Ecumenism – Reunion with the Roman Catholic Church – Closer than you Think
By Pastor Hal Mayer on Feb 05, 2018
In an effort to further ecumenical dialogue with the Catholic Church, the Lutheran bishops from Finland made their annual pilgrimage to Rome. They presented Pope Francis with a document to help address remaining differences between the two communions.
The document was prepared in Finland over the last three years and was first published at the end of last year.
“[We] wish that it might be one of the decisive steps between Lutherans and Catholics on their common pilgrimage towards visible unity of the churches,” said Simo Peura, Lutheran Bishop of Lapua.
The pope reminded the delegation of the joint celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation last year, which he said “strengthened and deepened: communion between ecumenical partners.” “This joint commemoration remains a fruitful opportunity for ecumenism, for it marked not a goal but rather a point of departure in the ecumenical quest for full visible unity between Christians, under the threefold sign of gratitude, repentance and hope, all three of which are indispensible if we truly desire to heal our memory.”
While topics of discussion still exist between the two churches, such as the pope’s role or ordination of women, the Finnish Lutheran bishops expressed their appreciation for continued dialogue.
These Lutherans are part of a process designed to bring the two churches together in “full, visible unity” with the Catholic Church. Nothing could
compromise the principles of the Reformation more than this. “Full, visible unity” is about accepting and participating in the Eucharist as a sacrament, and accepting the other papal errors along the way.
“The Lutherans have wondered after…” See Revelation 13:3.