Beatification of Nazi martyrs divides German Lutherans, Catholics

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LUEBECK, Germany (RNS) Residents of this north German city have long taken pride in four native sons — three Catholic priests and a Lutheran pastor — who were beheaded in quick succession on Nov. 10, 1943 by the Nazi regime. The commingled blood of Catholic priests Johannes Prassek, Hermann Lange, Eduard Mueller and Lutheran pastor […]

  • Russell Snow

    This is a sticky wicket and puts the ecumenical movement between Catholics and Lutherans to the test. On the one hand, all validly baptized Christians are, in some degree, members of the Mystical Body of Christ. I am sure there are Lutherans who are living and have lived holy lives to the same degrees as Catholics and other Christians. I also believe, without really knowing, that all four of these men are martyrs for the faith in its most existential sense. On the other hand, how can the Holy Father declare any Lutheran a saint, if the Lutheran Church does not recognize his authority to do it? This appears to be a clear cut case, but what if it were about someone who the Lutheran Church authorities did not believe should be beatified?

  • irishsmile

    Lutheran pastor Karl Friedrich Stellbrink was most certainly an extremely holy man just like the three priests. However, the Catholic Church is recognizing its own. Lutherns are wonderful Christians but they are not in communion with Rome. If Lutherans truly believe that Reverend Stellbrink is a saint in heaven right now then perhaps they might consider creating a Lutheran canonization process within their own ranks.