Closed communion, Catholic style

From an advice column in the U. S. Catholic:

Should you pass on communion at a Lutheran church or participate fully?

You are at the wedding of a beloved family member or friend, which is taking place at a Lutheran church. You gladly accepted the invitation to celebrate this happy day with the bride and groom. But then there is a call to come to the table of the Lord’s Supper, to receive communion. This is the awkward moment you knew was coming. Can you, and should you, a practicing Catholic, accept the invitation?

According to the Code of Canon Law, receiving communion in a Protestant church is generally not permissible. According to canon 844, “Catholic ministers may licitly administer the sacraments to Catholic members of the Christian faithful only and, likewise, the latter may licitly receive the sacraments only from Catholic ministers.” The key term here is licit. If a Catholic receives communion from a Protestant minister, it is generally considered “illicit” or unlawful.

The reason for the Catholic Church’s general rule against sharing in the Eucharist with other churches is that a person can only be in full communion with one church. As a Catholic, the core of one’s union with Christ is union with the church. The center of this union lies in the reception of the sacrament of the Eucharist during Mass, which is both a confession and embodiment of unity with the Roman Catholic Church.

But canon 844 includes an exception to the rule “whenever necessity requires or general spiritual advantage suggests, and provided that the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided.”

The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism said that, as a general rule, common worship and eucharistic and other sacramental sharing should “signify the unity of the church.” But it acknowledges that such sharing can also be seen as advancing unity. In fact, according to the decree, “the gaining of a needed grace sometimes commends” it.

Still, within the confines of canon law, the exceptions to the rule are rather limited, and receiving communion from a Lutheran pastor during a wedding would normally be seen as “illicit” for Catholic wedding guests. At the same time, some Catholics would like to, and do, receive communion on these rare occasions.

These Catholics, after a careful examination of their conscience, find compelling reasons to “gain a needed grace” by receiving communion in a Protestant church. And it is also true that eucharistic sharing has occurred at the highest levels of the church. Even Jesus occasionally broke the religious law of his day, though he did so to fulfill the “spirit” of the law.

So it is possible that one could follow Jesus’ lead. In our example a compelling reason might be to demonstrate one’s deep love and commitment to nurturing the relationship of the newly married couple. Intercommunion could be a “yes” to God by witnessing to God’s presence in the marriage and committing to God’s work of salvation in their lives.

In the end, this may be fulfilling the “spirit” of canon law while going against the letter.

via Can a Catholic receive communion in a Protestant church? | USCatholic.org.

That last bit is casuistry of the highest order!  Breaking a canon law in order to fulfill it?  What’s surprising to me is that it’s taken for granted that a Lutheran pastor would be glad to commune a Roman Catholic visitor.   See too the first comment in the consequent thread that quotes the rest of the canon law cited here, that the communion can only be in a church with “valid” sacraments, which would be the Eastern Orthodox and some of the separated Catholic off-shoots.  Not Protestants, including  Lutherans and Anglicans, who are not thought to truly have the Eucharist.  This interpretation, though, makes liberal-Protestant-style ecumenism trump everything.

At any rate, is this argument for closed communion–actually, the rejection of altar fellowship–the same as what confessional Lutherans make, or is there a difference?  Note, for example, that the nature of the sacrament is not even brought up in this reasoning.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    No, this is not the same argument a confessional Lutheran would make. But you knew that, Dr. Veith! :)

    This is the siren-song of false ecumenism, one which sees pious gesture as the supreme good, rather than true unity of confession. More anthropocentric post-Vatican II theology of glory from Rome. Here it’s more subtle: “such sharing can also be seen as advancing unity.” It’s like the Catholics are going behind enemy lines and committing subterfuge to further the unity of the Church! I suppose Lutherans should feel like the queen in Braveheart and be wooed and won over by the unconventionality and boldness of it all. Or perhaps we should be awed that a Roman Catholic would heroically risk his soul by participating in a (to him) infernal sacrament…to advance the unity of the Church! to save us!

    Also, from the column:

    In our example a compelling reason might be to demonstrate one’s deep love and commitment to nurturing the relationship of the newly married couple.

    Is this why we receive the Sacrament? Here I was thinking that it was for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Again, we see here Rome’s focus on man and his purposes, his intentions, and what he is doing for the Church, rather than what Christ, the Lord and Bridegroom is doing for His Church and each member therein in the Eucharist.

