran-Roman Catholic wedding is no longer a cause for scandal or a reason for a family to disinherit or denounce a  son or daughter? Read Lutheran ecumenists (Dr. Braatan, for one) on how the papacy might serve as a symbol of unity without requiring all Christians to adopt everything Rome says about the pope. Most of all, pay attention to what your people – your council members, your  lay leaders, your young adults and children – are saying about the  Church, Roman Catholicism and their Roman Catholic friends. Maybe,  the two or three pastors who served before you hammered an anti-Roman  nail into their catechumenate heads; but I think many have pulled that  nail and soothed and healed the wound with ecumenical Christian charity.

In general I could agree with much of what you said.  With regard to the  section in bold and red I wonder how accepting the RC would be of the  Pope being accepted as a symbol of unity but not as the absolute head  and ruler of the Church? Dan

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #111 on: November 01, 2012, 03:40:11 PM »

Further, appeal to the Scriptures in an historical vacuum may settle the issue  well for you, but it is going to do nothing with regard to discussions  with Rome, since Rome, like the East, will simply state that the Church  which produced those Scriptures also governed itself in the way you now  say is not preferable.

That means almost nothing to me, since I do not care if Rome and the  Lutherans engage in discussions or not. The two are never going to have  anything resembling a merger (aka “reunion”). It’s just not going to  happen. So, worrying about what would have to happen for it to take  place is rather pointless.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #112 on: November 01, 2012, 04:00:46 PM »

David,
No question on the historic primary of Peter and his see historically. But the experience of the Lutheran Church is that just as Peter could  confess the Gospel one moment and proceed to stand in the way of our  Lord moving toward His cross the next, or could betray the Gospel in  Antioch so that even St. Paul had to call him to repentance, so it also  happened that the Roman see (whose primacy early on was established  above all due to its unwavering and simply expressed orthodoxy) ended  up, sadly, opposing the saving Gospel. Rather than the see of St. Peter  guaranteeing the apostolic truth, it ended up anathematizing it. In such a sad situation, the faithful response (though gut-wrenching) was to  cling to truth even though Rome anathematized you for it. Unity that  would have been preserved by denial of the truth confessed at Augsburg  would not have been worth preserving.

Are you claiming that their claim to Peter is valid?

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #113 on: November 01, 2012, 04:01:16 PM »

In general I could agree with much of what you said.  With regard to the  section in bold and red I wonder how accepting the RC would be of the  Pope being accepted as a symbol of unity but not as the absolute head  and ruler of the Church? Dan

I know the East is extremely interested in the answer to that question.   As often as the Pope re-iterates that he holds such jurisdictional  authority, I’m personally skeptical.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #114 on: November 01, 2012, 04:08:05 PM »

My point is simply that the primacy issue should be dealt with along  with the ecclesiological issues rather than being simply dismissed.  And I’ve said more than once that Lutherans would have the historic  episcopate today (indeed, some Lutherans do) if not for historical  accidents that kept them from being preserved by more faithful bishops.  Had that happened, my guess is a lot of this conversation would be  unnecessary.  Had that happened, I’d also guess reunion would be far  more easily accomplished.

I think the “far more easily accomplished” is overstated.  Justification  would stand in the way even if there were no questions of ecclesiology  between Roman Catholics and Lutherans.
Mike

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #115 on: November 01, 2012, 04:13:12 PM »

Bottom line is that even those posting in favor of a return to Rome only list 3 names out of thousands of Lutheran theologians. I’ve often wondered why the Lutheran clergy that seems most interested in a return to Rome are  those in the very tiny minority of Lutherans who also like to style  themselves “Father” instead of “Pastor”, and who seem very caught up in  all the pomp and ceremony and fancy vestments. Please understand, I’m  not saying that those who fit that description are wrong or that they  should stop. I’m only observing that people like those described are  very much a minority in the Lutheran faith tradition.
Far  more common, I believe, are those who would agree with you about “when  and how Rome has moved on justification, the primacy of the papacy,  indulgences, praying to saints and all the other things that led to the  Reforming of Christ’s Church.” Those, I believe, are the impediments  that would prevent the majority of Lutherans from going along with a  reunion with Rome. Even if a handful of clergy in any Lutheran Body did  achieve some sort of agreement with Rome similar to what the ELCA came  to with regards to TEC, the PCUSA, the UMC, and other protestant bodies, I doubt that more than a few dozen Lutheran pastors might become Roman  Catholic priests. I don’t believe any Lutheran Congregation would ever  submit to surrendering the ownership of their facilities to a Roman  Catholic diocese.

Go head and say it… Anyhow, i had went to an Episcopal church for  awhile, and i called the ‘father’ a pastor. He did not ask to be called  father. The Episcopal church is a sign in America that we will become  like Europe popularly and are… Except we (the whole realm of actual  Protestantism–or whats barely left of it) have something in the way of  such a measure. What do you think that is?

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #116 on: November 01, 2012, 04:47:35 PM »
Pastor Fienen writes: I  wonder how accepting the RC would be of the Pope being accepted as a  symbol of unity but not as the absolute head and ruler of the Church? I comment: Actually, most Catholics already feel the pope is a symbol of unity and not the “absolute head and ruler.”
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #117 on: November 01, 2012, 04:52:19 PM »

Pastor Fienen writes: I wonder how accepting the RC would be of the Pope being accepted as a  symbol of unity but not as the absolute head and ruler of the Church? I comment: Actually, most Catholics already feel the pope is a symbol of unity and not the “absolute head and ruler.”

Documentation, please?  This may be true of the Eastern Establishment  white-wine-and-brie set you hang out with, but I doubt it is of most  Roman Catholics.
Mike

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #118 on: November 01, 2012, 04:54:40 PM »

Pastor Fienen writes: I wonder how accepting the RC would be of the Pope being accepted as a  symbol of unity but not as the absolute head and ruler of the Church? I comment: Actually, most Catholics already feel the pope is a symbol of unity and not the “absolute head and ruler.”

This advocacy of such Ecumenism is not of the spirit of God. Such ecumenism may be popular… However, that is no consolation.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #119 on: November 01, 2012, 05:06:55 PM »

Pastor Fienen writes: I wonder how accepting the RC would be of the Pope being accepted as a  symbol of unity but not as the absolute head and ruler of the Church? I comment: Actually, most Catholics already feel the pope is a symbol of unity and not the “absolute head and ruler.”

Documentation, please?  This may be true of the Eastern Establishment  white-wine-and-brie set you hang out with, but I doubt it is of most  Roman Catholics.
Mike

This is an example of the principle, “When it suits me one way, whatever a  church has written down in official documents is all that matters,  regardless of what it does. When it suits me another way, then whatever a church actually practices is all that matters, regardless of what is  written down.”
Sorry, I just felt compelled to point out the apparent error in reasoning.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #120 on: November 01, 2012, 05:08:23 PM »

My point is simply that the primacy issue should be dealt with along  with the ecclesiological issues rather than being simply dismissed.  And I’ve said more than once that Lutherans would have the historic  episcopate today (indeed, some Lutherans do) if not for historical  accidents that kept them from being preserved by more faithful bishops.  Had that happened, my guess is a lot of this conversation would be  unnecessary.  Had that happened, I’d also guess reunion would be far  more easily accomplished.

I think the “far more easily accomplished” is overstated.  Justification  would stand in the way even if there were no questions of ecclesiology  between Roman Catholics and Lutherans.
Mike

I think justification is a bridge more easily crossed than ecclesiology.  If for no other reason than it is easier practically speaking for Rome  to move toward Wittenberg on Justification than for Wittenberg to move  toward Rome on ecclesiology.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #121 on: November 01, 2012, 05:13:44 PM »
Mr. Gehlhausen writes: Documentation, please?  This may be true of the Eastern Establishment  white-wine-and-brie set you hang out with, but I doubt it is of most  Roman Catholics.
I comment: Actually, most Roman Catholics I know are working-class. Check the polls and the surveys on such things as birth control, married  clergy, even female clergy and see how many aren’t in lock-step with the pope. Hear the titters when some bishop warns about holy days of  obligation or a Vatican declaration comes down on sexuality. And are  you among the pseudo-humble who would disenfranchise the Eastern  Establishment or go yuk-yuk at someone’s heart-felt, thought-out,  faithful opinion just because they want to cheese on something other  than Velveeta? Here we who are east of the Mississippi are not  supposed to pooh-pooh the views of those with fertilizer under their  fingernails (and we don’t do that.) But you get to throw snark at our  geography and cuisine? Hoohah!
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #122 on: November 01, 2012, 05:42:52 PM »

Mr. Gehlhausen writes: Documentation, please?  This may be true of the Eastern Establishment  white-wine-and-brie set you hang out with, but I doubt it is of most  Roman Catholics.
I comment: Actually, most Roman Catholics I know are working-class. Check the polls and the surveys on such things as birth control, married  clergy, even female clergy and see how many aren’t in lock-step with the pope. Hear the titters when some bishop warns about holy days of  obligation or a Vatican declaration comes down on sexuality. And are  you among the pseudo-humble who would disenfranchise the Eastern  Establishment or go yuk-yuk at someone’s heart-felt, thought-out,  faithful opinion just because they want to cheese on something other  than Velveeta? Here we who are east of the Mississippi are not  supposed to pooh-pooh the views of those with fertilizer under their  fingernails (and we don’t do that.) But you get to throw snark at our  geography and cuisine? Hoohah!

