Yes, my namesake Frere Roger Schutz has been in the news again in the last couple of weeks with a French historian, Yves Chiron, claiming that the founder of Taize had indeed “converted” to the Catholic Church.
Actually, as it turns out, there is no fresh data other than that which we already knew, that (in his own words) Br Roger had reconciled in himself the faith of his origins with the mystery of the Catholic faith, “without any rupture whatsoever”. Perhaps the only new news is that this “reconciliation” took place around 1972.
There has been a lot of discussion on how it is possible to enter full communion with the Catholic Church without “rupture” of fellowship with other Christian communions. Normally, I would say that this is not possible. However, if the Catholic hierarchy–both at local level and at the highest level of the Pope–were willing to regard Br Roger as being “in communion” with themselves (and it seems that even Pope Ratzinger shared this view, as is evidenced by the fact that he personally gave him communion at JPII’s funeral and that, at his death, he made public the letter in which Br Roger professed his profound communion with the Pope) and if, at the same time, there were other ecclesial communities who regarded him in the same way, perhaps in Br Roger God showed us a glimpse of what the ecumenical goal may look like…
In any case, from my own humble perspective, I have come to regard myself not as o much as an “ex-Lutheran”, but rather as a Lutheran who has entered into full communion with the Bishop of Rome. There is room in the Catholic Church for many different spiritualities–Franciscan, Dominican, Ignatian–why not Lutheran? Why not Taize? There are the inevitable doctrinal questions of course. One cannot be in communion with the Pope and not accept the fullness of the Catholic faith. However, and this is something that non-Catholics often fail to appreciate, communion is not primarily a matter of an intellectual assent to a collection of doctrines but of a real and binding relationship with real human beings. In this sense, what finally keeps the (extremely) disparate members of the Catholic Church united (and with regard to our personal opinions, we are no more united than the Anglicans) is that we all cling to our relationship with the Bishop of Rome, and hence with one another.
In the end, as I have always maintained, the primary requirement for catholicity is communion with the Pope. (Take note, you Anglo-Papists!)