Lutherans and Catholics bury the hatchet for Reformation’s 500th

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Martin Luther, founder of Germany's Protestant (Lutheran) Church, nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. Religion News Service file photo

Martin Luther, founder of Germany's Protestant (Lutheran) Church, nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. Religion News Service file photo

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholics and Lutherans are re-examining the Protestant Reformation, saying Martin Luther “had no intention of establishing a new church, but was part of a broad and many-faceted desire for reform” within the church.

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  • Joseph onyango muyoyo

    Ireally support this document . But now ts time to look at the crosss rather our denominations . God still reigns.

  • Eric Sinclair

    Joseph onyango muyoyo, your comment sounds flippant and adds nothing to the discussion. What do you mean?

  • Anita

    I am so exited and happy that we can now officially celebrate communion where ever we are.

  • Thomas E. Ambrogi

    As a Jesuit priest and theologian, I was for ten years a member of the National Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue Group. This is really extraordinary ecumenical news, and I’m proud to have had at least a word in it long ago.

    Thomas E. Ambrogi
    627 Leyden Lane
    Claremont, CA 91711

  • Rev. Eric Borchers (LCMS)

    As I was searching the web to find out what bloggers are saying about the almost 500 year old Reformation I discovered this article. It has in fact provided me with wonderful excitement for the future relationships between not only day-to-day Lutherans and Catholics but also for continued theological discussion between each; the body of Christ. However, I do take issue with one continued misnomer in articles like this: the notion that was espoused in the last sentence which seems to indicate that all Lutheran bodies believe the same thing. 🙁 I wish we could. Thank God, whether it is the Catholic Church, Lutherans of (WELS), (LCMS), or (ELCA)…we are all connected by our salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ!

  • James Keppel

    There can never be a sharing of Holy Communion between Lutherans and the Papists as long as the RC church rejects the basic Christian premise and Gospel truth of Justification by Grace through Faith in Christ. ALONE! This is the cornerstone of the Christian religion .

  • Michael

    That’s right James,

    Unity can only be based on truth. Otherwise there is not true unity. We can love others and share common bonds, but I can not go against my conscience and against what the bible says. Mary is not to be lifted up as some god. Only God alone is to be worshiped. She is not some mediator, only Jesus is. That is the only way. People forget that we are still protesting for a reason. Luther would be rolling in his grave if he knew what was happening.

  • Sam

    Your right Michael by saying, “Luther would be rolling in his grave if he knew what was happening.” Many died because of the spiritual/religious darkness in the Catholic church. If we asked them what they think today, I believe they would still stand for the other 94 theses that the church still believes and practices. It’s just that people today think they are more cultured and intelligent to believe as the people inspired by God 500 years ago. I will always be a protestant standing next to Luther for the truth.

  • James

    Reply to James Keppel:

    Papists? Really? Expressing bigotry and using terms from the 16th century is very adult of you.

    It is very Catholic to say, “Justification by Grace through Faith in Christ. ALONE!”
    There is absolutely no conflict here. This is Catholic teaching. Check out, “DOMINUS IESUS” at the Vatican website:

    It is very Protestant to say, “Justification by faith alone.” This was the issue with Luther.

    I was raised Catholic, spent 30 years in the Protestant wilderness, and became Catholic again.

    Please check out Martin Luther’s letter, “The Jews and Their Lies.” The “great” reformer advocated violence against the Jewish people. Find it online, read it and be prepared to get sick. Whatever Martin was in his lifetime, he became a madman at the end of it.

  • Tony Cooper

    So Rome has finally declared full blown Protestantism. The prophecies of St. Francis, Our Lady of Good Success in Quito, at La Sallette, and Fatima are now borne out, Satan has been enthroned at the top of the Catholic Church. The heretic Jesuit who boasts in his comment that he was part of the crew that has brought this about is destined to an eternity in Hell.

  • Tony Cooper

    Is this the same Luther who encouraged Christians to sin with vigour, and slandered and blasphemed
    Jesus by declaring that He fornicated with the woman He met at the well ?

  • Wildgraywolf

    @ Michael – You said: “Mary is not to be lifted up as some god.” Catholics have never done this and never will.

    “She is not some mediator, only Jesus is” That’s right Jesus mediates salvation Mary mediates as she did at the wedding feast in Cana. Anyone can be a mediator, but only Jesus mediates our salvation to the Father.

    You’re weighed down my many inaccuracies and misconceptions. It’s holding you back.

  • Ty Northrup

    Yes! I love your response! I am a member of the LCMS and I was very excited to read your comment. I think you hit every point right on the head.

  • James – the epistle with the same name, however, states it is NOT by faith alone. The church teaches that we are saved by faith and that this faith is completed with love as Galatians states (faith working through love). I left the LCMS and ended my “protest” when I actually read and understood what the Catholic church actually teaches – which was quite different than what my Protestant upbringing lead me to believe about the Catholic church.

  • Nick

    Flippant? What do YOU mean? Joseph said that Christians should look to the Cross rather than focus on denominations, exactly what Lutheran-Catholic dialogue is about. Okay? Sheesh,

  • Nick

    Jesus founded a church. He didn’t write a book, and He and His apostles didn’t have Bibles. The Church existed BEFORE the Bible did, and it was the Church that gathered books together to MAKE the Bible. Was the Church of Christ without authority UNTIL it gave us the Bible, Old and New Testaments? Are you seriously saying that no one in the Church had a proper understanding of Gospel truth for over a thousand years UNTIL Luther? Justification by grace through faith in Christ alone isn’t the corner stone of “Christian religion”. It’s the cornerstone of Lutherism, and hate to bust your bubble, but Lutherism doesn’t = “the only truth” for Roman Catholics OR Eastern Orthodox Christians, who, like Catholics, believe that the CHurch stands on three legs, not one: Scripture, sacred tradition, and sacred custom, ALL handed down to us since Christianity came to be.

  • laura

    Amen to that brother. Welcome home.

  • Mark McGinnis

    Roger Oakland- Emerging Church & The Road to Rome:

  • Edwin River

    Amén. .Richard..since you had seen the light..!!! God bless you always..and lets keep praying for others so they too…will get the divine wisdom..and comprehension. ..!!!