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Lutheran leader calls on theologians to remove obstacles to unity with Catholics

July 26, 2017

The head of the Lutheran World Federation has called on theologians to remove the obstacles that hinder unity with the Catholic Church.

Rev. Dr. Martin Junge made his remarks in a letter commemorating the 50th anniversary of official Lutheran dialogue with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

“Our task as theologians and as pastors should never be to provide explanations as to why unity is not yet possible; our task shall be to creatively and courageously remove the obstacles that still prevent us from the enjoyment of God’s gift of unity,” wrote Junge.

He added, “Decades of ecumenical dialogue, deep encounters in prayer, and passionate joint service to suffering people in the world have brought about trust, mutual understanding, and differentiated consensus in basic issues of faith.”


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  • Posted by: filioque - Jul. 27, 2017 11:50 AM ET USA

    The way to unity is obviously to remove the source of disunity: Luther's heresies. Your move, Pastor Junge.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jul. 27, 2017 8:57 AM ET USA

    "Hope springs eternal in the human breast; man never is, but always to be blessed: The soul, uneasy and confined from home, rests and expatiates in a life to come." By Alexander Pope.

  • Posted by: Jim Hanink - Jul. 26, 2017 6:34 PM ET USA

    As cited, Pastor Junge overlooks the obvious: the work of theologians and pastors does not make reality. Rather, it responds to reality. We cannot reduce theological discourse to the merely expressive and hortatory. "Differentiated consensus" can't serve as a verbal rug under which we might conveniently sweep our differences.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Jul. 26, 2017 5:15 PM ET USA

    Simple: dump Luther's pride.

  • Posted by: feedback - Jul. 26, 2017 7:38 AM ET USA

    Unity comes from accepting and believing specific matters of Faith to be divinely revealed truths. "Decades of dialogue..., deep encounters..., passionate service..., mutual understanding, and differentiated consensus" don't mean a whole lot if we don't profess the same truths of Faith. Having theologians and pastors "never provide explanations as to why unity is not yet possible" will not change reality and make the differences disappear.