Pope Francis creates anticipation for intercommunion between Catholics and Lutherans

Pope Francis creates anticipation for intercommunion between Catholics and Lutherans

Pope Francis greets the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, Antje Jackelén [Unlike Washington’s Cardinal Archbishop “Auntie Donna,” she’s a real woman but not an archbishop]

John-Henry Westen

October 27, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — It’s gearing up to be one of the hottest topics in Sweden and around the Lutheran world. As the October 31 kickoff draws near for the yearlong celebration of Martin Luther’s launch of the Protestant Reformation, Lutheran and Catholic bishops are expressing their expectation of the ability to receive Communion in the Catholic Church, a practice that is not lawful. Pope Francis, who will travel to Lund, Sweden, to participate in the ceremonies, has himself elicited the excitement by suggesting that intercommunion is a possibility.

The Lutheran Church of Sweden to which Pope Francis is going for the celebration accepts contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and female clergy, all of which are strictly and unalterably forbidden in the Catholic Church. Regarding the Eucharist, Lutherans have a fundamentally different faith from Catholics, who believe that during the consecration at Mass the bread used becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ while still looking like bread. Lutherans believe in a fleeting presence – that while Christ is present in the bread during the service, it is just normal bread again outside the service.

Nevertheless, Eucharistic intercommunion is the main desire for Lutheran and Catholic leaders involved in the Papal participation in the Lutheran commemoration.

Swedish Professor Dr. Clemens Cavallin in an essay on “Sweden and the 500-year reformation anamnesis” notes that the Church of Sweden webpage states explicitly about the pope’s visit: “What we foremost wish is that the common celebration of the Eucharist will be officially possible. This is especially important for families where members belong to different denominations.”

In an interview with a major daily in Sweden in January, the female Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, Antje Jackelén, said specifically her desire was for intercommunion. “We would like to officially receive approval for a joint celebration of the Eucharist,” she said. “It is still something troublesome, for a family in which one is Catholic and the other Lutheran, that they cannot go to the same communion table in a Catholic church.”

Bishop William Kenney, a former Swedish Catholic bishop who is now Auxiliary of Birmingham, England, and co-chair of the international dialogue between the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has suggested that intercommunion in some form is a possibility he is hoping for from the papal visit. In an interview with Crux, he called intercommunion “one of the big issues” of the papal visit. “If I wanted Francis to cause a pleasant revolution in Lund, he would say Lutherans can, under certain circumstances without asking all the time, receive the Eucharist. That would be a major gesture,” Bishop Kenney said.

Kenney added, “The sort of thing I would like to see is that in a so-called ecumenical marriage, the non-Catholic party can always go to Communion with his or her partner. That would be a major step forward, and it’s pastorally very desirable.”

Intercommunion even in limited cases such as for married couples, where one of the spouses is Lutheran and the other Catholic, would mark a severe break with Church teaching and tradition. Just after the Pope made his controversial remarks in a Lutheran church in Rome suggesting intercommunion was possible, Vatican liturgy chief Cardinal Robert Sarah took the extraordinarily rare step of precisely contradicting the Pope’s words. Cardinal Sarah said, “Intercommunion is not permitted between Catholics and non-Catholics.” The Cardinal said, “You must confess the Catholic faith. A non-Catholic cannot receive Communion. That is very, very clear. It’s not a matter of following your conscience.”

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8 comments on “Pope Francis creates anticipation for intercommunion between Catholics and Lutherans

  1. Just that picture of the Pope shaking hands with a heretical priestess, of a false cult that wrenched Christendom apart, is enough to make me reach for the barf bucket.

    What is to follow, is going to be intolerable. Our Pope will no doubt make speeches in which he will talk about the saintliness of Martin Luther, while at the same time he will condemn the Catholic Church for all its sins.

    Lord, save us.

  2. Pete Baklinski and John-Henry Westen

    WATCH: Cardinal Burke denounces ‘intercommunion’ ahead of pope’s tribute to Luther in Sweden

    ZAGREB, Croatia, October 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — It is “irreformable” dogma of the Catholic Church that only those who believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the consecrated bread and wine are able to receive Holy Communion, stated Cardinal Raymond Burke. The Vatican cardinal said that St. Paul makes it clear that unless the person receiving recognizes the body of Christ, he “eats condemnation to himself.”

    “This is a sacrilege. This is among the gravest of sins,” he said.


    The cardinal was responding to a question on intercommunion with other Christian denominations asked by LifeSiteNews’ John-Henry Westen during the October 23 launch of the Croatian version of the cardinal’s book on the Eucharist in Zagreb, Croatia.

    “No one can approach to receive the Holy Eucharist unless he believes that the host that he is receiving — even though it looks like bread, tastes like bread, and smells like bread — is in reality the body and blood of Christ. Only that person who believes in this way can approach the Blessed Sacrament, can approach to receive Holy Communion,” he stated.

