Ecumenical Conference in Munich

Second Ecumenical Church Conference Second Ecumenical Church Conference 2

Today the 2nd ecumenical church conference (Kirchentag) opened in Munich under the theme “That You Might Have Hope” with 3 simultaneous outdoor worship services. Over 80,000 participated. Pope Benedict read a message and, for the first time, acknowledged sexual abuse in the German church. 125,000 are registered for the conference, and 300,000 are expected for the closing service on Sunday. Sponsored by Catholic and Lutheran lay organizations and church officials, with participation by pastors and bishops and political leaders and societal figures. Sessions on bible, prayer, social justice; concerts, plays, cultural offerings, youth activities. It’s huge.

You might recall that Fr. Gotthold Hasenhüttl got suspended in 2003 for celebrating a common Eucharist with Protestants at the first such ecumenical Kirchentag in Berlin. This time around everyone seems to be respecting the rules, but not without several Protestants noting that the Catholic Church is dragging its feet on intercommunion and still does not officially consider Protestants to constitute a “church.”

Let us keep praying and working for church unity!

6 comments

  1. In the early 90’s, I was a Lutheran student attending the St. John’s grad School of Theology. On Wednesday evenings, the non-resident students had a standing invitation to join the residents for a meal followed by a mass. Communion was shared until a couple of students complained; with much hand wringing by all (except the complainants), the intercommunion ceased.

  2. Help me out Obie. If you believed as Catholics did about Eucharist and want to attend, why not join us? If you don’t believe, as we believe, why would you want to attend? I am not being antagonistic, I just don’t understand.

    1. So right belief is the standard for inclusion in the church? family of God? at the alter rail? How is right belief different in kind than right works? Do I earn my salvation by believing rightly?

  3. Ah, the glories of the one-hour Eucharistic fast, that we can have “a meal followed by a mass”.

    Receiving Holy Communion in a Catholic church is a SIGN of being in communion with the Church; it is not, in and of itself, a generator or guarantor of that communion. That, at least, is the Catholic perspective on the matter, which means it should matter to (and be respected by!) Catholics and to those who wish to receive Communion in a Catholic church.

    1. Jeffrey – On the sign vs. means question, what you wrote is mostly but not entirely true. We’re not in communion with eg. Greek Orthodox or Polish Catholic, but we would admit them without further ado. Our guidelines have ever so gradually lessened the requirements for others as well, which means more exceptions allowing other Christians to receive from us. In Ut unum sint, the Pope widened these exceptions slightly further.
      awr

  4. I am writing this from south most corner of India. Whenever I attend a Catholic church service (am an Anglican) and if they find people from other denomination , a notice is given that only Catholic should participate in the commuinion.Let us pray for the unity and for God’s wisdom to church leaders to guide their churches towards unity

    P.rajiah,
    149, Dana Pothigai nagar,
    Vikramasingapuram,
    Tirunelveli dt
    Tamil Ndu
    India. Pin 627425

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