Pope in Lutheran Pulpit

I came across this this afternoon while preparing for tomorrow night’s session at Anima Education, in which we are studying the Christian Traditions (see here: http://www.animaeducation.wordpress.com for more information). We’re up to Lutherans!

This is a video from the Pope’s visit to the Lutheran Church in Rome last year. As I was watching it, I thought, I wonder if the Pope will use the pulpit. And he did! What would Blessed Martin have thought?

(Actually, I think Martin would have thoroughly have approved of this Pope – at least if he had encountered him in his early years around 1517. Instead, he encountered a de Medici…)

About Schütz

I am Catholic, married to Cathy, father of Maddy & Mia. Since 2002, I have been the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. I was once a Lutheran pastor, but a "year of grace" and soul-searching led me into the Catholic Church. It was a bumpy ride, but with the support of my (still Lutheran) wife, I was finally confirmed on June 16, 2003.
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6 Responses to Pope in Lutheran Pulpit

  1. I saw this too. Wouldn’t have happened in my church, David. I would have ensured he spoke from the lectern. Speaking from the puplit implies being one in the Gospel which is proclaimed from there, which we aren’t. Benedict is certainly an improvement on Leo X, agreed, but as Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the CDF, it should be remembered that he stated that -hypothetically – Luther would still be under church discipline from Rome today.

    • Schütz says:

      Well, we all know the purpose of Church discipline is not condemnation but to bring someone back into the fold! :-)

      Yes, I also know the rule about Church and Altar fellowship in the LCA (although I note you said “my church”, by which I take it you mean the in the parish in your care – maybe there are other LCA pastors who do not apply the rule strictly?). To be fair, if Catholic Churches still had pulpits it would be unlikely for anyone except a Catholic priest to preach from it. (and there would be priests who would not follow THAT rule to the letter either!)

      The unusual thing about this visit was that usually the Pope just speaks from a chair when he is visiting somewhere else. He never preaches standing. He must have been especially invited to use the pulpit.

      • Yes, I meant the church under my care; as you know David, every Lutheran pastor is a bishop! But that is also official LCA policy. Exceptions require a district president’s permission, or in this case I would think the general president’s permission. Not likely to happen, anyway.

  2. Gareth says:

    I respect ecumenism, but I have never been a fan personally of Pope’s formally entering into other Church’s or religious houses outside Catholic Churchs out of respect for the tradition of the Papacy.

    • Schütz says:

      One of the Pope’s major tasks – in fact, a task which Christ gave to St Peter – is the maintenance of the unity of Christ’s disciples. These ecumenical gestures are generous acts on the part of the Successor of Peter, and are aimed at allaying fears, building bonds of friendship, and gently inviting the separated brethren and sistern into closer bonds of fellowship with the Apostolic See.

      I think we can see that as a “good thing”, Gareth.

      • Gareth says:

        David, I realise you have a deep vested interest in the topic and I am certainly not opposed to ecumenical gestures per se (indeed I am grateful that I have a small handful of Protestant friends whom I can remain friends due to the example set at an institutional level) – I just think that some things are not necessary or taking it a bit too far.

        A Pope actually inside another denomination’s building praying alongside another Chrsitain tradition’s head (with the premise that the Catholic priest is on par with another vocation) is where I personally draw a line.

        And most of my Protestant friends would agree with me, they are more than happy to be good friends, discuss things, pray for each other and aid each other in the battle against secularism but when it comes such things as praying in an ecunemical service, we don’t go there.

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