Author Topic: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013  (Read 2303 times)

Norman Teigen

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2013, 09:52:48 AM »
As they say on late night television, there's more.  I plan a series of posts on this topic throughout the day.  I want to list some of the ways in which Catholics and Lutherans are united.   I will, from my notes, try to summarize some of the major points which the speaker made.  I will try to, respectfully, answer Engebretson's question.

I hope that the persons who read this will understand that I am a layman, that I am not theologically trained, that I am not interested in bashing the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (or any other ecclesiastical organization), that I am not inclined to swim the Tiber, that I do not possess any particular wisdom on any topic whatever.   

I am an old man who is trying to sort things out.   I am a product of the Vietnam and Watergate erasand I have for a long time realized that those in power don't have all of the answers.   There is a new generation of leadership in the conservative Lutheran tradition that doesn't know Watergate and Vietnam and its lessons as they apply to church matters.    The directions which these new leaders are moving  the conservative Lutheran tradition are troublesome.  It is time to look at things from a fresh perspective.


Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod
Norman Teigen

Norman Teigen

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2013, 10:14:05 AM »
The Lutheran Confessions begin with the three ecumenical creeds, The Apostles' Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Creed of Athanasius.  The Lutherans wanted to place themselves in the tradition of the apostolic fathers.   

This is a starting point for any consideration of possible unity between the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran tradition.

In my ELS church we confess the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed quite regularly.  We do the Athanasian creed once a year.

When we confess the Nicene Creed we state CONFITEOR UNAM BAPTISMA IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM.

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod

Norman Teigen

Norman Teigen

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2013, 08:28:02 PM »
The speaker last night was Father Jared Weeks.  The title of his speech was "The Ecumenical Imperative in Catholic Life."  He was speaking to Catholics.

I took notes but admit that after 50 years I am not such a good taker of notes.  I was pleased and surprised that a modern lecture hall has foldable table tops and when I figured out this modern advancement in lecture hall chairs, the task was made easier for me. 

The speech was made in three parts.  The first part was the imperative of Pope John Paul II to Catholics for the action of ecumenical activity.   In 1995 Pope Paul II updated the Vatican II decree on ecumenism [pr. eh-cue-men-ism with the accent on -men-] UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO.  (Father Slusser had recommended in advance that I read this and I am glad that I did so.). 

The Council and the Pope emphasize that there is a moral imperative for ecumenism and that it is a precise call of the Lord.

In the second part, Father Weeks stated that ecumenism arises from the heart of Catholic theology.  Catholic ecclesiology is complex and not reducible to simple slogans.  A related concept is that the Roman Catholic Church essence is complete, but the experience is not.

Finally, Father Weeks related this to personal testimony.  I was pleased and surprised to hear Father Weeks acknowledge how much Luther had meant to his own personal development.  The idea of SIMUL IUSTUS ET PECCATOR, the two opposing forces in a Christian's life  God is with us, said Luther, to liberate us from darkness of sin and death and raise us up to eternal life.

My notes are admittedly incomplete but perhaps the readers will get the gist of the speech.

Father Slusser indicated to me that he is working on a book about Melanchthon.  I was pleased to meet Christian Washburn who is the chairman of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, a  Reformation specialist.     

As a Lutheran, I was gratified to see how highly Luther is regarded by the participants.   
Norman Teigen

Michael Slusser

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Re: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2013
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2013, 02:12:55 PM »
Cardinal Koch, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, gave an interview to the news service KNA that came out today, on how he sees the whole ecumenical situation as this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity ends. Among other things, he said,

Quote
INTERVIEWER: 2017 will bring the 500-year commemoration of the Reformation. How is it going with the joint statement on that topic, which you have helped to develop with the Lutheran World Federation?

KOCH: The declaration should be released soon; at the moment the translations are being made. The text is entitled "From Conflict to communion." It presents the conflict against its historical background, but also everything that the ecumenical dialogue has achieved in the past 50 years on the road towards greater communion: Where we can see unity, where we have reached common ground, and where obstacles remain.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian