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Eating and drinking judgment: the sacrament of unity as a sign and source of division.

My assigned task is to respond, as a Lutheran, to the excellent presentation by James Massa, that is, to offer reflections that will stimulate discussion among members of the North American Academy of Ecumenists and beyond. In this light, Massa's presentation broke my heart--not because of what he said, but because of what he could not say. As he presented the nuances and distinct perspectives on the debate between the two distinguished Roman Catholic theologians--Cardinals Walter Kasper and Joseph Ratzinger--heads around the conference room nodded in agreement as a point was made about the cosmic nature of the church, about the church as sacramental sign of God's plan of salvation, and about the priority of the universal church. These were not only Catholic heads nodding in agreement; clearly Massa's presentation stuck understanding chords in many attendees from diverse traditions.

What broke my heart was the knowledge that I, as a Lutheran, was overhearing this discussion, but I could not presently be invited into it by Kasper or Ratzinger. Their debate about the relationship between the universal church and particular churches--or dioceses--can be understood to apply properly only to the Roman Catholic Church. Now, both Kasper and Ratzinger would quickly add that the Orthodox churches are included in their understanding of the universal church, but the painful truth is that--in spite of their willingness to recognize Lutherans as Christians, by virtue of our baptism, and, therefore, in some vague sense part of the church of Jesus Christ, they are nowhere near to recognizing Lutheran institutions formally as church. Indeed, it is even doubtful if they could officially consider us ecclesial communities. This was the recognition that kept ringing in my ears during Massa's presentation, which led me to wonder what it would take to be recognized as church and what difference such recognition would make.

"The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread" (1 Cor. 10:16-17, N.R.S.V.). In these words addressed to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul teaches us that the eucharist is both a sign and a source of unity. Christ gave us this wondrous gift to nourish and strengthen us for the journey, to effect forgiveness of sins, and to knit the baptized together into his one body. When Lutherans gather around the Table of the Lord, we understand that we gather with the faithful of every time and every place, that we are united with the entire holy, catholic, and apostolic church in heaven and on earth, to share in this victory feast of the Lamb. Our divine liturgy is, during that one brief hour, caught up and grafted into the ongoing heavenly liturgy, and that is unity of a most profound type.

The Lutheran Confessions observe, however, that there are two kinds of unity: vera unitas, the true unity that exists as a gift in and through the body of Christ; and concordia, essentially getting along with one another in the day-today living of the faith. As a theologian, I can understand and affirm that our common baptism into Christ creates our vera unitas. There is a fundamental unity among us that transcends us. As a Lutheran I can even assert that the fact of our eating and drinking is a sign and source of this vera unitas that Christians already share, because Christ is not divided. The burden of concordia, it seems to me, is to make visible the vera unitas that already exists. My heartbreak is due to our fractured concordia, that our truest unity is not plainly visible to the world. Please do not misunderstand; I know full well that today's levels of cooperation are unprecedented and that trust is growing, but is this concordia? As a pastor, I can only conclude that it is not, in large part because being barred from what matters the most--eating together at the same Lord's Supper--continues to feel like rejection.

If this sounds painfully intimate to me, that is because it is. The United States Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue has committed to worship in each other's churches during our meetings, and, in order to respect the fact that intercommunion has not yet been declared, Lutherans receive a blessing at Mass and Catholics receive a blessing at the Lutheran liturgy. Invariably, we have shared together in the readings; they have been interpreted in gospel preaching; we turn to the liturgy of the Table and I am ready to eat but cannot. Alas, this is the true source of my heartbreak.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America teaches: "Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized." (1) Customs vary among our congregations on the age and circumstances for admission to the Lord's Supper and are determined locally through mutual pastoral conversation. Ordinarily, admission will occur only when children can eat and drink and can begin to respond to the gift of Christ in the Supper. (2) However, we teach that "Infants and children may be communed for the first time during the service in which they are baptized." (3) "In all cases, participation in Holy Communion is accompanied by catechesis appropriate to the age of the communicant. When infants and young children are communed, the parents and sponsors receive instruction and the children are taught throughout their development." (4)

