Golden Oldies 1 – German Lutherans Break Free

As Reformation 2011 approaches, it is sobering to recall Dominus Jesus (2000), in which Rome does not recognize Protestant churches as “sister churches”; rather, they are “ecclesial communities.”

In 2001 German Lutherans issued “An Evangelical Understanding of Church Fellowship,” which Cardinal Walter Kasper found “abrasive.”

Professor Dr. Dorothea Wendebourg responded:

The Roman Catholic Church is no longer used to – and we ourselves are hardly still used to – Protestants expressing themselves confessionally in a clear and forthright manner and critiquing the teachings and practices of other churches, especially the Roman Catholics. That has now occurred in “An Evangelical Understanding of Church Fellowship.” In it we state what the goal of all ecumenical dialogues is to be and reject the Roman Catholic model and goal.  We criticize the Roman Catholic Church on various points – the papacy, the nature of the office of ministry, the ordination of women, canon law. We criticize them just as they have criticized us. However, in contrast to them we do not withhold from them the recognition of them as church.”

Read more here.