Lutheran leader defends the Pope

 — Jan. 28, 201228 janv. 2012

Lutheran Bishop Johannes Friedrich has said that the Pope’s visit to the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt on his visit to Germany last year “cannot be rated highly enough”.

The former Bishop of Bavaria was writing in the German Protestant monthly Chrismon about the papal visit to Germany’s Protestant heartland last year.

The visit came amid preparations for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, dated to Luther’s publication of the “Ninety-Five Theses” in 1517.

Bishop Friedrich admitted that the question of whether the Pope’s visit to Erfurt was a step forward or a step back for ecumenism continues to be hotly debated in Germany, but said that he fully agreed with Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the Catholic Bishop of Regensburg, who said that it was most definitely a step forward.

He insisted that what Pope Benedict told Protestant leaders at the time in private talks was “a step towards rehabilitating Luther”. On 23 September Pope Benedict told Lutheran leaders that he was always impressed by the fact that Luther’s entire “theological searching and inner struggle” had been dominated by one question: “How do I receive the grace of God?”

Arguing for a “critically constructive appraisal” of Luther’s work, Bishop Friedrich quoted what Pope Benedict told him in private audience in Rome in January 2011. “Let us take a look at the year 2017 – which reminds us of the publication of Luther’s theses on indulgences 500 years ago – together. On this occasion Lutherans and Catholics will have the opportunity of marking a joint worldwide ecumenical commemoration and of grappling with basic questions,” he quoted Pope Benedict as saying.

Meanwhile, at Tübingen on 19 January Cardinal Walter Kasper, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, spoke of “intensive Protestant-Catholic preparations for a ‘joint declaration’ and a ‘joint ecumenical celebration’ for the 2017 Anniversary of the Reformation”.

Posted: Jan. 28, 2012 • Permanent link:
Categories: TabletIn this article: 2017, Benedict XVI, Catholic, Lutheran, Reformation, Walter Kasper
Transmis : 28 janv. 2012 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : TabletDans cet article : 2017, Benedict XVI, Catholic, Lutheran, Reformation, Walter Kasper

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