Blanket discounting of views based on geography or class is wrong whether it is East Coast discounting of the flyover states, or Middle America of  effete East Coast cheese eaters; back country hicks clinging to their  guns and Bibles or selfish millionaire wannabes. When asking  what the Roman Catholic Church will accept perhaps it would be well to  ask what constitutes the church.  The official position of that church  is not deremined by popular vote or survey unless one expects a popular  coup to take over the church.  Are we to work for reunion with Rome on  the basis of going around the official church to reunite with the laity  and some renegade rebellious clergy.  What are we trying to do, split  their church? Dan

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #123 on: November 01, 2012, 05:59:53 PM »

Why not just worry about this fragment of your question?

Are we to work for reunion with Rome?

Are we sure that Our Lord’s intention for one unified church was based on a particular ecclesiological mode of governance? As long as the church  must be divided into congregations, as it is impossible to have one  single, worldwide church we can all attend simultaneously, why must we  spin our wheels worrying about issues of “denominational fellowship” or  formal agreements of artificially created relationships. We will always  be divided in one way or another. We can also all be united despite  divisions of convenience. Just how “united” were the original churches  in Corinth, Ephesus, Thessaly, Rome and the rest of the first century  Roman Empire? Did they all answer to any binding central authority, or  did they simply all teach and believe the same things?

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #124 on: November 01, 2012, 07:11:50 PM »

When I attended a Catholic Church in St. Paul MN during the mid  90’s/seminary days, I abided by the decree that forbid me from communing at their altar.

Just a point of clarification — while non-Catholics should not presume to  receive the Eucharist in a RC Church without consultation, the RC code  of canon law does not absolutely exclude it:
If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan  bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it,  Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to  other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on  their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect  to these sacraments and are properly disposed. (Code of Canon Law 844, section 4).
Obviously, much depends on what makes for a “grave necessity”, but my family and I have asked for (in advance) and received permission to commune based on this provision when we were traveling, and also when our own (Lutheran) church did not have a worship service on Thanksgiving Day.  One priest  with whom I discussed this felt that to “manifest Catholic faith” with  respect to communion meant to believe in the Real Presence.
Jon

The glaring error in your assumption is that there is a papal writ of excommunication (“exsurge domine”) that places Luther and his “supporters, adherents and accomplices,” as  excommunicants.  Therefore, we are not allowed according to our status  as such to commune in any Catholic church, in spite of canon law.
To my knowledge, this papal decree has never been rescinded to this day.

Well, the extant Code of Canon Law (from which I quoted) was promulgated by  Pope John Paul II in 1983.  Other sections in this canon deal with  intercommunion with Eastern Orthodox, so section 4 specifically  contemplates Western, non-Catholic Christians (i.e., Protestants).  I  suppose it is theoretically possible that John Paul intended this canon  to apply to all Protestants except Lutherans, but that seems  exceedingly unlikely.  A general principle of legal interpretation is  that more recent legislation is presumed to modify older legislation  when there is a conflict.
Also, I am not simply reporting “my  assumption.”  This is the interpretation of every Catholic priest with  whom I have had occasion to discuss the matter.  Presumably, they were  all aware of Exsurge Domine.  Granted, one can argue about what makes a “grave necessity”, but I have never heard anyone advance the  theory that Leo X’s bull in 1520 limits the scope of John Paul II’s  provisions in the 1983 Code. Jon

« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 07:17:29 PM by JEdwards »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #125 on: November 01, 2012, 07:16:54 PM »

My point is simply that the primacy issue should be dealt with along  with the ecclesiological issues rather than being simply dismissed.  And I’ve said more than once that Lutherans would have the historic  episcopate today (indeed, some Lutherans do) if not for historical  accidents that kept them from being preserved by more faithful bishops.  Had that happened, my guess is a lot of this conversation would be  unnecessary.  Had that happened, I’d also guess reunion would be far  more easily accomplished.

I think the “far more easily accomplished” is overstated.  Justification  would stand in the way even if there were no questions of ecclesiology  between Roman Catholics and Lutherans.
Mike

I also agree with the above statement that original sin and its effects  as well as justification are two of the stumbling blocks to any reunion  with Rome.  In my own reading and comparison, JDDJ did absolutely  nothing in terms of settling the issue about how original sin and its  effects are  resolved in the reconciliation that God brought in Christ.  Officially, by the Papacy that is, there are serious differences that  remain in terms of how the confutators responded to AC articles on sin  and justification that are still in effect today despite JDDJ.  I am  amazed that a discussion about reunion is about ecclesiology when even  the first parts of the AC are still stumbling blocks to the Papacy as  well as with many Protestants.  Because at the head of the AC (ie.  Augsburg Confession) at which serious differences occur begins not with  the doctrine of God per se, but with the issue of original sin and how  Rome views this in contradistinction to how the Lutherans view it.
Ecclesiology is a serious matter, yes.  But the primary issues of sin and  justification for sinners continues to drive the disagreements between  Augsburg and Rome…even today.  Once those stumbling blocks have  resolution then the concrete issue of ecclesiology could be open for  discussion.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 07:42:59 PM by readselerttoo »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #126 on: November 01, 2012, 07:36:46 PM »
S. Wesley,
I’m saying that there is no question that historically Rome was specially honored  in the early Christian communities as the city where Sts. Peter and Paul sealed their faith with the shedding of their blood. And Rome was over  and over again on the orthodox side of the theological disputes that  rocked the church in those early years – not because she was Roman, but  because she was determined to abide by the faith of the Apostles and did so rather tenaciously.  When that started to slip, then Rome’s honor  started to slip too. We’ve come a long, long way from the days when  people would cry out that “Peter has spoken through Leo!” The clarity of the Tome is a classic instance of Rome getting it right because she  simply abided by the apostolic deposit. But how can one argue  indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory and let alone papal  infallibility from the apostolic deposit???
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #127 on: November 01, 2012, 08:15:01 PM »

S. Wesley,
I’m saying that there is no question that historically Rome was specially  honored in the early Christian communities as the city where Sts. Peter  and Paul sealed their faith with the shedding of their blood. And Rome  was over and over again on the orthodox side of the theological disputes that rocked the church in those early years – not because she was  Roman, but because she was determined to abide by the faith of the  Apostles and did so rather tenaciously.  When that started to slip, then Rome’s honor started to slip too. We’ve come a long, long way from the  days when people would cry out that “Peter has spoken through Leo!” The  clarity of the Tome is a classic instance of Rome getting it right  because she simply abided by the apostolic deposit. But how can one  argue indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory and let alone papal  infallibility from the apostolic deposit???

I believe that this attribution you present is deception.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #128 on: November 01, 2012, 08:54:29 PM »
It is entirely possible for  me to be deceived on this matter as on any other. But where exactly do  you find the deception to lie? Do you dispute that the ancient fathers  regarded Rome as a particular guardian of Orthodoxy? Do you dispute that the fathers at Chalcedon acclaimed Pope Leo as having voiced the faith  of Peter? What exactly are you objecting to?
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #129 on: November 01, 2012, 08:59:37 PM »
Mr. Weedon …”Rome getting  it right because she simply abided by the apostolic deposit. But how can one argue indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory and let alone papal infallibility from the apostolic deposit???”
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #130 on: November 01, 2012, 09:09:35 PM »
Help me out, because I’m  still not understanding. I argued that as long as Rome abided by the  apostolic deposit she did not espouse such things as indulgences,  treasury of merit, purgatory and papal infallibility. Rather, when Rome  began to tamper with the apostolic deposit, the honor that had been  accorded her nearly universally in the early Church passed. She was no  longer the true guardian of the apostolic faith as witnessed in the  pages of the NT.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #131 on: November 01, 2012, 09:17:59 PM »

Help me out, because I’m still not understanding. I argued that as long as  Rome abided by the apostolic deposit she did not espouse such things as  indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory and papal infallibility.  Rather, when Rome began to tamper with the apostolic deposit, the honor  that had been accorded her nearly universally in the early Church  passed. She was no longer the true guardian of the apostolic faith as  witnessed in the pages of the NT.