    No wonder Rome is such an attractive step sideways for so many evangelicals who already have this orientation.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    No, this is not the same argument a confessional Lutheran would make. But you knew that, Dr. Veith! :)

    This is the siren-song of false ecumenism, one which sees pious gesture as the supreme good, rather than true unity of confession. More anthropocentric post-Vatican II theology of glory from Rome. Here it’s more subtle: “such sharing can also be seen as advancing unity.” It’s like the Catholics are going behind enemy lines and committing subterfuge to further the unity of the Church! I suppose Lutherans should feel like the queen in Braveheart and be wooed and won over by the unconventionality and boldness of it all. Or perhaps we should be awed that a Roman Catholic would heroically risk his soul by participating in a (to him) infernal sacrament…to advance the unity of the Church! to save us!

    Also, from the column:

    In our example a compelling reason might be to demonstrate one’s deep love and commitment to nurturing the relationship of the newly married couple.

    Is this why we receive the Sacrament? Here I was thinking that it was for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Again, we see here Rome’s focus on man and his purposes, his intentions, and what he is doing for the Church, rather than what Christ, the Lord and Bridegroom is doing for His Church and each member therein in the Eucharist.

    No wonder Rome is such an attractive step sideways for so many evangelicals who already have this orientation.

  • Tom Hering

    Let’s make this interesting. “Hello? Dave Armstrong? Are you Google searching your name today?” :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Let’s make this interesting. “Hello? Dave Armstrong? Are you Google searching your name today?” :-D

  • Booklover

    This article is written by a student of theology, not by any bishop or high member of the Catholic heirarchy. The Catholic church has its liberal wing like everyone else.

    Regular listeners to the more conservative EWTN would never hear advice like this given.

    So we would do well to remember this before we take the words of this advice columnist as representative of all Catholic thought.

  • Booklover

    This article is written by a student of theology, not by any bishop or high member of the Catholic heirarchy. The Catholic church has its liberal wing like everyone else.

    Regular listeners to the more conservative EWTN would never hear advice like this given.

    So we would do well to remember this before we take the words of this advice columnist as representative of all Catholic thought.

  • Bill Cork

    Well, that column in US CATHOLIC didn’t go over well with some Catholics. Take a look at this blog post by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (a Protestant convert):

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/10/us-catholic-promotes-reception-of-protestant-communion-fr-z-really-rants/

  • Bill Cork

    Well, that column in US CATHOLIC didn’t go over well with some Catholics. Take a look at this blog post by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (a Protestant convert):

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/10/us-catholic-promotes-reception-of-protestant-communion-fr-z-really-rants/

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    I understand the Roman Catholic argument for closed communion, as they consider themselves to be the One True Church. When I have attended RC mass, I play by their rules. First, because it is their house. Second, because I don’t think they have their doctrine of communion right

    However, I don’t understand the LCMS argument for closed communion. As far as I know, the LCMS does not consider itself to be the One True Church. But once again, when I attend an LCMS church, I play by their rules. First because it is their house, and second because… um, it is their house. Beyond that, I think that for an LCMS church to deny communion to virtually all non-LCMS Christians is a denial of “I believe in… the holy Catholic church.”

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    I understand the Roman Catholic argument for closed communion, as they consider themselves to be the One True Church. When I have attended RC mass, I play by their rules. First, because it is their house. Second, because I don’t think they have their doctrine of communion right

    However, I don’t understand the LCMS argument for closed communion. As far as I know, the LCMS does not consider itself to be the One True Church. But once again, when I attend an LCMS church, I play by their rules. First because it is their house, and second because… um, it is their house. Beyond that, I think that for an LCMS church to deny communion to virtually all non-LCMS Christians is a denial of “I believe in… the holy Catholic church.”

  • SKPeterson

    First, would a RC be communed at an EOC church? I highly doubt it. Would the RC church commune an EOC member. Again, doubtful. Even though they possess “valid” sacraments. Moreover, the validity of the sacrament is derivative of the position and authority of the bishop, i.e. apostolic succession. Since many Protestant churches (and we can argue over the callous inclusion of Lutherans with Protestants another time) do not adhere to apostolic succession, the validity of the sacrament from the RC view is questionable. How they address the Anglicans or Scandinavian Lutheran churches is not answered, nor is the possibility of being offered communion in some Lutheran churches by a woman pastor addressed.

