Lutheran Leader Seeks Communion With the Vatican
The president of the Lutheran World Federation wants to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation by forging an agreement with the Vatican allowing Lutherans to receive Communion at Roman Catholic Mass.
Last Thursday, the recently elected president of the Lutheran World Federation met with Pope Benedict xvi in private audience at the Vatican to discuss the prospects of such an agreement in the run-up to the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s historic break with the Catholic Church, set to be held in 2017. “Our intention is to arrive at 2017 with a common Roman Catholic-Lutheran declaration on Eucharistic hospitality,” Bishop Munib Younan told Italian Protestant news agency nev before his meeting with the pope.
Under the concept of Eucharistic hospitality, Catholics and Lutherans would be able to receive Communion at either type of religious service, Catholic or Lutheran.
During a speech he gave at this meeting, Pope Benedict xvi did not mention Bishop Younan’s specific offer, but he commended the progress made in the dialogue. “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,” he said.
Pope Benedict xvi also expressed his great pleasure at the progress made by the International Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity in its efforts to prepare a joint text that will “document what Lutherans and Catholics are able to say together at this point regarding our closer relations after almost five centuries of separation.”
Since he became pope, Benedict has clearly made the re-evangelization of Europe the cornerstone of his papacy. He has already offered a free ticket to Rome for all Anglicans who choose to reject the policies of their liberalized hierarchy. Now he is in discussions with the Lutheran World Federation that may result in a similar offer to the Lutheran Church. If both the Anglicans and the Lutherans return to the Roman fold, Catholicism’s grip on the religion of the entire European continent will be firmer than it has been since the Protestant Reformation.
From the early 1930s, Herbert Armstrong spoke out about a coming unity between Catholics and Protestants. Notice this excerpt from the Plain Truth in October 1961: “The pope will step in as the supreme unifying authority—the only one that can finally unite the differing nations of Europe. The iron jurisdiction over both schools and religion will be turned over to the Roman Catholic Church. Europe will go Roman Catholic! Protestantism will be absorbed into the ‘mother’ church—and totally abolished.”
This is exactly what we are witnessing in Europe!