Through this sacrament our congregations are strengthened as communities of faith, and they grow in their recognition that, while they are wholly church, they are not the whole church. "Admission to the sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized," and it has both an internal focus and an external focus. "Believing in the real presence of Christ, [the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America] practices eucharistic hospitality. All baptized persons are welcomed to Communion when they are visiting" (5) in congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Furthermore, "Because of the universal nature of the Church," we encourage our members to "participate in the eucharistic services of other Christian churches." (6) We add, however, that, when visiting, our members "should respect the practices of the host congregation. A conscientious decision whether or not to commune in another church is informed by the Lutheran understanding of the Gospel preached and the sacraments administered as Christ's gift." (7)

While the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America officially teaches that our members should respect the traditions of the host church they are visiting, the hunger and thirst for eucharistic fellowship often are forces too compelling to resist. On occasions too numerous to count, I have heard tales related by people who, while attending worship in a Missouri Synod Lutheran congregation or a Roman Catholic funeral or wedding Mass, got in line with everyone else and received communion. Most often these narratives are recounted in almost hushed, conspiratorial tones as if the person had gotten away with something. What troubles me most when I hear such stories is how the eucharist has become a sign and source of division. If this sense of disconnect is existentially felt by Christians, what is the existential reception of our division by non-Christians, for whom our theological nuances are irrelevant? The fact that sisters and brothers can be excluded from the only uniquely Christian act in the liturgy is confusing at best and a stumbling-block to the gospel at worst.

The locus classicus for those who defend close communion is 1 Cor. 11:23-29, wherein Paul warns that all who eat and drink unworthily eat and drink to their own judgment. Pastoral concern for the souls of nonmembers is therefore said to be the basis for exclusion from the Table. Paul's admonition to "discern the body" (v. 29) traditionally has been taught to mean that some sort of intellectual assent to Christ's presence in the elements, and by extension agreement in all doctrine, was necessary before one could share in the supper. Kasper nuances this only slightly in his book, Sacrament of Unity, when he writes:
 For us [Roman Catholics], the Eucharist is the sacrament of faith
 .... This is why the assembled community responds at the end of the
 canon of the Mass with "Amen--yes, we believe!" and why this "Amen"
 is repeated by each individual who receives communion: "Amen--yes,
 this is the body of Christ!" Naturally, this "Amen" signifies more
 than a merely intellectual assent to a dogma. It entails a yes that
 must be uttered by one's whole life.... The basic precondition for
 admission to the Eucharist is the question whether one can say
 "Amen" to all [my emphasis] that the Catholic faith believes takes
 place in the celebration of the Mass. (8)

In other places it seems that this "Amen" is to be an assent not only to eucharistic theology but also to all Roman Catholic teaching. Does there have to be doctrinal agreement on all points before we can move to intercommunion? Or, is agreement on doctrinal matters but not ethical matters what is required? Is there some measure of agreement in the hierarchy of truths that is absolute before we can share the Lord's cup of blessing together? Is this the same standard to which Catholics are held as they prepare for their first communion in the second grade? I am afraid to say it, but to this Lutheran's ears it seems that the "Amen" becomes a Shibboleth--if not pronounced aright, we are considered outsiders.

Please understand that I do not mean this to be a personal attack. Perhaps a brief excursus is in order: There are few people that I know who appreciate Ratzinger--Pope Benedict XVI--more than I do, and I look up to Cardinal Kasper in a way that is difficult to explain. I was present in Augsburg, Germany, to witness the signing of the "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification." After Kasper and Ishmael Noko signed that document, (9) they stood, turned to face one another, then practically threw themselves into an embrace I will never forget. If my comments seem to have a sharp edge to them, perhaps it is because the most bitter rejections are the ones we do not understand.

Plutarch once described a banquet at which guests brought their individual meals. He complained that this resulted in many banquets and the destruction of fellowship. He observed, "Where each guest has his own private portion, fellowship perishes" (Table Talk, 644C). I believe this same danger exists when each church brings--and protects--its own private portion. The theme of the N.A.A.E. conference asked: Is the Eucharist a sign and source of unity? I think an even more compelling question is this: Is the Eucharist a sign or a source of unity? Those who insist upon doctrinal agreement before intercommunion is allowed would seem to Suggest that sharing the eucharist together is a sign of attaining concordia unity. Lutherans of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, however, would assert that the eucharist can also be a source of that concordia unity, that sharing this sacrament now while still short of full agreement on all doctrinal matters will nurture and lead us to deeper levels of understanding and commitment. Sharing a meal, the focus of which is the death of Jesus as the seal of the new covenant, facilitates the fellowship in the one body, the church. This meal is a catalyst for fellowship among those who look to the death and resurrection of Christ as a saving event. (10) However, if we continue to eat and drink without discerning Christ's body in the community of the baptized, do we not all eat and drink to our own judgment?

Can we get to a point where intercommunion is a possibility? Lutherans and Catholics clearly agree on more issues than we disagree about. There is an amazing convergence in our eucharistic theology, and Kasper acknowledges that the Catholic Church agrees with both the Orthodox and Lutherans in its understanding of the real presence of Christ in the eucharist. (11) Nevertheless, when conversations turn to talk of intercommunion, the discussion invariably focuses upon orders of ministry.

Kasper, in an address on the "Lasting Significance and Urgency of Unitatis redintegratio," at the fortieth anniversary of its promulgation, wrote that the schism with
 the Reformation communities of course involve[s] not only
 individual doctrinal differences but also a different fundamental
 structure and a different type of church.... The ecclesial
 communities which emerged from the Reformation have--as the Council
 says--"not preserved the original and complete reality (substantia)
 of the mystery of the Eucharist" (UR 22) because of the absence [my
 emphasis] of the sacrament of orders." (12)

Kasper went on to assert that the Catholic Church is "the true church of Christ Jesus, in which the entire fullness of the means of salvation are present (UR 3; UUS 14)" (13) and to claim that this means, "the church of Christ Jesus has its concrete location in the Catholic Church; it is there that it is found." (14) Not wanting to reclaim the "splendid isolation" of the nineteenth century, however, Kasper nuanced this assertion, insisting that this understanding "takes account of churches and ecclesial communities in which the one church of Jesus Christ is effectively present (UUS 11)." (15) Unfortunately, Kasper then attempted to clarify this point, in a most unfortunate turn:
 In the sense of eucharistic ecclesiology this lack of eucharistic
 substance resuits in the distinction between churches and ecclesial
 communities. The declaration "Dominus Iesus" (DI 16) added
 conceptual sharpness to this distinction.... Doubtless the intended
 meaning could have been expressed in a more understandable way; but
 in regard to the facts of the matter it is impossible to overlook
 the real difference in the concept of the church. Protestant
 Christians do not wish to be a church in the same way as the
 Catholic Church understands itself as a church; they represent a
 different type of church and for this reason they are not a church
 in the Catholic meaning of the word. (16)

What makes this conclusion so troubling is that it seems to ignore the theological conclusions of several bilateral dialogues. Of particular importance here is the fourth round of the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue (1970). This may be a result of the reluctance of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to engage in what it calls "two-speed ecumenism," (17) a decision that restricts its own direct interaction and comment upon the results of official dialogues with confessional families rather than more limited dialogues such as the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue. Even so, this assertion appears to ignore the results of the fourth round of the International Roman Catholic/Lutheran Joint Commission (1981) as well.

What does Kasper mean that Protestant churches do not wish to be church in the same way? When I ask this question, the conversation again turns to orders: the place and role of bishops in ecclesiology, and the problem of nonepiscopal ordinations. However, the Catholic participants (18) of the fourth round of the U.S. dialogue considered carefully the problem of presbyteral ordinations in the Lutheran church and the reasons for our inability universally to preserve episcopal succession. They indicated that:
 the Lutheran eucharistic Ministry would seem to be deficient in
 what Catholics have hitherto regarded as essential elements. Yet,
 as we Catholics in this dialogue have examined the problem, our
 traditional objections to the Lutheran eucharistic Ministry were
 seen to be of less force today, and reasons emerged for a positive
 reappraisal. (19)

These Catholic theologians presented a thorough review of historical and theological arguments, concluding:
 The question of an authentic eucharistic Ministry in a worshipping
 community is intimately related to an evaluation of that community
 as part of the church. The unity that is signified and realized by
 the reception of the eucharistic body of Christ is related to the
 unity of the body of Christ which is the church. Formerly the Roman
 Catholic church did not speak of the Christian denominations that
 resulted from the Reformation as churches; but in the Second
 Vatican Council these groups were spoken of as 'churches or
 ecclesial communities,' a change that seems to have theological
 implications.... our ability to recognize the Lutheran communities
 as churches removes a barrier to our favorable understanding of the
 Lutheran sacred Ministry. (20)

The text then immediately asserted that, although Lutheran communities might be considered defective because of the traditionally held "lack" of apostolicity, this assessment only could be considered accurate if such apostolicity was strictly defined as "apostolic succession through episcopal consecration" of ordained ministers. These theologians emphasized, however, that such a narrow definition of apostolicity was "dubious" and insisted that, "despite the lack of episcopal succession, the Lutheran church by its devotion to gospel, creed, and sacrament has preserved a form of doctrinal apostolicity." (21) Furthermore, the Catholic participants understood the Lutherans to be "affirming what to us would be the essentials of Catholic teaching ... namely, that ordination to a sacred Ministry in the church derives from Christ and confers the enduring power to sanctify." (22) Then, in a breathtaking conclusion to these "Reflections of the Roman Catholic Participants," they wrote that
 we acknowledge in the spirit of Vatican II that the Lutheran
 communities with which we have been in dialogue are truly Christian
 churches, possessing the elements of holiness and truth that mark
 them as organs of grace and salvation [see LG 8 and 15, with the
 relatio specialis to 15; and UR 19-23]. Furthermore, in our study
 we have found serious defects in the arguments customarily used
 against the validity of the eucharistic Ministry of the Lutheran
 churches. In fact, we see no persuasive reason to deny the
 possibility of the Roman Catholic church recognizing the validity
 of this Ministry. Accordingly we ask the authorities of the Roman
 Catholic church whether the ecumenical urgency flowing from
 Christ's will for unity may not dictate that the Roman Catholic
 church recognize the validity of the Lutheran Ministry and,
 correspondingly, the presence of the body and blood of Christ in
 the eucharistic celebrations of the Lutheran churches. (23)

What are we to make of this chasm between what was proposed thirty-five years ago in bilateral dialogues and current assertions of curial officials? Is this an irreconcilable aporia? Is it a refutation by the Vatican of the bilateral conclusions after years of careful evaluation? Is it a sign of institutional retrenchment in the name of resisting insidious relativism and lingering modernism? Is it a sign that after nearly 500 years there is no way to move toward reconciling the Western schism?

At the risk of appealing to yet another round of the bilateral dialogue, the tenth round (2004) of the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue has proposed what may in fact hold the key for bridging this gap. In an apparent desire to avoid forcing a conclusive (presumably negative) decision about the validity of Lutheran orders akin to the rejection of Anglican orders by Pope Leo XIII in Apostolicae curae (1896), Round X of this dialogue suggests:
 107. Catholic judgment on the authenticity of Lutheran ministry
 need not be of an all-or-nothing nature. The Decree on Ecumenism of
 the Second Vatican Council distinguished between relationships of
 full ecclesiastical communion and those of imperfect communion to
 reflect the varying degrees of differences with the Catholic Church.
 (24) The communion of these separated communities with the Catholic
 Church is real, even though it is imperfect. Furthermore, the decree
 positively affirmed the following:

 Our separated brothers and sisters also celebrate many sacred
 actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly
 engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the
 condition of each church or community, and must be held capable of
 giving access to that communion in which is salvation. (25)