  • SKPeterson

    First, would a RC be communed at an EOC church? I highly doubt it. Would the RC church commune an EOC member. Again, doubtful. Even though they possess “valid” sacraments. Moreover, the validity of the sacrament is derivative of the position and authority of the bishop, i.e. apostolic succession. Since many Protestant churches (and we can argue over the callous inclusion of Lutherans with Protestants another time) do not adhere to apostolic succession, the validity of the sacrament from the RC view is questionable. How they address the Anglicans or Scandinavian Lutheran churches is not answered, nor is the possibility of being offered communion in some Lutheran churches by a woman pastor addressed.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    About a quarter of that is about a quarter of the argument for closed communion from a Lutheran Standpoint. There is a sense in which communion with a church is a confession of unity with that church and its teachings. So there is a sense in which one wants to avoid making false confessions of unity. the table of Demons and the table of the Lord bit makes this clear. It might not be politically correct to say that baptists are communing at a table of demons, though i am not sure one needs to go even that far. It is simply this, when one would eat a temple in corinth, one was expressing unity with the faith of that temple, acceptance of it. Even as today, one is expressing acceptance, or adherance burning incense at a Buddhist or Hindu Temple. By participating with them you are condoning them and ther practices and beliefs. The same is true of participating at a baptist or methodist altar. Don’t believe me, go ahead and abstain from communing just once at an ELCA Altar, or a Methodist Altar, and see how fast people start questioning why. Though at times I believe those who started to ask why were expecting to hear of some escapade I had had last night. The daggers come out the minute you start asking them about what is going on at the altar and how you disagree with their church’s teachings on x, and especially how they talk about this thing being symbolic.
    Of course there is also a sense in which a congregation communes together, perhaps even despite some theological differences though one would hoe these are in the realm of open questions, or perhaps while questioning certain doctrines, and there communion does work to bring the parties together and working toward a fuller unity of spirit, mind and judgment. I do think though that there has to be some foundational unity already before communion can be used as a tool to foster greater unity.
    But you are right Veith, in that there is nothing here about what Communion is, or what the dangers are of taking it. It can be both blessing and a judgment. It is a serious matter that requires some instruction. 1 Corinthians says a man must examine himself before taking it. And i get that thrown in my face quite a bit, in the sense of then why are you examining them before hand. And this is where there is total confusion. In accordance with the confessions, there is the idea of the pastor examining the communicants. this is really supposed to be the pastor helping the communicant examine themselves. However, how is one to examine himself if he has not been instructed in the basic doctrines of the church, how is he to discern the body if he has not been instructed as to what is going on in the Lord’s Supper. And that is where I am wary as a pastor.
    People today think nothing of these things, and that is a dangerous situation according to scripture, 1 Cor. 10 and 11 make this abundantly clear, and it is the only loving thing a pastor can do but to exercise caution, and instruct before hand.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    About a quarter of that is about a quarter of the argument for closed communion from a Lutheran Standpoint. There is a sense in which communion with a church is a confession of unity with that church and its teachings. So there is a sense in which one wants to avoid making false confessions of unity. the table of Demons and the table of the Lord bit makes this clear. It might not be politically correct to say that baptists are communing at a table of demons, though i am not sure one needs to go even that far. It is simply this, when one would eat a temple in corinth, one was expressing unity with the faith of that temple, acceptance of it. Even as today, one is expressing acceptance, or adherance burning incense at a Buddhist or Hindu Temple. By participating with them you are condoning them and ther practices and beliefs. The same is true of participating at a baptist or methodist altar. Don’t believe me, go ahead and abstain from communing just once at an ELCA Altar, or a Methodist Altar, and see how fast people start questioning why. Though at times I believe those who started to ask why were expecting to hear of some escapade I had had last night. The daggers come out the minute you start asking them about what is going on at the altar and how you disagree with their church’s teachings on x, and especially how they talk about this thing being symbolic.
    Of course there is also a sense in which a congregation communes together, perhaps even despite some theological differences though one would hoe these are in the realm of open questions, or perhaps while questioning certain doctrines, and there communion does work to bring the parties together and working toward a fuller unity of spirit, mind and judgment. I do think though that there has to be some foundational unity already before communion can be used as a tool to foster greater unity.
    But you are right Veith, in that there is nothing here about what Communion is, or what the dangers are of taking it. It can be both blessing and a judgment. It is a serious matter that requires some instruction. 1 Corinthians says a man must examine himself before taking it. And i get that thrown in my face quite a bit, in the sense of then why are you examining them before hand. And this is where there is total confusion. In accordance with the confessions, there is the idea of the pastor examining the communicants. this is really supposed to be the pastor helping the communicant examine themselves. However, how is one to examine himself if he has not been instructed in the basic doctrines of the church, how is he to discern the body if he has not been instructed as to what is going on in the Lord’s Supper. And that is where I am wary as a pastor.
    People today think nothing of these things, and that is a dangerous situation according to scripture, 1 Cor. 10 and 11 make this abundantly clear, and it is the only loving thing a pastor can do but to exercise caution, and instruct before hand.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kevin N,
    and I see you have examined your presumptions concerning the LCMS to see if that is in fact why we do it? We aren’t denying one holy Catholic church. Not at all. But then we have a different concept as to what that is than both Roman Catholicism and most of the protestant Churches. And we do be lieve we are the, welll not LCMS alone, but true VISIBlE church on earth, but belonging to that has very little to do with anything concerning salvation.
    We practice closed communion because we believe that were one to commune with their protestant biases at our altar it would be detrimental to their spiritual health. We don’t believe they even have communion at their churches, given the public confession of their church concerning symbolic nature and so on. This gets a bit stickier with why we would deny a Roman Catholic or Anglican, though I’m not always sure I would. but i’d at least like to talk to them first.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kevin N,
    and I see you have examined your presumptions concerning the LCMS to see if that is in fact why we do it? We aren’t denying one holy Catholic church. Not at all. But then we have a different concept as to what that is than both Roman Catholicism and most of the protestant Churches. And we do be lieve we are the, welll not LCMS alone, but true VISIBlE church on earth, but belonging to that has very little to do with anything concerning salvation.
    We practice closed communion because we believe that were one to commune with their protestant biases at our altar it would be detrimental to their spiritual health. We don’t believe they even have communion at their churches, given the public confession of their church concerning symbolic nature and so on. This gets a bit stickier with why we would deny a Roman Catholic or Anglican, though I’m not always sure I would. but i’d at least like to talk to them first.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blopspot.com Trent

    To commune at the altar of a church whose doctrines (especially those doctrines concerning the Lord’s Supper) you reject is to profess with your actions what you would deny, or at least refuse to confess fully, with your lips. We Lutherans welcome anyone to commune at the Lord’s Table with us; we simply ask that they be instructed and confirmed first, as has always been the custom in the Church until very recently, as much as it might rankle many arch-Protestants’ sensibilities: “Who is this guy telling me what Scripture teaches? I believe in Sola Scriptura, and I’ve examined myself!”

    All churches should practice closed communion. Closed communion only offends people who pine for external unity yet never bother to consider the questions, “Unity in what?”

    While Kyrios Jesos is the Church’s original confession, it became necessary to explicate more fully who Jesus is and what it means for him to be Lord when the Arians piped up and said, “Yes, Jesus is Lord. But he’s not God.” So also it has been necessary to define (i.e., defend) Christ’s physical presence in the Sacrament and draw a line defining heterodox and and excluding the heterodox from Eucharistic fellowship…since they deny the real presence. As has been wisely pointed out already, this is not a statement on whether or not they are among God’s elect. As the brouhaha in the Federal Vision comment-feed evinces, we Lutherans don’t think your election is any of our business.

    Finally, it strikes me as odd that most Christians object to conjugal relations before marriage, but are fine with communion before (usually entirely without, actually) confirmation. Don’t just flirt with a church body. Marry it. Die in it.

    I address the matter of ecumenism in the prolegomena to a post on my own blog for any who are interested. My point is this: every Protestant Christian thinks that he personally is more Catholic than the pope, and that his church is more catholic than the church of Rome — and we should all have the intellectual honesty to admit to this.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blopspot.com Trent

    To commune at the altar of a church whose doctrines (especially those doctrines concerning the Lord’s Supper) you reject is to profess with your actions what you would deny, or at least refuse to confess fully, with your lips. We Lutherans welcome anyone to commune at the Lord’s Table with us; we simply ask that they be instructed and confirmed first, as has always been the custom in the Church until very recently, as much as it might rankle many arch-Protestants’ sensibilities: “Who is this guy telling me what Scripture teaches? I believe in Sola Scriptura, and I’ve examined myself!”

    All churches should practice closed communion. Closed communion only offends people who pine for external unity yet never bother to consider the questions, “Unity in what?”

    While Kyrios Jesos is the Church’s original confession, it became necessary to explicate more fully who Jesus is and what it means for him to be Lord when the Arians piped up and said, “Yes, Jesus is Lord. But he’s not God.” So also it has been necessary to define (i.e., defend) Christ’s physical presence in the Sacrament and draw a line defining heterodox and and excluding the heterodox from Eucharistic fellowship…since they deny the real presence. As has been wisely pointed out already, this is not a statement on whether or not they are among God’s elect. As the brouhaha in the Federal Vision comment-feed evinces, we Lutherans don’t think your election is any of our business.

