Declaring Unity

Drawing on five decades of dialogue, the Catholic and Lutheran churches together have issued “Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist.” It includes 32 statements of agreement describing points of convergence on church, ministry and the Eucharist. It also notes the differences which remain between Lutherans and Catholics and suggests possible ways forward. Among its recommendations is “the expansion of opportunities for Catholics and Lutherans to receive holy Communion together.” Bishop Denis Madden, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and co-chair of the declaration’s task force, said there are already accepted provisions for ecumenical gatherings at which “both Lutherans and Catholics can come together at the communion table.” He hoped the declaration would encourage pastors from both denominations to “take advantages of those provisions and how they might be widened.”

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