Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Would A Lutheran Ordinariate Look Like?

Fr. Zuhlsdorf had a recent bit on a Vatican Insider article that discussed the possibility of an ordinariate for dissident Lutherans (such an ironic phrase) along the lines of what came out of Anglicanorum Coetibus.

I'm a bit weirded out by this suggestion. From my experience dealing with the Anglicans who came over, they were far more schismatic than heretical. Once they got over the whole popery deal, everything else was ok. Eucharist? Check. Confession? Check. Soteriology? Check. There was so much doctrinal casualness in the Anglican Communion that all they really had to do was to come to terms with the primacy issue. Since the Wreck of King Henry had screwed things up enough, it got way easier for them to accept.

How does this work with Lutherans? Eucharist? Umm no. Confession? Double no. Soteriology? Absolutely not. There's a hell of a lot of theological baggage to sort through here. Let me be clear. I don't know any Lutherans who actually believe what Luther thought about 90% of relevant items. The problem is that they've tended to ditch anything he held that was still remotely Catholic.

I know that anecdotes aren't data, and that's all I've got to go on. As "ecumenical" as a guy like Oscar Cullman was, though, do you really think he'd be in line to convert? Probably not. Likewise with the bulk of the rank and file Lutherans out there, given that we aren't talking about a shift in ecclesiology, like with the Anglicans. Instead, we're looking at the wholesale junking of their entire system in favor of the Truth.

If we're going to be honest and appropriate with this, and look for sincere converts rather than just Lutheranism with a Catholic label slapped on it, there should be a lot of caution in making such an offer.


Titus said...

My response to this idea the first time it showed up on Fr. Z's blog got me put on "comment moderation" in his comment box.

My main question is, what's an "authentic Lutheran tradition"? What does that even mean? A tradition of revolt, heresy, and theft? Prussian militarism? Is there an authentic Arian tradition? An authentic Manichean tradition? An authentic Calvinist or Hindu or Maoist tradition that we can graft onto the Mass?

Northern Europe has some nice cultural elements. I'd be all for reclaiming those nifty wooden Nordic churches for the Faith. But I'm 110% flummoxed as to what on earth this idea could possibly mean.

Throwback said...

I got nothing.

It's almost(?) oxymoronic.