    Finally, it strikes me as odd that most Christians object to conjugal relations before marriage, but are fine with communion before (usually entirely without, actually) confirmation. Don’t just flirt with a church body. Marry it. Die in it.

    I address the matter of ecumenism in the prolegomena to a post on my own blog for any who are interested. My point is this: every Protestant Christian thinks that he personally is more Catholic than the pope, and that his church is more catholic than the church of Rome — and we should all have the intellectual honesty to admit to this.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I am aware of how “liberal” this advice columnist is. I guess that’s one thing that frustrates me about American Catholicism. One might approach them looking for historic Catholic theology and practice–if only to discuss it, even to disagree with it–but what one so often finds in typical parishes these days are liberal priests spouting liberal theology that sounds more like liberal Protestantism than anything remotely Catholic. They will indeed commune you, no matter what you believe, all in the name of ecumenism. I do know that conservative Catholics are battling this. I suppose this is the conflict in virtually every theological tradition.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    I am aware of how “liberal” this advice columnist is. I guess that’s one thing that frustrates me about American Catholicism. One might approach them looking for historic Catholic theology and practice–if only to discuss it, even to disagree with it–but what one so often finds in typical parishes these days are liberal priests spouting liberal theology that sounds more like liberal Protestantism than anything remotely Catholic. They will indeed commune you, no matter what you believe, all in the name of ecumenism. I do know that conservative Catholics are battling this. I suppose this is the conflict in virtually every theological tradition.

  • http://www.olvgvpima.org Jon

    @10
    Hmmmm. Where are these “typical parishes” in which “liberal priests spout[] liberal theology”? They don’t exist in my large SW diocese; I haven’t found them in the many parishes in which I have attended Mass. In my view, the homily is the only portion of the ancient rite in which a priest could insert “liberal theology,” but I’m hearing only homilies that competently exegete that day’s readings.

    As for communing anybody, no one does a background check when you come forward for the Eucharist, but if the priest knows you shouldn’t receive, he withholds it. Recently, our bishop presided over the annual diocesan Red Mass for the legal community. It’s held in the cathedral and is well attended by Catholics and nonCatholics alike. But before communion, an announcement is made that plainly informs the audience that only Catholics can come forward to receive the body and blood of Christ.

    Catholic magazines, such as US Catholic, America, Catholic Answers, etc., are not papal encyclicals, nor are they theological treatises, though they contain a fair amount of good, edifying reading. The article at issue here does not purport to lay down dogma; in any event, the answer to the question about communion is hedged with enough “may,” “could,” “might,” and “possible” to fill a house. Not everything “Catholic” is published with the nihil obstat. Best source of Church teaching is the Cathecism, supplemented by the Vatican II documents and Pope Benedict XVI’s several books on Christ, the creed, etc. Ignatius Press is a good source.

  • http://www.olvgvpima.org Jon

    @10
    Hmmmm. Where are these “typical parishes” in which “liberal priests spout[] liberal theology”? They don’t exist in my large SW diocese; I haven’t found them in the many parishes in which I have attended Mass. In my view, the homily is the only portion of the ancient rite in which a priest could insert “liberal theology,” but I’m hearing only homilies that competently exegete that day’s readings.

    As for communing anybody, no one does a background check when you come forward for the Eucharist, but if the priest knows you shouldn’t receive, he withholds it. Recently, our bishop presided over the annual diocesan Red Mass for the legal community. It’s held in the cathedral and is well attended by Catholics and nonCatholics alike. But before communion, an announcement is made that plainly informs the audience that only Catholics can come forward to receive the body and blood of Christ.

    Catholic magazines, such as US Catholic, America, Catholic Answers, etc., are not papal encyclicals, nor are they theological treatises, though they contain a fair amount of good, edifying reading. The article at issue here does not purport to lay down dogma; in any event, the answer to the question about communion is hedged with enough “may,” “could,” “might,” and “possible” to fill a house. Not everything “Catholic” is published with the nihil obstat. Best source of Church teaching is the Cathecism, supplemented by the Vatican II documents and Pope Benedict XVI’s several books on Christ, the creed, etc. Ignatius Press is a good source.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    @11

    You write:

    In my view, the homily is the only portion of the ancient rite in which a priest could insert “liberal theology,” but I’m hearing only homilies that competently exegete that day’s readings.