Building upon the existence of a real, if imperfect, communion, the dialogue immediately turned to the question of the real presence of Christ in a Lutheran eucharist and cited correspondence of Pope Benedict XVI who, in 1993 while prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to Bavarian Lutheran Bishop Johannes Hanselmann:
 I count among the most important results of the ecumenical
 dialogues the insight that the issue of the eucharist cannot be
 narrowed to the problem of "validity" Even a theology oriented to
 the concept of succession, such as that which holds in the Catholic
 and in the Orthodox church, need not in any way deny the
 salvation-granting presence of the Lord [Heilschaffende Gegenwart
 des Herrn] in a Lutheran [evangelische] Lord's Supper. (26)

If the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith could admit that the salvation-granting presence of Christ need not be denied in a Lutheran eucharist, does this not demand that the churchly reality of Lutheran communities also need not--nay, must not--be denied? For, how can such a salvationgranting presence be present unless the sacrament is rightly celebrated, which means both the consecration of eucharistic species by an ordained minister and communication by the assembled baptized? To admit such a saving presence in the Lutheran eucharist and then to deny the churchly authority of Lutheran ordained ministers introduces an untenable dichotomy, a separation of cause and effect, that no one to my knowledge has attempted to explain. W. Norris Clarke has observed:
 [existence does not simply mean to be present,] but to be a
 presence-with-power, a power-filled presence in the world. Thus
 active power is inseparable from existence; it is impossible to be
 at all [my emphasis] without some proportionate power. It is
 precisely this notion of existence as active, powerfilled presence
 that renders degrees of being possible. (27)

As I mentioned earlier, the problem is not recognition as Christians; this already has been categorically acknowledged of all the baptized. (28) At stake is a fundamental attribute that Lutheran communities are, in word and deed, church. To deny this "being" church--that Lutheran communities are in some real way church--while simultaneously rejecting the authenticity of Lutheran ordination can only lead to the conclusion that Lutheran communities are pretending to be church and that Lutheran ordained ministers delude the baptized and place souls in jeopardy by leading them into the surrounding darkness. Again, as Clarke has observed:
 [Being] is the most fundamental common attribute that all real
 things share, deeper even than form or essence, that which makes
 them stand out sharply and distinctly from the surrounding darkness
 and emptiness of non-being and become a member of this most
 ultimate of all communities, the community of all real existents.

To be fair, I must point out that Clarke is speaking of individuals, not groups, but surely if Kasper can assert that "the church of Christ Jesus has its concrete location [my emphasis] in the Catholic Church," predicating some "thing" that really does exist outside the mind, then applying this notion of participated existence to the Lutheran community in defense of its "being" church, if even only analogously, is not an unfair use of Clarke's observation. Again, he wrote:
 It cannot be directly said, but can only be understood, or, perhaps
 better, recognized, in the course of reflecting on the whole
 dynamic process of participation at once: namely, a real source,
 sharing actively its own real perfection, which is truly one in its
 source, with the many different participants, so that because of
 this real communication all the participants are objectively
 similar to each other and to their source. (30)

Even St. Thomas Aquinas insisted, "If in a number of things we find something that is common to all, we must conclude that this something was the effect of some one cause: for it is not possible that to each one by reason of itself this common something belongs, since each one by itself is different from the others: and diversity of causes produces a diversity of effects" (De pot. 3.5.). Therefore, to concede that commonalities exist between the Roman Catholic Church and Lutheran communities, that such "significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: [such as] the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit," (31) but then to stipulate that such perfections in one group constitute concretely the church of Christ Jesus but in another constitute only shadows seems unwarranted and unacceptable. If Lutheran communities indeed demonstrate the presence of such "significant elements," these can only be understood as "presence-with-power," and, according to Clarke, "active power is inseparable from existence" even if only proportionally. Within such an understanding, recognizing Lutheran communities as church is not to fall prey to "a misunderstanding of 'subsistit in' (32) to make it the basis of an ecclesiological pluralism or relativism" so feared by Kasper and others. Rather, such recognition is based upon the existence of these churchly elements and not upon a community's own assertions about itself. Ecclesial relativism is precluded, therefore, for "being" church requires more than simply predicating the claim; it requires intentional participation in Christ, which can only, post factum, be recognized. To return to the observation of Jesus, they shall be known by their fruits.

Simply recognizing this ontological reality will not, unfortunately, bridge the chasm that appears to be fixed between us. However important the "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification" may have been, theological agreements and bilateral dialogues will not cross the divide, for assertions alone can leave the reality trapped only in our minds or in the polite courtesy of formal dialogue; to cross this gap requires its own intentional, relational act. "The reality of a relationship, its 'betweenness,' must be enacted, actually lived, just as the reality of a statement hangs in abeyance, awaiting its assertion by a responsible knower." (33) This is where the avoidance of "all-or-nothing" recognition of Round X may become fruitful, allowing church hierarchs on both sides of the divide to imagine concrete ways to live out our relationship for the sake of our joint mission in the world. Instead of Lutherans' simply waiting for a conclusive "ruling" about their ministry, and instead of Vatican officials' simply waiting for the Reformation churches to come to agreement about the nature and intention of the Reformation (34) or rejecting "two-speed ecumenism" by limiting interaction to entire confessional families instead of individual churches, the "betweenness" of our relationship could be incarnated through intermediate steps that are based upon the real but imperfect communion that already exists.

What shape should these intermediate steps take? The Round X text proposed actions such as recognition that "each church realizes, even if perhaps imperfectly, the one church of Jesus Christ and shares in the apostolic tradition" and that "each church recognize that the ordained ministry of the other effectively carries on, even if perhaps imperfectly, the apostolic ministry instituted by God in the church." (35) How such mutual recognition would be implemented, however, was not explored beyond the relatively sublime suggestions of joint prayer and retreats, jointly authored pastoral letters, cooperation in peace-and-justice ventures, and attendance at each other's diocesan and synodical assemblies. These activities are already permitted under each church's canons, yet they are rarely pursued. Even if pursued actively, they may have little effect. Bolder steps, although still short of universal recognition of full communion, can be conceived that will, in fact, create new realities of relationship between our churches. These steps should be mutually determined for the sake of Christ's mission in the world.

I do not know of any Lutheran pastors who lie awake at night worrying about the validity of their ordinations; I certainly do not. Lutherans by and large are not pining for validation. The point of my passionate appeal stems solely from the recognition that our divisions are wounds in the body of Christ that impede the gospel. We must overcome the common perception that the divisions in the church are normal; they must be seen and recognized as contrary to God's intentions, and, as long as they continue, we all are wounded. Addressing the issue of orders seems to me a critical avenue that would have palpable real-world impact in the lives of the faithful.

Alternative proposals that avoid the problems inherent in "all-or-nothing" recognition likely are possible but will be difficult to conceive unless each church tradition is willing to relinquish its own sense of sovereignty and self-determination. Only if each is willing to suffer institutional death--in the sense of the annihilation of independent entitlement--will a reunified church experience resurrection. Such institutional death is a dreadful choice that may be impossible to make for some churches whose only identity is that they are not Roman Catholic or that they will never be ruled by bishops or that their pastors will never be ordained by anyone other than pastors. Pride and prejudice are insidiously woven into the fabric of denominational identities and systems of belief, with each church certain that it alone has preserved the true form of apostolicity. Repentance, like the ecumenical goal of full, visible unity itself, will come only as a gift of the Holy Spirit, and our concordia finally will make visible the already present vera unitas. However, without such a death and resurrection, the body of Christ that we know as the true, apostolic church will continue to be rendered ineffectual by self-inflicted wounds of division, unable to fulfill its mission as a sacramental sign or instrument of unity for humanity. (36)

(1) The Use of the Means of Grace (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 1997), Principle 37. Cf. A Statement on Communion Practices (Chicago: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 1989), ii.a.2.

(2) Use of the Means of Grace, Application 37C.

(3) Ibid., Application 37D.

(4) Ibid., Application 37E.

(5) Ibid., Principle 49.

(6) Ibid., Principle 50.

(7) Ibid., Application 50B.

(8) "Walter Kasper, Sacrament of Unity: The Eucharist and the Church, tr. Brian McNeil (New York: Crossroad, 2004), p. 71.

(9) At the time of this signing, October 31, 1999, Kasper was secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Noko was general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation. Before they signed Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Bishop Christian Krause, president of the Lutheran World Federation, signed the document. The gathered congregation responded to this embrace by Kasper and Noko with spontaneous applause, which continued as the document was signed by the regional vice presidents of the Lutheran World Federation.

(10) Charles H. Talbert, Reading Corinthians (New York: Crossroad, 1987), p. 80.

(11) Kasper, Sacrament of Unity, p. 52.

(12) Walter Kasper, "Lasting Significance and Urgency of Unitatis redintegratio," presented at a conference on the fortieth anniversary of the promulgation of this conciliar degree, November 11, 2004. "UR" is the standard abbreviation for Unitatis redintegratio (1964), the Decree on Ecumenism of Vatican II.

(13) Ibid., my emphases. "UUS" is the standard abbreviation for Ut unum sint (1995), the encyclical of Pope John Paul II on ecumenism.

(14) Ibid,

(15) Ibid.

(16) Ibid., my emphasis.

(17) See Walter Kasper's "Introductory Report of the President" to the 2003 plenary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, [section]2.2.

(18) The Most Rev. T. Austin Murphy, Dr. Thomas E. Ambrogi (present at the first two sessions only), the Rev. Msgr. Joseph W. Baker, the Most Rev. William W. Baum, the Rev. Raymond E. Brown, S.S., the Rev. Walter J. Burghardt, S.J., the Rev. Godfrey Kiekmann, O.S.B., the Rev. Manrice C. Duchaine, S.S., the Rev. John F. Hotchkin, Professor James F. McCue, the Rev. Kilian McDonnell. O.S.B., Dr. Harry J. McSorley, the Rev. Anthony T. Padovano, the Rev. Jerome D. Quinn, and the Rev. George H. Tavard, A.A.

(19) Paul C. Empie and T. Austin Murphy, eds., Lutherans and Catholics m Dialogue IV: Eucharist and Ministry (New York: U.S.A. National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation, 1970), p. 24.

(20) Ibid., p. 26.

(21) Ibid., pp. 26-27.

(22) Ibid., p. 29.

(23) Ibid., p. 32.

(24) UR, [section]3.

(25) Randall R. Lee and Jeffrey Gros, eds., The Church as Koinonia of Salvation: Its Structures and Ministries, Tenth Round of the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue (New York: Paulist Press, 2004), p. 49, my emphasis.

(26) "Briefwechsel von Landesbischof Johannes Hanselmann und Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger tiber das Communio-Schreiben der Romischen Glaubenskongregation," Una Sancta, vol. 48 (1993), p. 348.

(27) W. Norris Clarke, The Universe as Journey: Conversations with W. Norris Clarke, S.J., ed. Gerald A. McCool (New York: Fordham University Press, 1988), pp. 61-62.

(28) Lumen gentium (LG), [section]11, [section]14; UR, [section]22.

(29) Clarke, Universe as Journey, p. 62.

(30) W. Norris Clarke, "What Cannot Be Said in St. Thomas' Essence-Existence Doctrine," New Scholasticism, vol. 48 (1974), p. 31.

(31) UR, [section]3.

(32) See LG, [section]8.

(33) Philip A. Rolnick, Analogical Possibilities: How Words Refer to God (Atlanta, GA: The American Academy of Religion, 1993), p. 165, my emphasis.

(34) Kasper, in his "Introductory Report of the President," [section]4.3, asserts that "we are dealing with two different interpretations of the fundamental intention of the reformation of the sixteenth century. While one constitutes a fundamental difference, the other has as its starting point a consensus of principle that ought to lead, through theological dialogue and an 'exchange of gifts,' to full consensus encompassing legitimate diversity. Until such time that Protestants are able to resolve this divergence between ecumenism of consensus and ecumenism of difference, no substantial progress can be made with the Ecclesial Communities of the Reformed tradition."

(35) Lee and Gros, The Church as Koinonia of Salvation, p. 47.

(36) LG, [section] 1.
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Author:Schreck, Paul A.
Publication:Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2007
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