How far back are you going with this? And at what point do you realize the fantasy?

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #132 on: November 01, 2012, 09:20:57 PM »
I’m with you, Pr. W.  And the fact of the matter is, Wesley, that the Reformation further tore a part the church and this was never the purpose of those who presented the  Augsburg Confession.  Unity with Rome is always the goal for the  Reformation.  True unity to be certain, but unity nonetheless.   Unfortunately subsequent reformers saw breaking from Rome as a sort of  Protestant Independence and think endless numbers of denominations are a good thing.  For those of us who pledge our lives to the Augsburg  Confession this is a bad thing.  I guess if you’re not Lutheran you  don’t care, but you should realize the intent of the Reformation was  never to be splintering off into endless numbers.
M. Staneck
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #133 on: November 01, 2012, 09:30:43 PM »

I’m with you, Pr. W.  And the fact of the matter is, Wesley, that the  Reformation further tore a part the church and this was never the  purpose of those who presented the Augsburg Confession.  Unity with Rome is always the goal for the Reformation.  True unity to be certain, but  unity nonetheless.  Unfortunately subsequent reformers saw breaking from Rome as a sort of Protestant Independence and think endless numbers of  denominations are a good thing.  For those of us who pledge our lives to the Augsburg Confession this is a bad thing.  I guess if you’re not  Lutheran you don’t care, but you should realize the intent of the  Reformation was never to be splintering off into endless numbers.
M. Staneck

Nay Betrayer! The Church is attacked by your folly. As a consequence  Western Protestant Christianity is falling. May the faithful few uphold.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 09:35:06 PM by S. Wesley Mcgranor »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #134 on: November 01, 2012, 09:44:24 PM »
S. Wesley,
Luther  generally recognized the Orthodoxy of the Roman Church into the time of  Gregory the Great. Thereafter things definitely began taking a rather  unfortunate turn, finally resulting in the mess of the three popes at  once in the century prior to the Reformation and the intense uncertainty that shook the entire Western Church and forced it to find a ground of  confidence outside the Roman hierarchy.
Nevertheless Matt is  quite correct (he usually is, hang around here and you’ll soon  experience that!). All true Lutherans say with Dr. Luther himself that  we’d rather have only Christ’s body with the papists than mere bread and wine with Zwingli. Or as that doughty Lutheran, Dr. Krauth, once put  it:
“Not everything we learn from Rome is Romish. Not only so,  but, as earnest Evangelical Protestants, we may admit, that deep and  vital as are the points in which we differ from the Romanists, they are  not so vital as those in which we agree with them, and that Evangelical  Protestants are not so remote from Romanists as they are from false and  heretical Protestants.” Conservative Reformation, p. 341,342
“Our church in common with both the Roman and the Greek Churches, does hold  to a true presence of the whole Christ, the factor of which is not our  mind, but his own divine person. We do not think him into the Supper,  but he is verily and indeed there. Faith does not put him there, but  finds him there.” Conservative Reformation, p. 343
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #120 on: November 01, 2012, 05:08:23 PM »

My point is simply that the primacy issue should be dealt with along  with the ecclesiological issues rather than being simply dismissed.  And I’ve said more than once that Lutherans would have the historic  episcopate today (indeed, some Lutherans do) if not for historical  accidents that kept them from being preserved by more faithful bishops.  Had that happened, my guess is a lot of this conversation would be  unnecessary.  Had that happened, I’d also guess reunion would be far  more easily accomplished.

I think the “far more easily accomplished” is overstated.  Justification  would stand in the way even if there were no questions of ecclesiology  between Roman Catholics and Lutherans.
Mike

I think justification is a bridge more easily crossed than ecclesiology.  If for no other reason than it is easier practically speaking for Rome  to move toward Wittenberg on Justification than for Wittenberg to move  toward Rome on ecclesiology.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #121 on: November 01, 2012, 05:13:44 PM »
Mr. Gehlhausen writes: Documentation, please?  This may be true of the Eastern Establishment  white-wine-and-brie set you hang out with, but I doubt it is of most  Roman Catholics.
I comment: Actually, most Roman Catholics I know are working-class. Check the polls and the surveys on such things as birth control, married  clergy, even female clergy and see how many aren’t in lock-step with the pope. Hear the titters when some bishop warns about holy days of  obligation or a Vatican declaration comes down on sexuality. And are  you among the pseudo-humble who would disenfranchise the Eastern  Establishment or go yuk-yuk at someone’s heart-felt, thought-out,  faithful opinion just because they want to cheese on something other  than Velveeta? Here we who are east of the Mississippi are not  supposed to pooh-pooh the views of those with fertilizer under their  fingernails (and we don’t do that.) But you get to throw snark at our  geography and cuisine? Hoohah!
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #122 on: November 01, 2012, 05:42:52 PM »

Mr. Gehlhausen writes: Documentation, please?  This may be true of the Eastern Establishment  white-wine-and-brie set you hang out with, but I doubt it is of most  Roman Catholics.
I comment: Actually, most Roman Catholics I know are working-class. Check the polls and the surveys on such things as birth control, married  clergy, even female clergy and see how many aren’t in lock-step with the pope. Hear the titters when some bishop warns about holy days of  obligation or a Vatican declaration comes down on sexuality. And are  you among the pseudo-humble who would disenfranchise the Eastern  Establishment or go yuk-yuk at someone’s heart-felt, thought-out,  faithful opinion just because they want to cheese on something other  than Velveeta? Here we who are east of the Mississippi are not  supposed to pooh-pooh the views of those with fertilizer under their  fingernails (and we don’t do that.) But you get to throw snark at our  geography and cuisine? Hoohah!

Blanket discounting of views based on geography or class is wrong whether it is East Coast discounting of the flyover states, or Middle America of  effete East Coast cheese eaters; back country hicks clinging to their  guns and Bibles or selfish millionaire wannabes. When asking  what the Roman Catholic Church will accept perhaps it would be well to  ask what constitutes the church.  The official position of that church  is not deremined by popular vote or survey unless one expects a popular  coup to take over the church.  Are we to work for reunion with Rome on  the basis of going around the official church to reunite with the laity  and some renegade rebellious clergy.  What are we trying to do, split  their church? Dan

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #123 on: November 01, 2012, 05:59:53 PM »

Why not just worry about this fragment of your question?

Are we to work for reunion with Rome?

Are we sure that Our Lord’s intention for one unified church was based on a particular ecclesiological mode of governance? As long as the church  must be divided into congregations, as it is impossible to have one  single, worldwide church we can all attend simultaneously, why must we  spin our wheels worrying about issues of “denominational fellowship” or  formal agreements of artificially created relationships. We will always  be divided in one way or another. We can also all be united despite  divisions of convenience. Just how “united” were the original churches  in Corinth, Ephesus, Thessaly, Rome and the rest of the first century  Roman Empire? Did they all answer to any binding central authority, or  did they simply all teach and believe the same things?

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #124 on: November 01, 2012, 07:11:50 PM »

When I attended a Catholic Church in St. Paul MN during the mid  90’s/seminary days, I abided by the decree that forbid me from communing at their altar.

Just a point of clarification — while non-Catholics should not presume to  receive the Eucharist in a RC Church without consultation, the RC code  of canon law does not absolutely exclude it:
If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan  bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it,  Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to  other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on  their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect  to these sacraments and are properly disposed. (Code of Canon Law 844, section 4).
Obviously, much depends on what makes for a “grave necessity”, but my family and I have asked for (in advance) and received permission to commune based on this provision when we were traveling, and also when our own (Lutheran) church did not have a worship service on Thanksgiving Day.  One priest  with whom I discussed this felt that to “manifest Catholic faith” with  respect to communion meant to believe in the Real Presence.
Jon

The glaring error in your assumption is that there is a papal writ of excommunication (“exsurge domine”) that places Luther and his “supporters, adherents and accomplices,” as  excommunicants.  Therefore, we are not allowed according to our status  as such to commune in any Catholic church, in spite of canon law.
To my knowledge, this papal decree has never been rescinded to this day.