    Wouldn’t you say with St. Augustine that doctrine follows practice? A lackadaisical, irreverent, contemporary liturgy of the Word and a perfunctory, equally irreverent liturgy of the Sacrament, intervened by a poor homily, comprise “the ancient rite” of the Mass in a skeletal way only. I would submit that there is frequently a more or less direct relationship between such irreverent Novus Ordo masses, in which the Eucharist is more of a sociological group-hug, and atrocious lay theology of the type on display in U.S. Catholic. If all you can say about the Mass for a given day is that it was “valid,” you’re damning with faint praise (no pun intended…at least I don’t think), for a shoddy liturgy is a poor confession of Christ and virtually incapable of catechizing the faithful.

    Why aren’t the censors chewing this columnist to shreds? Are they? The nearest bishop should be all over this like a big dog. That is, unless he’s on board with such drivel. And I think the chance of that is higher than you let on, Jon, though I hate to say so.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    @11

    You write:

    In my view, the homily is the only portion of the ancient rite in which a priest could insert “liberal theology,” but I’m hearing only homilies that competently exegete that day’s readings.

    Wouldn’t you say with St. Augustine that doctrine follows practice? A lackadaisical, irreverent, contemporary liturgy of the Word and a perfunctory, equally irreverent liturgy of the Sacrament, intervened by a poor homily, comprise “the ancient rite” of the Mass in a skeletal way only. I would submit that there is frequently a more or less direct relationship between such irreverent Novus Ordo masses, in which the Eucharist is more of a sociological group-hug, and atrocious lay theology of the type on display in U.S. Catholic. If all you can say about the Mass for a given day is that it was “valid,” you’re damning with faint praise (no pun intended…at least I don’t think), for a shoddy liturgy is a poor confession of Christ and virtually incapable of catechizing the faithful.

    Why aren’t the censors chewing this columnist to shreds? Are they? The nearest bishop should be all over this like a big dog. That is, unless he’s on board with such drivel. And I think the chance of that is higher than you let on, Jon, though I hate to say so.

  • http://www.olvgvpima.org/ Jon

    Trent, have you read the comments to the US Catholic article? I assume you’re Lutheran from your site; so wouldn’t the weak, irreverent, ignorant, liberal Catholic church you describe please you?

  • http://www.olvgvpima.org/ Jon

    Trent, have you read the comments to the US Catholic article? I assume you’re Lutheran from your site; so wouldn’t the weak, irreverent, ignorant, liberal Catholic church you describe please you?

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    Jon,

    Now, now. The answer is “no.” You Romanizers are erring brothers, but you are not enemies. So, no, I would not wish something that was detrimental to your spiritual wellbeing — quite the opposite, actually. The sacred liturgy belongs not to us, but to Christ, for it is He who ministers to us in and through it. While I abhor the Canon of the Mass on account of its repugnance to the Gospel, as did my spiritual forbears, the Mass itself, Gottesdienst, in which God’s good work is done to and for us, is as much a Lutheran Christian’s treasure as it is yours, or any other Roman Christian’s. I never rejoice to see it fouled.

    No, I haven’t read the comments to the original piece. Perhaps I should.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    Jon,

    Now, now. The answer is “no.” You Romanizers are erring brothers, but you are not enemies. So, no, I would not wish something that was detrimental to your spiritual wellbeing — quite the opposite, actually. The sacred liturgy belongs not to us, but to Christ, for it is He who ministers to us in and through it. While I abhor the Canon of the Mass on account of its repugnance to the Gospel, as did my spiritual forbears, the Mass itself, Gottesdienst, in which God’s good work is done to and for us, is as much a Lutheran Christian’s treasure as it is yours, or any other Roman Christian’s. I never rejoice to see it fouled.

    No, I haven’t read the comments to the original piece. Perhaps I should.

  • http://www.olvgvpima.org/ Jon

    I appreciate the conversation, but I’m not persuaded you’re really familiar with the content of the Roman missal. You abhor the canon like your forbears [pre 1962?] but the current version is “fouled”? You may know that the Mass in English is undergoing some revision this year to bring the translation into greater conformity with the Latin.

  • http://www.olvgvpima.org/ Jon

    I appreciate the conversation, but I’m not persuaded you’re really familiar with the content of the Roman missal. You abhor the canon like your forbears [pre 1962?] but the current version is “fouled”? You may know that the Mass in English is undergoing some revision this year to bring the translation into greater conformity with the Latin.