    Burke’s comments come days before Pope Francis travels to Lund, Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 theses to the door of the castle church of Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. Lutheran and Catholic bishops have expressed a hope that the Pope will allow for intercommunion at first at least for Lutherans married to Catholics.

    The pope has shown openness to Lutherans receiving Holy Communion alongside Catholics, telling one Lutheran woman last year to “go forward” guided by her conscience. Also last year, a Lutheran pastor from Rome insisted that the pope had “opened the door” to intercommunion between Catholics and Lutherans after the pope visited a Lutheran community and said that the two religions “must walk together.”

    But Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Vatican’s liturgy chief, responded days later by stating that “intercommunion is not permitted between Catholics and non-Catholics,” adding that “you must confess the Catholic Faith. A non-Catholic cannot receive Communion. That is very, very clear. It’s not a matter of following your conscience.”

    Burke called it “very problematic” for anyone to suggest that the forthcoming celebration honoring Martin Luther should be the “occasion of some kind of ‘Eucharistic hospitality’ or intercommunion.”

    “That is not possible. Yes, it is irreformable,” he stated.

    “Either the sacred host is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, or it is not. And if it is, it is the gravest of sins to offer the sacred host to someone who does not believe,” he concluded.

    Cardinal Burke’s full statement

  3. Well, he’s at the wire. If he actually crosses it and marches into Indian Country, we’ll finally have ONE major hierarch from the Establishment who actually could make a difference.

    So far, he, Sarah & Schneider have only lobbed mortar rounds.

    The evil Establishment – and I mean that in the fullest possible sense of the term – will react with fury if Burke moves beyond probing their perimeter and actually gets up close and personal.

    Well worth a prayer of hope for the Cardinal’s decision to call out spiritual fraud will be followed by plunging the cold steel into the manifest apostates and heretics themselves.

  4. Why would the prospect of Bergoglio doing this surprise anyone?
    He’s been spitting in the face of Our Lord, His teachings, and the teachings of His Catholic Church for three years now.
    He actually goes out of his way to commit these blasphemies, heresies and apostasies.
    It’s like he actually enjoys sticking it to the dogmas of the Church, and to faithful Catholics.
    I pray for the conversion of Jorge Bergoglio to the Catholic faith, and for the salvation of the souls that he, and the conciliar church overall have been jeopardizing with their modernism for nearly sixty years.
    All the conciliar popes are/were modernists, but Bergoglio is the bottom of the barrel IMO.
    I’m not a BLEEP, Bergoglio may or may not be the legitimate pope (either he or Benedict is) but even if he is with all of his sacrilege and heresies he has done by word and deed these last three years he deserves all of the contempt any other heretic deserves.
    Including his Lutheran buddies he’s going to break bread with in a few days.
    At least that’s my opinion.
    Lord help us

  5. God is watching all of this. He will not be mocked. Judgement is coming. The world has scorned God for years and is at the gate of receiving God’s wrath. Now, sadly, senior members of the Church, including shockingly Christ’s Vicar, are also headed for judgement.
    Inter-communion with rampant heretics would just about be the last straw.

    • It’s funny. My “last straw” has come and gone several times. +Lefebvre’s was Assisi, long long ago.

      We’re ripe for plunging into a barbaric chaos. Jorge has tipped the scales in favor, now, and many bishops and priests are pursuing the total upheaval of civilization as we know it. We’ll see how many can stomach the grotesque bloodshed that naturally follows, as we have seen before, e.g., England, France, eastern Europe under Russia, and China under Mao.

  6. It’s down to the grunts in the foxholes and the handful of courageous traditional “battlefield chaplains” tending them, now.

    We amount to perhaps 25 divisions in strength, worldwide.

    That presumes that there actually are anywhere between 750,000 and one million soi disant “traditionalists” scattered across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Down Under. If so, that still amounts to 1/10th of one percent of the total global Catholic population.

    While I vehemently oppose any and all “laity – led” counter-revolutions on principle, since the Church is by definition priestly, monarchial and strictly run as a top-down society, I do not oppose “laity – led” efforts to inform, to edify, to organize and to recruit fellow Catholics trapped in the NO nightmare in a state of emergency.

    AQ has actually served the vital interests of education and, I have no doubt, recruitment of a number of disaffected NO refugees since its inception.

    Yet, more needs to be done, especially in organizational affairs.

    This is not a battlefield that lends itself to piecemeal, squad level actions.

    I am working on some thoughts about that and intend to discuss them further as soon as work I am doing on that very problem can be made public.

  7. This clown of a pope was elected to defend the Faith taught for over 2000 years. He is not doing this ! Fire the clown and send him back to Argentina, and let him tend sheep in Goose Green in the Fauklands ! Luther was a pervert who had many wives and then married some nun and they are using him as a role model for Sainthood ? No wonder Catholics are leaving the Church ! Any religious who goes against the Tradition of the Church, needs to be sent into the wilderness with the wolves. Lets see how far they get !

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