Some ecumenical friction in Germany, reports ZEIT-online. Nikolaus Schneider, head of the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (Protestant Church in Germany), “cannot accept that Rome sets standards for what is Church and what isn’t.” Schnedier said, “The Pope and bishops are not entitled to that, only Christ is.” The Pope should not “be confused with the Lord of the Church himself.” The Vatican does not consider Protestants to be a church in its official documents.
Schneider invites Catholics to celebrate the jubilee of the Reformation with Protestants in 2017. “It would be a wonderful image if the Pope would find a way to celebrate the Reformation jubilee with us,” he said. So far the Vatican has been critical of the jubilee celebration. Cardinal Kurt Koch said in April that the Reformation is no occasion for celebration, for the Catholic Church cannot celebrate a sin. Schneider rejected this criticism as “completely inappropriate” and said that “the Reformation was a necessary process of renewal.”