Francis hasn’t said anything disastrous so far at the Reformationfest: merely kind words about Luther and the routine assertion that ‘more unites us than divides us’. All that remains is for him to negotiate the (always dangerous) press conference on the airplane home, and no damage will have been done.
But is the oft-repeated assertion, that more unites Catholics and Lutherans than divides them, in any sense TRUE?
It is probably true of SOME Lutherans. But others – ELCA, the Churches of Norway, Sweden and Denmark included – are very far from Catholic orthodoxy on many subjects, not least the ‘gender identity’ issues which have recently been exercising the Holy Father.
Like the Anglican soi-disant Communion, the Lutheran World Federation is a loose amalgam of Christians and half-Christians, with little doctrinal rigour or internal discipline. It would be one thing to conclude an agreement with Martin or Philip; and quite another thing to do it with people like that.