Well, the extant Code of Canon Law (from which I quoted) was promulgated by  Pope John Paul II in 1983.  Other sections in this canon deal with  intercommunion with Eastern Orthodox, so section 4 specifically  contemplates Western, non-Catholic Christians (i.e., Protestants).  I  suppose it is theoretically possible that John Paul intended this canon  to apply to all Protestants except Lutherans, but that seems  exceedingly unlikely.  A general principle of legal interpretation is  that more recent legislation is presumed to modify older legislation  when there is a conflict.
Also, I am not simply reporting “my  assumption.”  This is the interpretation of every Catholic priest with  whom I have had occasion to discuss the matter.  Presumably, they were  all aware of Exsurge Domine.  Granted, one can argue about what makes a “grave necessity”, but I have never heard anyone advance the  theory that Leo X’s bull in 1520 limits the scope of John Paul II’s  provisions in the 1983 Code. Jon

« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 07:17:29 PM by JEdwards »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #125 on: November 01, 2012, 07:16:54 PM »

My point is simply that the primacy issue should be dealt with along  with the ecclesiological issues rather than being simply dismissed.  And I’ve said more than once that Lutherans would have the historic  episcopate today (indeed, some Lutherans do) if not for historical  accidents that kept them from being preserved by more faithful bishops.  Had that happened, my guess is a lot of this conversation would be  unnecessary.  Had that happened, I’d also guess reunion would be far  more easily accomplished.

I think the “far more easily accomplished” is overstated.  Justification  would stand in the way even if there were no questions of ecclesiology  between Roman Catholics and Lutherans.
Mike

I also agree with the above statement that original sin and its effects  as well as justification are two of the stumbling blocks to any reunion  with Rome.  In my own reading and comparison, JDDJ did absolutely  nothing in terms of settling the issue about how original sin and its  effects are  resolved in the reconciliation that God brought in Christ.  Officially, by the Papacy that is, there are serious differences that  remain in terms of how the confutators responded to AC articles on sin  and justification that are still in effect today despite JDDJ.  I am  amazed that a discussion about reunion is about ecclesiology when even  the first parts of the AC are still stumbling blocks to the Papacy as  well as with many Protestants.  Because at the head of the AC (ie.  Augsburg Confession) at which serious differences occur begins not with  the doctrine of God per se, but with the issue of original sin and how  Rome views this in contradistinction to how the Lutherans view it.
Ecclesiology is a serious matter, yes.  But the primary issues of sin and  justification for sinners continues to drive the disagreements between  Augsburg and Rome…even today.  Once those stumbling blocks have  resolution then the concrete issue of ecclesiology could be open for  discussion.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 07:42:59 PM by readselerttoo »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #126 on: November 01, 2012, 07:36:46 PM »
S. Wesley,
I’m saying that there is no question that historically Rome was specially honored  in the early Christian communities as the city where Sts. Peter and Paul sealed their faith with the shedding of their blood. And Rome was over  and over again on the orthodox side of the theological disputes that  rocked the church in those early years – not because she was Roman, but  because she was determined to abide by the faith of the Apostles and did so rather tenaciously.  When that started to slip, then Rome’s honor  started to slip too. We’ve come a long, long way from the days when  people would cry out that “Peter has spoken through Leo!” The clarity of the Tome is a classic instance of Rome getting it right because she  simply abided by the apostolic deposit. But how can one argue  indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory and let alone papal  infallibility from the apostolic deposit???
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S. Wesley Mcgranor

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #127 on: November 01, 2012, 08:15:01 PM »

S. Wesley,
I’m saying that there is no question that historically Rome was specially  honored in the early Christian communities as the city where Sts. Peter  and Paul sealed their faith with the shedding of their blood. And Rome  was over and over again on the orthodox side of the theological disputes that rocked the church in those early years – not because she was  Roman, but because she was determined to abide by the faith of the  Apostles and did so rather tenaciously.  When that started to slip, then Rome’s honor started to slip too. We’ve come a long, long way from the  days when people would cry out that “Peter has spoken through Leo!” The  clarity of the Tome is a classic instance of Rome getting it right  because she simply abided by the apostolic deposit. But how can one  argue indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory and let alone papal  infallibility from the apostolic deposit???

I believe that this attribution you present is deception.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #128 on: November 01, 2012, 08:54:29 PM »
It is entirely possible for  me to be deceived on this matter as on any other. But where exactly do  you find the deception to lie? Do you dispute that the ancient fathers  regarded Rome as a particular guardian of Orthodoxy? Do you dispute that the fathers at Chalcedon acclaimed Pope Leo as having voiced the faith  of Peter? What exactly are you objecting to?
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #129 on: November 01, 2012, 08:59:37 PM »
Mr. Weedon …”Rome getting  it right because she simply abided by the apostolic deposit. But how can one argue indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory and let alone papal infallibility from the apostolic deposit???”
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #130 on: November 01, 2012, 09:09:35 PM »
Help me out, because I’m  still not understanding. I argued that as long as Rome abided by the  apostolic deposit she did not espouse such things as indulgences,  treasury of merit, purgatory and papal infallibility. Rather, when Rome  began to tamper with the apostolic deposit, the honor that had been  accorded her nearly universally in the early Church passed. She was no  longer the true guardian of the apostolic faith as witnessed in the  pages of the NT.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #131 on: November 01, 2012, 09:17:59 PM »

Help me out, because I’m still not understanding. I argued that as long as  Rome abided by the apostolic deposit she did not espouse such things as  indulgences, treasury of merit, purgatory and papal infallibility.  Rather, when Rome began to tamper with the apostolic deposit, the honor  that had been accorded her nearly universally in the early Church  passed. She was no longer the true guardian of the apostolic faith as  witnessed in the pages of the NT.

How far back are you going with this? And at what point do you realize the fantasy?

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #132 on: November 01, 2012, 09:20:57 PM »
I’m with you, Pr. W.  And the fact of the matter is, Wesley, that the Reformation further tore a part the church and this was never the purpose of those who presented the  Augsburg Confession.  Unity with Rome is always the goal for the  Reformation.  True unity to be certain, but unity nonetheless.   Unfortunately subsequent reformers saw breaking from Rome as a sort of  Protestant Independence and think endless numbers of denominations are a good thing.  For those of us who pledge our lives to the Augsburg  Confession this is a bad thing.  I guess if you’re not Lutheran you  don’t care, but you should realize the intent of the Reformation was  never to be splintering off into endless numbers.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #133 on: November 01, 2012, 09:30:43 PM »

I’m with you, Pr. W.  And the fact of the matter is, Wesley, that the  Reformation further tore a part the church and this was never the  purpose of those who presented the Augsburg Confession.  Unity with Rome is always the goal for the Reformation.  True unity to be certain, but  unity nonetheless.  Unfortunately subsequent reformers saw breaking from Rome as a sort of Protestant Independence and think endless numbers of  denominations are a good thing.  For those of us who pledge our lives to the Augsburg Confession this is a bad thing.  I guess if you’re not  Lutheran you don’t care, but you should realize the intent of the  Reformation was never to be splintering off into endless numbers.
M. Staneck

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« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 09:35:06 PM by S. Wesley Mcgranor »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #134 on: November 01, 2012, 09:44:24 PM »
S. Wesley,
Luther  generally recognized the Orthodoxy of the Roman Church into the time of  Gregory the Great. Thereafter things definitely began taking a rather  unfortunate turn, finally resulting in the mess of the three popes at  once in the century prior to the Reformation and the intense uncertainty that shook the entire Western Church and forced it to find a ground of  confidence outside the Roman hierarchy.
Nevertheless Matt is  quite correct (he usually is, hang around here and you’ll soon  experience that!). All true Lutherans say with Dr. Luther himself that  we’d rather have only Christ’s body with the papists than mere bread and wine with Zwingli. Or as that doughty Lutheran, Dr. Krauth, once put  it:
“Not everything we learn from Rome is Romish. Not only so,  but, as earnest Evangelical Protestants, we may admit, that deep and  vital as are the points in which we differ from the Romanists, they are  not so vital as those in which we agree with them, and that Evangelical  Protestants are not so remote from Romanists as they are from false and  heretical Protestants.” Conservative Reformation, p. 341,342
“Our church in common with both the Roman and the Greek Churches, does hold  to a true presence of the whole Christ, the factor of which is not our  mind, but his own divine person. We do not think him into the Supper,  but he is verily and indeed there. Faith does not put him there, but  finds him there.” Conservative Reformation, p. 343
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Charles_Austin