  • Quinn M

    @Jon: As a Confessional Lutheran, I could not recite the entirety of even the pre-1962 Mass, and I am looking at the appropriate Missal right here on my desk.

  • Quinn M

    @Jon: As a Confessional Lutheran, I could not recite the entirety of even the pre-1962 Mass, and I am looking at the appropriate Missal right here on my desk.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    @Jon

    I suppose it’s fortunate, then, that the purpose of my comment was not to demonstrate my familiarity with the Missal. Suffice it to say that you know nothing about me, though: for all you know, I could be a defrocked Catholic priest who became Lutheran. In any event I’m not trying to convince you that I’m familiar with the Missal; I’m simply attempting to explain why I, as a Lutheran, would not rejoice to know that a particular Roman parish’s liturgy was shoddy. I happen to be familiar with the Missal, and it’s enough for me to know that I am, and to know my specific theological objections to it. I cannot help but admire the extent to which you also stand with your forbears, preferring snobbery, condescension and historicism to charitable and theological discourse. I am aware that the Roman mass is undergoing revision to bring it into greater conformity with the Latin. It is doubtful, though, that these revisions will address the primary problem with Rome’s innovation, i.e., the Roman see’s denial of justification by faith alone, and the execrations that Rome sowed into the Western liturgy alongside this travesty.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    @Jon

    I suppose it’s fortunate, then, that the purpose of my comment was not to demonstrate my familiarity with the Missal. Suffice it to say that you know nothing about me, though: for all you know, I could be a defrocked Catholic priest who became Lutheran. In any event I’m not trying to convince you that I’m familiar with the Missal; I’m simply attempting to explain why I, as a Lutheran, would not rejoice to know that a particular Roman parish’s liturgy was shoddy. I happen to be familiar with the Missal, and it’s enough for me to know that I am, and to know my specific theological objections to it. I cannot help but admire the extent to which you also stand with your forbears, preferring snobbery, condescension and historicism to charitable and theological discourse. I am aware that the Roman mass is undergoing revision to bring it into greater conformity with the Latin. It is doubtful, though, that these revisions will address the primary problem with Rome’s innovation, i.e., the Roman see’s denial of justification by faith alone, and the execrations that Rome sowed into the Western liturgy alongside this travesty.

  • Jon

    Trent, no offense intended. Your comments weren’t easy to understand, so I tried to elicit clarification through questions. I failed.

  • Jon

    Trent, no offense intended. Your comments weren’t easy to understand, so I tried to elicit clarification through questions. I failed.

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    Jon,

    Well, I must have failed too, as I probably took offense where none was intended, and in this way took after one of Dr. Luther’s less admirable qualities. These online forums are probably not the best place for honest and amicable debate. I apologize for the uncharitableness of my comments, brother.

    +Pax Christi tecum

  • http://pseudepigraphic.blogspot.com Trent

    Jon,

    Well, I must have failed too, as I probably took offense where none was intended, and in this way took after one of Dr. Luther’s less admirable qualities. These online forums are probably not the best place for honest and amicable debate. I apologize for the uncharitableness of my comments, brother.

    +Pax Christi tecum

  • fws

    Jon @ 13

    I am another confessional Lutheran here. I live in Brazil.

    I think you really don’t get us Lutherans. I can’t tell you the number of times I have met lost/lapsed Roman Catholics down here and have recatechized them on the meaning of their Holy Baptism and… urged them to a local Catholic parish near where they live , where I know the priest and can help them go home.

    Here as in many places there is such a lack of priests and even deacons that the RC Church doesnt really know where it’s members are or even who it’s members are. And there is alot of syncretism with the Brazilian equivalent of voodoo going on. And the RC Church is hemorraging members to the “Universal Sect” which is a pentecostal-like-cult. This is happening in what is the “largest RC country in the World.” And the RC church has alot of tv programs and radio programs that don’t sound at all different from penticostalism. It is really , really, pretty bad. You RC christians in the USA have it SOOOOOO good.

    I would LOVE to see the RC Church get a grip on this and become strong both doctrinally here and in their practices, increase the number of priests , and stop losing members!

    As a Lutheran christian, I have no desire at all to have Lutherans steal sheep from where God has already placed them under a pastor.

    Yes , IF they ask me, I will gladly explain why we Lutherans , very sadly, must refrain from the idolatry that is the Roman Mass. But I am not aggressive about that sort of appologetics as you Romans seem to be and you are demonstrating here.

    After all:

    We are all members of the Holy Catholic Church by virtue of our baptisms, and we are also members of that invisible Communion of Saints that consists of all who put their trust in the Works of Another.

