Card Kasper calls for a Lutheran Catholicism and Catholic Protestantism
Catholic World News – June 08, 2017
The ecumenical Monastery of Bose recently hosted a conference on “justification, the Gospel of grace,” and L’Osservatore Romano has published excerpts of three of the talks.
André Birmelé, a Lutheran scholar and pastor in Alsace-Lorraine, spoke about “the logic of God,” and Sarah Coakley, an Anglican theologian who teaches at Cambridge, discussed “mercy and clemency.” Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, spoke about the “ecumenical Luther.”
The prelate argued that a key conclusion of the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh—that Christian division is a leading obstacle to evangelization—is more true than ever.
In the beginning, Luther did not set out to form a separate church, but to launch “an evangelical conversion of the universal Church, which we would call today a new evangelization of the Church always in need of reformation,” the prelate said.
What is needed today, said Cardinal Kasper, is an “evangelical Catholicism and Catholic Protestantism” in which, building on shared unity grounded in baptism, Catholics and Lutherans jointly focus on evangelization.
“For common people, confessional debates have become obsolete,” he said. “If we do not want churches to empty even more, we need to focus on the essential.”