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #135 on: November 01, 2012, 10:01:28 PM »
Pastor Fienen writes (re my comments): Are we to work for reunion with Rome on the basis of going around the  official church to reunite with the laity and some renegade rebellious  clergy.  What are we trying to do, split their church?
I comment: And do you truly believe, Pastor Fienen that the Roman Catholic Church is  “united” in the strongest and broadest sense of that word? ‘Tain’t true. Let’s stick to the “official church,” (your term), and consider the  various orders of nuns, some of them quite “liberal,” but under no ban;  the various orders of priests (ditto), French Catholics, Italian  Catholics, American Catholics, Polish Catholics, Greek Uniate Catholics, Dorothy-Day social service Catholics, liberation theology Latin  American Catholics, Opus Dei, various renewal movements, and the list  could go on. All are Roman Catholics, all cling (sometimes surprisingly) to the “Catholic Church,” and do not consider themselves “rebellious”  (your term). The genius of Catholicism, I believe, is in its ability to hold such disparate (and sometime disagreeing) people together so  that folks from all the groups mentioned above will attend mass together and turn out by the millions for a papal visit. No, Pastor Fienen,  Roman Catholicism is – in certain ways – “divided.” Rapprochement with  Lutherans or other non-Romans simply means that there another movement  within Roman Catholicism. Can you honestly and sensibly think that  ecumenical endeavors, even inter-communion (more common in some parts of the world than you might think) would “split” the Catholic church?
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #136 on: November 01, 2012, 10:18:33 PM »
To understand what Pastor Austin is saying about the current Roman Catholic Church, there is a good article in the November 2012 issue of First Things.
Thomas Joseph White  writes about 2 schools of thought that dominate the interpretation of Vatican II.  There is the progressive reading of it by Hans Kung and Edward Schillebeeckkx. It has encouraged liberation of  women, dialogue with world religions, liberalization of sexual mores, the extensive use of the laity in the mission of the church and liberal political advocacy.
The other school of thought is countercultural and led by Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #137 on: Yesterday at 03:05:20 AM »

To understand what Pastor Austin is saying about the current Roman Catholic Church, there is a good article in the November 2012 issue of First Things.
Thomas Joseph White  writes about 2 schools of thought that dominate the interpretation of Vatican II.  There is the progressive reading of it by Hans Kung and Edward Schillebeeckkx. It has encouraged liberation of  women, dialogue with world religions, liberalization of sexual mores, the extensive use of the laity in the mission of the church and liberal political advocacy.
The other school of thought is countercultural and led by Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger.

I don’t have access to the article, it is currently for subscribers  only.   The “two schools” idea may be true to some extent, and it is  certainly a common way of looking at the Catholic Church (makes things  simple, define camps).  In this way of thinking, Benedict is  *conservative*, and other voices are *progressive*.  Many people even  think suggest Benedict would like to go back to pre-Vatcian II, or that  he does not embrace the teachings of Vatican II.  However, if one reads Theological Highlights of Vatican II, 1966, by Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, you will find that he was almost shockingly and emphatically in the  *progressive* camp at the council.  Yet, if you read Fr. Ratzinger of  1966, and Pope Benedict of 2012, you find much the same thinking with  some small shifts in focus, but certainly no radical evolution in  thought.  He is much the same person today as he was in 1966.  His book  is composed 4 smaller booklets that he wrote after each session of the  council where he was a participant as an official ‘peritus‘.   What a gift we have in this first hand account of the entire council,  written long before the divisions that are painted today had really  formed.
You might be amazed at his fascinating review of the  councils discussion on the role and relationship of the pope, Bishops,  vertical Catholicity vs horizontal Catholicity, etc..
In talking  about a (much needed in his mind) re-emphasis by the council on the  importance on of episcopal collegiality, he says that “[t]his view  provided a bridge to the Eastern Churches which have kept alive a  stronger consciousness of community than the West.  It also emphasized  that the individual bishop existed not for his own community alone, but  that he shared in the overall responsibility for the Church; mutual  responsibility was in fact the task of the entire Church.”
The importance of “horizontal Catholicity” had been lost somewhat since  Trent due to the Church’s strong focusing on ‘vertical Catholicity’.   The council put new emphasis on the importance of bishops colleges, and  decentralized “a series of powers which had been concentrated up to now in the papacy.”, but also re-emphasized that this in no way denied the Church’s  understanding on the unique and important role of the successor of  Peter.
When he talks on the Decree on Ecumenism, Fr. Ratzinger recounts how:  “A breathless hush came over St. Peter’s Basilica when Coadjutor  Archbishop Elchinger (Strasbourg) in his intervention of November 19,  1963, admitted the Church’s past errors: ‘Until now we have often not  dared to confess historical facts which are less than favorable to the  reputation of our Church.  Now the time has come…to admit and confess  historical truth — even when it is bitter….Until now, when there were controversies between separated Christians, we frequently rejected  doctrines we thought erroneous.  Now the time has come to recognize with greater respect that there is also a partial truth, in fact often a  profound truth in every doctrine taught by our separated brethren, which we should profess along with them….”
In the chapter on session 3, he recounts the session on divine worship.  He acknowledges that in this area:  “a profound crisis occurred in the life of the Church.  Its roots reach  far back.  In the late Middle Ages, awareness of the real essence of  Christian worship increasingly vanished.  Great importance was attached  to externals, and these chocked out essentials.” He goes on the say the “Luther’s protest against the Catholic Church therefore involved a very basic  protest against Catholic liturgy, which he denounced as idolatrous.  He  supplanted it with a simplified devotion concentrated on God’s Word.   This is not the place to discuss the loss of substance that accompanied  this amputation.  Without doubt vital members were removed along with  diseased ones (as is often frankly stated by Protestant theologians  today).  But we want here to study the internal Catholic development.   The Catholic reaction to Luther’s attack took place at Trent.  The  reaction on the whole was inadequate”.
He goes on into more  detail, and talks about how the reaction at Trent centralized all  liturgical authority in the Sacred Congregation of Rites, the impact was that the “fate of the liturgy in the West was now in the hands of a strictly centralized and purely bureaucratic authority.” and that this had the result on the liturgy to  “dooming it to internal decay”
So the voices who claim today that Pope Benedict is “a conservative” and  “counter cultural” figure who wants to take the Church back to  pre-Vatican II are in my opinion uninformed.  Pope Benedict embraced  Vatican II and the reforms enthusiastically, and was among the  enthusiastic progressives there  (this is why some VERY conservative  schismatic Catholics see Benedict, and Blessed Pope John Paul II, as  apostate.  In fact this book has been quoted on some of those sites).
That being said, he has rightly said, over and over again, that Vatican II (indeed any council) needs to be viewed through a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’, not a ‘hermeneutic of rupture’.  I suppose this is why some voices consider him *conservative*, because  some voices have tended to take the much needed reforms of Vatican II,  and distort them into saying that the Church somehow rejected what it  once held to be true, or as a license to believe and do whatever we want with the liturgy.
He closes the book by recounting the council  hearing this joint Catholic Orthodox declaration lifting the mutual  Catholic-Orthodox excommunications of 1054:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/speeches/1965/documents/hf_p-vi_spe_19651207_common-declaration_en.html
3. One cannot pretend that these events were not what they were during  this very troubled period of history. Today, however, they have been  judged more fairly and serenely. Thus it is important to recognize the  excesses which accompanied them and later led to consequences which,  insofar as we can judge, went much further than their authors had  intended and foreseen. They had directed their censures against the  persons concerned and not the Churches. These censures were not intended to break ecclesiastical communion between the Sees of Rome and  Constantinople.   ….
A. They regret the offensive words, the reproaches without foundation, and the reprehensible gestures which, on both sides, have marked or accompanied the sad events of this period.
B. They likewise regret and remove both from memory and from the midst of  the Church the sentences of excommunication which followed these events, the memory of which has influenced actions up to our day and has  hindered closer relations in charity; and they commit these  excommunications to oblivion.
C. Finally, they deplore the  preceding and later vexing events which, under the influence of various  factors—among which, lack of understanding and mutual trust—eventually  led to the effective rupture of ecclesiastical communion.

