Lutheran leader hopes for "Eucharistic hospitality" with Catholics

That would be unprecedented among Protestants and Catholics — and, to me, seems improbable.


The president of the Lutheran World Federation is calling on Lutherans and Catholics to issue a common statement on Holy Communion to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017.

“Our intention is to arrive at 2017 with a common Roman Catholic-Lutheran declaration on Eucharistic hospitality,” Bishop Munib Younan told the Italian Protestant news agency NEV before meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday (Dec. 16).

“Eucharistic hospitality,” means that Catholics would be able to receive Communion at Lutheran worship services, and Lutherans would be able to do the same at a Catholic Mass.

In a speech during his meeting with Younan, Benedict praised progress in Catholic-Lutheran dialogue but did not make any reference to the bishop’s Eucharist proposal.

“It is my hope that these ecumenical activities will provide fresh opportunities for Catholics and Lutherans to grow closer in their lives, their witness to the gospel, and their efforts to bring the light of Christ to all dimensions of society” the pope said.

Catholic doctrine forbids such bilateral Communion acceptance. The Second Vatican Council, held from 1962 to 1965, said that Protestants “did not keep the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery.”

Read more. And you can read the Vatican’s take on ongoing dialogue with Lutherans right here.


  1. Holly Hansen says:

    Ahh but we believe in a God of the improbable.

  2. Eucharistic sharing is indeed something to hope for. Does such a thing exist already between, say, the ELCA and the LCMS/WLS? Are both Lutheran and Catholic “houses” in order to discuss such a thing?

    Ecumenism takes time and the hard work of conversion, both within and without. Much has happened already in the decades following the Council, and that was seen as almost impossible beforehand. But it cannot follow a “deadline” as the bishop proposes. We are called to work toward unity, and that can only happen in God’s good time.

  3. If left to mortal, flawed man and our ways and biases , highly improbable indeed Deacon Greg.

    With the courage of Christ and the intervention of the holy spirit, perhaps, just perhaps ‘two or three gathered in his name’ who fully believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist can finally go the the communion rail together in 2011 and respond amen when offered the Body of Christ.

  4. ““Eucharistic hospitality,” means that Catholics would be able to receive Communion at Lutheran worship services, and Lutherans would be able to do the same at a Catholic Mass.”


  5. As a refugee from the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) and now a Roman Catholic, I would emphatically say NO!!!!! There is too much synodical infighting going on inside the Lutheran Communion. I experienced a nasty schism in the LCMS that began in 1973 and ended in 1981 for me when I left the LCMS for good. I did not know NOR did I care who was right or who was wrong. It was just a bunch of people acting and fighting like the devil for what they thought was a heavenly cause. The schism that began in 1973 never ended, it’s just being fought behind closed doors where the rest of the world can’t see what’s going on. The LCMS learned how to throw a blanket over their dirty laundry because 200,000 left the LCMS during that period and this was no small exodus. It’s conservatives versus moderates and when one side gains power, they put the screws to the other side and so on and so forth. The common denominator between them is that they really can’t stand Catholics (despite their smiles and “desires” for ecumenism) for what Rome did to their “Sainted” Martin Luther. Those who stayed Lutheran and split from the LCMS became the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and the ELCA has achieved it’s own brand of theological flakiness. Lutheran theology is superficial and does not achieve the levels of thought and granularity of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church IS Christ’s first church and the church properly structured both structurally and liturgically for right praise. My plea and hope after my Lutheran experience? Leave the Lutherans alone, I wish them well…ELSEWHERE. They are separated brethren of their own choice. I’ve heard and remember too many sermons on the “Lonely Lutheran Way.” They think they are a heroic minority, the lonely little “ship of truth” in the Catholic Sea of heresy. I’m not buying a bit of it and I would encourage all Catholics not to buy it either. They’ll bring their infighting to us and believe me folks, it’s nasty. When the Holy Father and the Holy See reliably determine that the Lutherans have buried their hatchets in the ground instead of each others head, then let’s talk. But something tells me the Lutherans will never quit fighting amongst themselves and they’ll still despise us Catholics no matter what the outcome. NO!!!

  6. I will believe it when women become priests… Theologically impossible.

  7. Fiergenholt says:

    First off, I actually thought that the creation of a Lutheran Ordinariate would come sooner than the one created for the Anglicans.

    Secondly, I keep on very good terms with my Lutheran colleagues and I asked one of the Lutheran Pastors I know whether the opinion of Pastor Junge of the World Lutheran Federation — look for this posting on the BLOG itself dated today — was at all respected worldwide (as some Reuters’ reporters seem to believe). His answer was a blunt “no.”

    Bottom line — regardless what ecb posted earlier today, I tend to believe the Lutheran leaders I know who are not at all adverse to such an ordinariate. Welcome aboard!


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