An international expert on church unity has urged the Roman Catholic Church to declare officially that its excommunication of Martin Luther no longer applies, reports Ecumenical News International.
Such a statement, “in these ecumenically less exciting times … would be a remarkable step and a sign of hope and encouragement”, said the Rev. Günther Gassmann, a German Lutheran theologian, who was director of the World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission from 1984 to 1995. He said that a joint Lutheran-Catholic statement published in 1983 to mark the 500th anniversary of Luther’s birth had sought to elaborate a common position on the work and legacy of the reformer.
“Luther, a major symbol and personification during 400 years of the past Catholic-Lutheran conflict and division, is now seen as a common teacher,” Gassmann noted.
Report from the Christian Telegraph