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Charles_Austin

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #138 on: Yesterday at 03:39:07 AM »
Thank you, cssml, for those  references to the current pope’s commentary and participation in Vatican II. The mention of “horizontal Catholicism” is also instructive, with  the acknowledgement that Trent attempted to codify a “vertical” Church,  which seemed to work for a while. The Roman Catholic church is not  united, and perhaps never was. But what a church! Somehow it has a  certain “hold” (in a good way) on its people; who express their faith  and derive benefit from the Church even if they sneer at its bishops and some of what comes out of the Vatican.    And while it may  investigate and rattle the sabers of discipline at liberal nuns, or yank the teaching license of someone like Hans Kung (also a Vatican II  peritus) from time to time, it does make accommodations. And its people  feel bound to the Church, despite their disagreements.    The  scandal over child abuse in the Catholic Church did not drive millions  out of the church; they already knew the Vatican had squandered much of  its moral and ecclesial authority and that the bishops were more  interested in protecting their “turf” and their authority than  discovering truth.    The priest-sociologist Andrew Greeley has  written that this squandering began with the birth control declaration  when the Vatican ignored both people and its theologians.    Why  didn’t Dorothy Day, or Hans Kung, or Edward Schillebeeckx, or liberal  American nuns, or other such people simple leave Catholicism? A few,  Philip Berrigan, for example, did; and tens of thousands of nuns did  decide that the restrictions on the life and ministry were intolerable,  as did thousands of priests. But most of these remained “Catholic.”    I know a former nun, now a teacher, who goes through agony every time  the Vatican or a bishop acts as if it is 1890. She longs for more  openness, married clergy, and more. But the Catholic Church is her  church, so she is at mass almost every week, observes Holy Days of  Obligation when she wants to, and – like millions of others – is still  “Catholic” and faithful to the “Church” even when she is sure the  “Church” is wrong about some things.     A Lutheran or Methodist may  leave their church if they don’t like the kind of car their pastor  drives; but Catholics stick with their church.    No, the Catholic  Church is not “united,” any more than any other international assembly  of Christians. But to millions and millions of its people, it is still  “The Church.” Good for them.    I know a Catholic parish not far  from where I live that is so active and vibrant and “alive,” that if my  children were still young, I would take them there. And – ere the  howling begin – yes, I hear the doctrine of justification by grace  through faith clearly preached by its priests.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #139 on: Yesterday at 09:21:14 AM »

The Roman Catholic church is not united, and perhaps never was. <snip>    No, the Catholic Church is not “united,” any more than any other  international assembly of Christians. But to millions and millions of  its people, it is still “The Church.” Good for them.    I know a  Catholic parish not far from where I live that is so active and vibrant  and “alive,” that if my children were still young, I would take them  there. And – ere the howling begin – yes, I hear the doctrine of  justification by grace through faith clearly preached by its priests.

Perhaps you need to reassess your understanding of “united” in the light of  this; being united may be compatible with variety and difference to an  extent that will surprise you.
Peace, Michael

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #140 on: Yesterday at 09:26:26 AM »

Thank you, cssml, for those references to the current pope’s commentary and  participation in Vatican II. The mention of “horizontal Catholicism” is  also instructive, with the acknowledgement that Trent attempted to  codify a “vertical” Church, which seemed to work for a while. The Roman  Catholic church is not united, and perhaps never was. But what a  church! Somehow it has a certain “hold” (in a good way) on its people;  who express their faith and derive benefit from the Church even if they  sneer at its bishops and some of what comes out of the Vatican.     And while it may investigate and rattle the sabers of discipline at  liberal nuns, or yank the teaching license of someone like Hans Kung  (also a Vatican II peritus) from time to time, it does make  accommodations. And its people feel bound to the Church, despite their  disagreements.    The scandal over child abuse in the Catholic  Church did not drive millions out of the church; they already knew the  Vatican had squandered much of its moral and ecclesial authority and  that the bishops were more interested in protecting their “turf” and  their authority than discovering truth.    The priest-sociologist  Andrew Greeley has written that this squandering began with the birth  control declaration when the Vatican ignored both people and its  theologians.    Why didn’t Dorothy Day, or Hans Kung, or Edward  Schillebeeckx, or liberal American nuns, or other such people simple  leave Catholicism? A few, Philip Berrigan, for example, did; and tens of thousands of nuns did decide that the restrictions on the life and  ministry were intolerable, as did thousands of priests. But most of  these remained “Catholic.”    I know a former nun, now a teacher,  who goes through agony every time the Vatican or a bishop acts as if it  is 1890. She longs for more openness, married clergy, and more. But the  Catholic Church is her church, so she is at mass almost every week,  observes Holy Days of Obligation when she wants to, and – like millions  of others – is still “Catholic” and faithful to the “Church” even when  she is sure the “Church” is wrong about some things.     A Lutheran  or Methodist may leave their church if they don’t like the kind of car  their pastor drives; but Catholics stick with their church.    No,  the Catholic Church is not “united,” any more than any other  international assembly of Christians. But to millions and millions of  its people, it is still “The Church.” Good for them.    I know a  Catholic parish not far from where I live that is so active and vibrant  and “alive,” that if my children were still young, I would take them  there. And – ere the howling begin – yes, I hear the doctrine of  justification by grace through faith clearly preached by its priests.

Your continued sarcasm aside, the Catholic church still has a set of beliefs and doctrines that do indeed define the church, regardless of  individual practice.  It just so happens that their beliefs are on the  orthodox side of things rather than the ELCA’s liberal party line.  Why  do you think there are so many who have left the ELCA and fled to  NALC/LCMC/LCMS and the like?  Because the ELCA does have official “party lines” and we believe them to be against Scripture.  Why do you think  we are not reunified with Rome?  Because there are still some doctrines  and beliefs that fall into the same category.

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S. Wesley Mcgranor

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #141 on: Yesterday at 10:40:42 AM »

A Lutheran or Methodist may leave their church if they don’t like the  kind of car their pastor drives; but Catholics stick with their church.    No, the Catholic Church is not “united,” any more than any other  international assembly of Christians. But to millions and millions of  its people, it is still “The Church.” Good for them.    I know a  Catholic parish not far from where I live that is so active and vibrant  and “alive,” that if my children were still young, I would take them  there. And – ere the howling begin – yes, I hear the doctrine of  justification by grace t hrough faith clearly preached by its priests.

Aside from pretending that a Recovering Catholic is possible. You degrade our true brethren. You extol the seemingly percieved steadfastness of  the  Papist. Rather then assisting the Protestant faith to remain. You and  your fondness of the Papist is spiritually dead.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #142 on: Yesterday at 10:52:20 AM »

    A Lutheran or Methodist may leave their church if they don’t like the kind of car their pastor drives; but Catholics stick with their church.

And flaunt defiance of its teachings.  That is hardly sticking with the church.
Mike

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #143 on: Yesterday at 10:57:20 AM »
Can we agree that the only  North American Lutheran body who can have legitimate reunion discussion  with Rome is the LCMS? Their ordination practices align with Rome’s,  other groups do not.
The ELCA as well as the EKD ordain women as well as gays and lesbians. Who from the Roman side has said this is no barrier?
(crickets)
That’s what I thought.
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David Garner

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #144 on: Yesterday at 10:58:10 AM »

Can we agree that the only North American Lutheran body who can have  legitimate reunion discussion with Rome is the LCMS? Their ordination  practices align with Rome’s, other groups do not.
The ELCA as well as the EKD ordain women as well as gays and lesbians. Who from the Roman side has said this is no barrier?
(crickets)
That’s what I thought.

WELS and ELS would like to see you in their office, please.

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racin_jason

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #145 on: Yesterday at 11:04:56 AM »

Can we agree that the only North American Lutheran body who can have  legitimate reunion discussion with Rome is the LCMS? Their ordination  practices align with Rome’s, other groups do not.
The ELCA as well as the EKD ordain women as well as gays and lesbians. Who from the Roman side has said this is no barrier?
(crickets)
That’s what I thought.

WELS and ELS would like to see you in their office, please.

I am aware that those denominations exist, but if their are any voices in those camps who want to talk to Rome they are being drowned-out by much more strident strains of anti-Catholicism that I’ve heard from their  quarters in the past.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #146 on: Yesterday at 11:10:56 AM »

I am aware that those denominations exist, but if their are any voices in those camps who want to talk to Rome they are being drowned-out by much more strident strains of anti-Catholicism that I’ve heard from their  quarters in the past.

Fair point.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #147 on: Yesterday at 12:07:25 PM »

Can we agree that the only North American Lutheran body who can have  legitimate reunion discussion with Rome is the LCMS? Their ordination  practices align with Rome’s, other groups do not.

I would not agree. The only two pre-conditions I see are (1) a strong  desire to be faithful to Jesus’ own desire that his body on earth be  recognizble as one and (2) an equally strong desire to be faithful in  our understanding and living out of the Word of God.
These  pre-conditions are as much of a challenge for the RCC as they are for  any Lutheran body. In the end, though, it is desire, love, and spiritual discernment that are the way that reunion can be achieved. The  technical work regarding doctrines is important–particularly regarding  pre-condition (2) above–but unity is not so much an intellectual  achievement as it is a matter of the heart, and the principal barriers  to reunion are in the area of coldness to God and our neighbor. Of  course, one could say the same about the principal obstacles to our  living the Christian life in general.
Peace, Michael

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #148 on: Yesterday at 12:14:19 PM »

WELS and ELS would like to see you in their office, please.

