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German Catholic bishops invited to join in celebrating 500th anniversary of Reformation

October 31, 2012

Catholic bishops in Germany are weighing an appropriate response to an invitation to join in celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which will be held in 2017.

Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg, who heads an ecumenical-affairs committee for the German bishops’ conference, pointed out that the 500th anniversary observance will commemorate a tragic division in Christianity, and Catholics “do not think they can celebrate this merrily.”

Catholic participation in the anniversary observance, Bishop Feige said, is “not impossible in principle, but it depends on the character of the events planned.”


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  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Nov. 01, 2012 3:10 PM ET USA

    An appropriate response would be to read Exsurge Domine from pulpits and to hold round the clock Eucharistic Adoration in Catholic parishes with the intenion of begging our Lord to turn the hearts of Protestants to convert to the Catholic Faith, ven if it should be on their deathbeds.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Nov. 01, 2012 8:13 AM ET USA

    It is entirely logical to have such joint celebrations if the greatest good is the fundamental right to religious liberty and the celebration of human freedom. If there is something greater like a deposit of faith entrusted to one institution by divine mandate, the discussion becomes more problematic. If truth is relegated to "my truth" and "your truth" sharing equal veracity and value there is something to celebrate. If archaic concepts like schism and apostasy enter in, it'll be a downer.

  • Posted by: filioque - Nov. 01, 2012 12:48 AM ET USA


  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Oct. 31, 2012 7:04 PM ET USA

    I second John Chrysostom and Laurie m's comments.

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Oct. 31, 2012 7:04 PM ET USA

    There's incurable optimism for you! The Lutherans must think that in 2017 there will be a Protestant Church left to celebrate a quincentenary!

  • Posted by: John Chrysostom - Oct. 31, 2012 6:52 PM ET USA

    Catholic participation should take the part of acknowledging that many of the issues leading to the Reformation were legitimate, and later addressed by the Church, and then issuing an invitation to dialogue so that "all may be one" (John 17:21).

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Oct. 31, 2012 6:49 PM ET USA

    The appropriate response would be to offer a invitation TO THEM - to return to the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - the one Church founded by Jesus Christ.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Oct. 31, 2012 6:10 PM ET USA

    This was the greatest catastrophe for the Church and the world since the Arian heresy, and we are supposed to celebrate it? I hope they tell them where to put their invitation. What brass!