  • fws

    Jon @ 13

    I am another confessional Lutheran here. I live in Brazil.

    I think you really don’t get us Lutherans. I can’t tell you the number of times I have met lost/lapsed Roman Catholics down here and have recatechized them on the meaning of their Holy Baptism and… urged them to a local Catholic parish near where they live , where I know the priest and can help them go home.

    Here as in many places there is such a lack of priests and even deacons that the RC Church doesnt really know where it’s members are or even who it’s members are. And there is alot of syncretism with the Brazilian equivalent of voodoo going on. And the RC Church is hemorraging members to the “Universal Sect” which is a pentecostal-like-cult. This is happening in what is the “largest RC country in the World.” And the RC church has alot of tv programs and radio programs that don’t sound at all different from penticostalism. It is really , really, pretty bad. You RC christians in the USA have it SOOOOOO good.

    I would LOVE to see the RC Church get a grip on this and become strong both doctrinally here and in their practices, increase the number of priests , and stop losing members!

    As a Lutheran christian, I have no desire at all to have Lutherans steal sheep from where God has already placed them under a pastor.

    Yes , IF they ask me, I will gladly explain why we Lutherans , very sadly, must refrain from the idolatry that is the Roman Mass. But I am not aggressive about that sort of appologetics as you Romans seem to be and you are demonstrating here.

    After all:

    We are all members of the Holy Catholic Church by virtue of our baptisms, and we are also members of that invisible Communion of Saints that consists of all who put their trust in the Works of Another.

  • George A. Marquart

    1. The RC commentator is lumping “Lutherans” together with all “Protestants” as if we Lutherans are not different from all Protestants with regard to the “Real Presence” (Anglicans and Episcopalians possibly excepted, but that’s an entirely different argument we do not need to get into here). It is true that most Roman Catholics do not know about our belief in the “Real Presence”, but once they find out, many tend to dismiss it because it does not agree with their Aristotelian view of matter. On the other hand, it may be a deliberate attempt to mislead their own people, because if they knew about our doctrine, it might lead to some feelings of sympathy for Lutherans – something by all means to be avoided.

    2. I sense from some of the comments that, although we feel that the Roman Catholics are wrong, we still don’t mind using their Canon to justify our practice of “Close(d) Communion.” The fallacy here is called “tu quoque”. We must justify our practice on its own merits; we should not point to those with whom we disagree on most fundamentals, as if they somehow got this one right.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    1. The RC commentator is lumping “Lutherans” together with all “Protestants” as if we Lutherans are not different from all Protestants with regard to the “Real Presence” (Anglicans and Episcopalians possibly excepted, but that’s an entirely different argument we do not need to get into here). It is true that most Roman Catholics do not know about our belief in the “Real Presence”, but once they find out, many tend to dismiss it because it does not agree with their Aristotelian view of matter. On the other hand, it may be a deliberate attempt to mislead their own people, because if they knew about our doctrine, it might lead to some feelings of sympathy for Lutherans – something by all means to be avoided.

    2. I sense from some of the comments that, although we feel that the Roman Catholics are wrong, we still don’t mind using their Canon to justify our practice of “Close(d) Communion.” The fallacy here is called “tu quoque”. We must justify our practice on its own merits; we should not point to those with whom we disagree on most fundamentals, as if they somehow got this one right.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • fws

    geo @ 21

    I know I am talking to a Lutheran that is a quis not quia subscriber to the Lutheran Confessions, but our Augustana tells us that Lutherans dont commune anyone until they have been first examined and absolved.

    Where is there even a hint of Roman Canon Law you are talking about. The reasons given are pastoral ones that follow the Apostolic Order of St Paul after all.

    That alone makes this a settled issue for me George and defines the meaning of “closed communion ” also.

    I agree that there has been a legalism in the practices of the LCMS as to closed communion.

    Abuse of a practice does not prove the practice its self to be in error.

  • fws

    geo @ 21

    I know I am talking to a Lutheran that is a quis not quia subscriber to the Lutheran Confessions, but our Augustana tells us that Lutherans dont commune anyone until they have been first examined and absolved.

    Where is there even a hint of Roman Canon Law you are talking about. The reasons given are pastoral ones that follow the Apostolic Order of St Paul after all.

    That alone makes this a settled issue for me George and defines the meaning of “closed communion ” also.

    I agree that there has been a legalism in the practices of the LCMS as to closed communion.

    Abuse of a practice does not prove the practice its self to be in error.


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