I am aware that those denominations exist, but if their are any voices in those camps who want to talk to Rome they are being drowned-out by much more strident strains of anti-Catholicism that I’ve heard from their  quarters in the past.

In terms of my last post, my pre-condition (1) is missing in WELS and ELS, though (2) seems to be strong. I see the lack of any sense of urgency  about mending the fragmented unity of Christ’s body, not strident  anti-Catholicism as such, as standing in the way of possibly fruitful  dialogue.
Peace, Michael

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #149 on: Yesterday at 12:23:26 PM »

    A Lutheran or Methodist may leave their church if they don’t like the kind of car their pastor drives; but Catholics stick with their church.

And flaunt defiance of its teachings.  That is hardly sticking with the church.

Like LCMS clergy who practice open communion? or who are willing to participate in ELCA worship services?

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #150 on: Yesterday at 12:37:34 PM »

    A Lutheran or Methodist may leave their church if they don’t like the kind of car their pastor drives; but Catholics stick with their church.

And flaunt defiance of its teachings.  That is hardly sticking with the church.

Like LCMS clergy who practice open communion? or who are willing to participate in ELCA worship services?

Yes. Exactly.
Mike

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #151 on: Yesterday at 12:51:06 PM »
Fr. Slusser writes: unity is not so much an intellectual achievement as it is a matter of the  heart, and the principal barriers to reunion are in the area of coldness to God and our neighbor.
I comment: Amen to that! But in these precincts, “matters of the heart” or “emotion” (OMG!) are considered insignificant or even dangerous. I found – nearly 50 years ago now – that when we began to set aside the  polemical language of the 16th Century, including the nasty words like  “papist,” “mackerel snappers,” etc., and when we truly got to know our  neighbors in the faith; that some of the heat of those 16th Century  warfares began to subside. Then Lutherans (with one of our slogans at the time being Lutheran altars for Lutheran communicants, Lutheran  pulpits for Lutheran pastors) had to learn about unity and cooperation  that did not allow us to set all the terms. We had to be open to  “experiences,” both intellectually and emotionally, that would lead us  to place a concern for Christ’s church and unity in mission over family  name and ancient feuds. Furthermore, we had to listen to our people,  take in their experiences; and – important to me – be very familiar with the magnificent and remarkable work done in the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogues, both nationally and internationally. I was privileged  and blessed to be able to sit in on some of these and to be acquainted  with some of the key participants. They were “Catholic” to the core, and “Lutheran” to the core (officially appointed, remember) but all saw  signs of unity that centuries of nastiness had previously hid from  sight. They had hopes and dreams. They saw the serious problems and  did not miminize them; but they saw possibilities for a remarkable  degree of unity between Lutherans and Roman Catholics, a unity that  might even be expressed in intercommunion. Sorry for the length, I’m storm-weary. But I am also exceedingly irritated to see the work of  these men and women so quickly dismissed, criticized and put down by  people who seem not to have studied it, or by those who sniffed and  sneered from the beginning that it was doomed to failure, or those who  would rather have their view of Catholicism shaped by the 16th Century  rather than the 21st Century.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #152 on: Yesterday at 12:55:26 PM »

Fr. Slusser writes: unity is not so much an intellectual achievement as it is a matter of the  heart, and the principal barriers to reunion are in the area of coldness to God and our neighbor.
I comment: Amen to that! But in these precincts, “matters of the heart” or “emotion” (OMG!) are considered insignificant or even dangerous. I found – nearly 50 years ago now – that when we began to set aside the  polemical language of the 16th Century, including the nasty words like  “papist,” “mackerel snappers,” etc., and when we truly got to know our  neighbors in the faith; that some of the heat of those 16th Century  warfares began to subside. Then Lutherans (with one of our slogans at the time being Lutheran altars for Lutheran communicants, Lutheran  pulpits for Lutheran pastors) had to learn about unity and cooperation  that did not allow us to set all the terms. We had to be open to  “experiences,” both intellectually and emotionally, that would lead us  to place a concern for Christ’s church and unity in mission over family  name and ancient feuds. Furthermore, we had to listen to our people,  take in their experiences; and – important to me – be very familiar with the magnificent and remarkable work done in the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogues, both nationally and internationally. I was privileged  and blessed to be able to sit in on some of these and to be acquainted  with some of the key participants. They were “Catholic” to the core, and “Lutheran” to the core (officially appointed, remember) but all saw  signs of unity that centuries of nastiness had previously hid from  sight. They had hopes and dreams. They saw the serious problems and  did not miminize them; but they saw possibilities for a remarkable  degree of unity between Lutherans and Roman Catholics, a unity that  might even be expressed in intercommunion. Sorry for the length, I’m storm-weary. But I am also exceedingly irritated to see the work of  these men and women so quickly dismissed, criticized and put down by  people who seem not to have studied it, or by those who sniffed and  sneered from the beginning that it was doomed to failure, or those who  would rather have their view of Catholicism shaped by the 16th Century  rather than the 21st Century.

Pure enthusiasm.  I’m certain that you often find your heart strangely  warmed and feel disappointed when it does not happen during a church  service.
Mike

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Charles_Austin

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #153 on: Yesterday at 01:02:24 PM »
Do you contend, Mr.  Gehlhausen, that closed communion is such an essential for the LCMS that not practicing it in the official LCMS way is not “sticking with the  church”? And if you read my comment just upstream as “pure  enthusiasm,” meaning lacking in theological or intellectual content,  then you do not even come close to understanding what I have written. Mr. Gehlhausen writes: I’m certain that you often find your heart strangely warmed and feel  disappointed when it does not happen during a church service. I comment: Well, “heart strangely warmed” is really a Wesleyan phrase, but never mind. I do find warmth in a worship service, don’t you? Or are you too busy  checking who’s at the altar rail and whether you think they ought to be  there or whether the pastor is not “sticking with the LCMS” by admitting them?
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George Erdner

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #154 on: Yesterday at 03:50:12 PM »

I am aware that those denominations exist, but if their are any voices in those camps who want to talk to Rome they are being drowned-out by much more strident strains of anti-Catholicism that I’ve heard from their  quarters in the past.

Fair point.

Indeed! For any Lutheran church body to have a “legitimate reunion discussion”, two conditions would have to be met. First, they would have to have  policies that are not objectionable to Rome. Second, they’d have to have a majority of their membership who would find such a reunion  acceptable. Racin_jason is correct that the ELCA would be a no-go  because of it’s policy of ordaining women. And he’s right that the WELS  and ELS would be a no-go because there just isn’t enough interest in  such a reunion within the WELS or ELS.
I would acknowledge  that there might well be any number of Lutheran micro-synods that might  want to engage in talks with Rome, and that Rome might accept. Of  course, with a baptized membership of under 20,000 people, one could  argue that the ELS is a micro-synod.

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #155 on: Yesterday at 04:19:24 PM »
No Lutheran talks with Rome over the past 40 years ever – repeat ever– had as a goal organic or structural union. Those who sought  structural unity, like the Atonement Friars, and more recently the  Anglican accommodations, had already found their way. And that way was  probably not going to be our way. Those who talk of “merger” do not understand what is going on. BTW Rome has already “accepted” and continues to accept dialogue with the  ELCA and the LWF churches. Ordaining women did not bring and end to the  dialogue and ordained women have taken part in the dialogues.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 04:20:57 PM by Charles_Austin »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #156 on: Yesterday at 06:43:20 PM »
Time to back politely out of  this thread as well.  The constant sarcasm is more than I really wish to deal with at present.  Peace out.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #157 on: Yesterday at 09:15:34 PM »
I have read this thread with mostly great hope and appreciation for the quality of the comments and arguments offered.
I do believe that the Reformation was to be a gift of the Holy Spirit to  The Church (West) but its splintering into 2000k plus denominations was  not Her intent. I do believe, that Vatican II was a gift of the Holy Spirit, it too however has been corrupted by men.
I pray too that we may be one, in Christ and to minister to and with each other, following His Divine example and command.
I give thanksgiving for faithful shepherds and shepherds to be ( Will/Matt/Michael/John)
IHS, Bob+
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #158 on: Yesterday at 09:31:13 PM »
Back to a point that Charles  has raised a number of times and that I’d like to underscore: the unity  we seek is not organizational, but organic. To hold to the Lutheran  Confession of the Gospel is to admit that the organizational structures  cannot be the guarantee of that organic unity but may even at times  hinder it. Further, it seems to me that we must confess that the worth  of any organizational structure is in how well it serves the true  organic unity: the unity that is the Spirit’s gift where living faith  joins a dead and dying sinner to the Life-giving Vine, our Lord Jesus,  and so unites them through Him to the Father and also to one another.
It’s true that the Church cannot exist without organization; but it is also  true that organization can at times become inimical to the faith itself. This past week I was privileged to meet so many brothers and sisters  who share the Lutheran Confession of the faith, with many of whom my  Synod is already in altar and pulpit fellowship. We’re one in our faith, one in our confession, united by the one Spirit to the living Lord, and through Him to the Father. And yet we’re not organizationally one,  administratively one. The differences in polity simply don’t touch upon  the unity that we share, because it is at a much more fundamental level  than even the most venerable humanly wrought structures.  Over and over  again the cry: the means of grace! The means of grace as the place where the unity is bestowed as the Spirit gives the saving faith that unites  us to the Savior.
When the day comes that the hideous divisions  between Christians have finally been laid to rest, it will not be all of us in a single organization holding differing confessions of the faith; it will be all of us holding a single confession of the faith in a  variety of organizational structures. What matters ultimately will be  clear; what doesn’t will also be clear.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 09:33:45 PM by Weedon »
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #159 on: Yesterday at 09:35:19 PM »

