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Lutheran leader unhappy with proposal for Lutheran ordinariate

January 22, 2013

The General Secretary of the World Lutheran Federation has expressed serious misgivings about the prospect that the Vatican could establish an ordinariate for Lutherans entering the Catholic Church.

Rev. Martin Junge said that the creation of a Lutheran ordinariate—similar to the Anglican ordinariates that are already in place—would have “serious ecumenical repercussions” insofar as it would signal the Vatican’s encouragement for Lutherans to leave their Protestant communities. Such a move, Rev. Junge said, “would send the wrong signal to Lutheran churches.”

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had raised the possibility of a Lutheran ordinariate in a talk delivered in Rome last week. The archbishop said that some Lutherans would be anxious to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, while retaining “the legitimate traditions they have developed.”


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  • Posted by: jimr451 - Jan. 23, 2013 7:16 AM ET USA

    Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't the goal of ecumenical talks to reconcile the theological differences so that "Lutherans [can] leave their Protestant communities" - and rejoin the Church? I guess not, at least in the eyes of Rev. Junge.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Jan. 22, 2013 9:57 PM ET USA

    Why would Rev.Junge fear Lutherans would jump ship if an Ordinariate were provided for them? Does he think they are so weak-minded that the Vatican can sway them? Or,does he fear that a signifcant number of the flock is wanting unity with Rome?

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jan. 22, 2013 8:31 PM ET USA

    Of course the establishment Lutherans of all synods would be offended--it implies that theirs is NOT the fullness of faith, which it isn't. And many of them do believe that theirs is a "branch" of the Church, when they deny the existence of Holy Orders and so have no way to reach back in apostolic succession. I say have at it, Rome, and let a new flower bloom (but could you name an ordinariate after an heresiarch?