Fr. Slusser writes: unity is not so much an intellectual achievement as it is a matter of the  heart, and the principal barriers to reunion are in the area of coldness to God and our neighbor.
I comment: Amen to that! But in these precincts, “matters of the heart” or “emotion” (OMG!) are considered insignificant or even dangerous. I found – nearly 50 years ago now – that when we began to set aside the  polemical language of the 16th Century, including the nasty words like  “papist,” “mackerel snappers,” etc., and when we truly got to know our  neighbors in the faith; that some of the heat of those 16th Century  warfares began to subside. Then Lutherans (with one of our slogans at the time being Lutheran altars  for Lutheran communicants, Lutheran pulpits for Lutheran pastors) had to learn about unity and cooperation that did not allow us to set all the  terms. We had to be open to “experiences,” both intellectually and  emotionally, that would lead us to place a concern for Christ’s church  and unity in mission over family name and ancient feuds. Furthermore, we had to listen to our people, take in their experiences; and –  important to me – be very familiar with the magnificent and remarkable  work done in the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogues, both nationally and  internationally. I was privileged and blessed to be able to sit in  on some of these and to be acquainted with some of the key participants. They were “Catholic” to the core, and “Lutheran” to the core  (officially appointed, remember) but all saw signs of unity that  centuries of nastiness had previously hid from sight. They had hopes and dreams. They saw the serious problems and did not miminize them;  but they saw possibilities for a remarkable degree of unity between  Lutherans and Roman Catholics, a unity that might even be expressed in  intercommunion. Sorry for the length, I’m storm-weary. But I am also exceedingly irritated to see the work of these men and women so quickly dismissed, criticized and put down by people who seem not to have  studied it, or by those who sniffed and sneered from the beginning that  it was doomed to failure, or those who would rather have their view of  Catholicism shaped by the 16th Century rather than the 21st Century.

Do you contend, Mr. Gehlhausen, that closed communion is such an essential for the LCMS that not practicing it in the official LCMS way is not  “sticking with the church”? And if you read my  comment just upstream as “pure enthusiasm,” meaning lacking in  theological or intellectual content, then you do not even come close to  understanding what I have written. Mr. Gehlhausen writes: I’m  certain that you often find your heart strangely warmed and feel  disappointed when it does not happen during a church service. I comment: Well, “heart strangely warmed” is really a Wesleyan phrase, but never mind. I do find warmth in a worship service, don’t you? Or are you too busy  checking who’s at the altar rail and whether you think they ought to be  there or whether the pastor is not “sticking with the LCMS” by admitting them?

I find interesting the contrast between the disdain with which Pr. Austin treats the policy of the LCMS with regard to communion (formed out of  what we have understood as theological principles even though Pr. Austin rejects our reasoning) {shown not only by the highlighted sections  above, but past posts by Pr. Austin} with the contempt he showers upon  those who do not abide by the rules and bylaws of the ELCA because they  are the mutually agreed upon rules and bylaws.  Yes I know, not  everybody in the LCMS agrees with close communion – otherwise there  would not be disputes and congregations and pastors who disagree and  disregard the same.  But similarly, there are those in the ELCA who  dispute and wish to disregard the rules and bylaws of the ELCA else  there would be no need to bemoan those who fail to live up to their  obligations. If dissent from close  communion signals that the  LCMS should reconsider that policy, what does dissent within the ELCA  show about their policies concerning dual rostering and leaving the  ELCA? Dan

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Charles_Austin

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #160 on: Yesterday at 11:12:16 PM »
Life, like true theology,  Pastor Fienen, is messy and complicated, sometimes a mouse, sometimes a  lion, sometimes a dinosaur. You can draw your neat lines around it and  color within those lines, but life and theology will resist your  efforts. And ain’t that glorious!!! Why are some so afraid?
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #161 on: Today at 12:14:42 AM »

Life, like true theology, Pastor Fienen, is messy and complicated, sometimes a mouse, sometimes a lion, sometimes a dinosaur. You can draw your neat  lines around it and color within those lines, but life and theology will resist your efforts. And ain’t that glorious!!! Why are some so afraid?

So, why are you so afraid of ELLA people who don’t exactly color within the lines that have been drawn for them?
Dan

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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #162 on: Today at 12:17:55 AM »
The Bishop here in Green Bay  published a letter stating that anyone voting for candidates and laws  that enabled abortion becomes complicit in objective evil and endangers  his soul. Several Bishops in Illinois have gone further and said that to vote pro-choice is to reject Jesus as Lord. They have stated, as  teachers of the church, that this is a non-negotiable, fundamental  aspect of Christianity. The bishops are on record as forcefully as they  can be. What that means for other Christians is that to some extent the  unity of the church is on the ballot on Tuesday. A vote for Obama is a  vote against Christian unity at least regrarding Rome and a vote to  reject what Rome considers essential to Christianity. Obviously simply  voting for pro-life candidates does not establish any sort of unity with Rome, but voting for pro-choice candidates definitely severs any such  unity. We can’t vote in a secualr election to establish Christian unity, but we can vote to reject it utterly. Our local RC cathedral will be  hosting a 48 prayer vigil leading up to the election, beginning Sunday  afternoon. People from various denominations, including me and others  who were involved in 40 Days for Life, will be there. It is isn’t about  ecumenism, it is about the sanctity of lfe. And by focusing on something true that realy matters it becomes by default to a certain degree  ecumenical, sans any mainline protestants.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #163 on: Today at 11:38:10 AM »
Peter, it seems to me that you are about one millimeter from saying that a vote for President Obama is a “non-Christian” vote? And yet the other candidate is – by any Christian measurement – a pagan.
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Re: Lutheran Reunion with Rome?
« Reply #164 on: Today at 12:00:09 PM »

Peter, it seems to me that you are about one millimeter from saying that a vote for President Obama is a “non-Christian” vote? And yet the other candidate is – by any Christian measurement – a pagan.

Yeah, it’s really complicated. Complicity is a long and tangled affair. In my archdiocese, we are self-insured as regards healthcare, but the program is operated by Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which (1) makes a profit on our  church business and (2) also offers a full range of contraception and  abortion services on its own products. Does that make the archdiocese as complicit in providing abortions as someone who votes for a candidate  who will not use opposition to the Roe v. Wade decision as a  make-or-break criterion for approving a federal judge–even though, if  Roe v. Wade is overturned, that will only allow each state to pass more  restrictive legislation on abortion if the legislature and governor wish (lots of luck), but almost inevitably that legislation, too, would be  problematic for Catholic moral principles?
When it comes to complicity in evil at that degree of remoteness, we are all complicit.
Besides, Peter was mainly reporting on what his local RC bishop said, not  necessarily agreeing with that in every respect. So relax, Charles.
Peace, Michael

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About This and That

Vatican 2 fundamentalist in ecumenism with traditional Protestantism and the Eastern & Oriental Orthodox. Both Protestants & Mary (laudate nomen sanctum eius) have concluded that the Roman Catholic Church is the Antichrist. Purveying the commentary that i do allows me to disseminate information of interest and confuse and hypnotize the Malcontent (ex-Catholics) and Self-Exulted (professed Catholics). Also real-life circumstances within my own faith group lead me to faith journey and entertainment. As an innatist and an empiricist i was special while others never learn, learned the hard way, or only a little upon my foot.
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