Lutherans and Catholics?
Ask a Pastor
Pastor? Father? What do you call yourself? I’m not sure. Either way, hello! I am a devout Roman Catholic, catechist and possible nun, with some questions about Lutheranism. Do you consider us Roman Catholics as “brothers” or as “ones who came before”? I certainly consider the Lutherans “brothers,” since you guys are so close to us and I mean, y’all were started by a Roman Catholic priest. — Victoria, Sacramento, Calif.
Neddy: Hi Victoria, your question makes me smile. I am serving in a Latino ecumenical ministry, where some are Presbyterians, some are Lutherans and some even Roman Catholics. Our worship is mainly Lutheran in style, but when you arrive in our sanctuary, unless you see me as a female pastor, you would think you are in a Roman Catholic church. We are all walking this wonderful journey of faith together, as children of God, recognizing that God has spoken to us in many different languages, traditions and times. What we try to do is incorporate our experience in our celebrations, so worship is real and meaningful to all. So, yes, in Christ we are all sisters and brothers.
David: Victoria, An unqualified Yes. As Lutherans we consider Roman Catholics our sisters and brothers in the faith, and the Roman Catholic Church to be our partner in the ministry of the gospel. Thank you for your fellowship, and blessings as you consider your vocation.
Monica: Dear Victoria, A Roman Catholic nun that I interned with in college once said to me, “You Lutherans are fine. You stole our best priest!” I consider Roman Catholics to be “brothers and sisters” in the faith. Lutherans rely heavily on Scripture to guide life and faith, in addition to tradition. Scripture proclaims, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all (Ephesians 3:4-6). Therefore, in Christ, I believe we are all made brothers and sisters.
Do you have a question you’d like answered by an ELCA pastor? Email us your question, and you might see it answered by one of our pastors. You can also find out more about our pastors on our "Bios" page. LivingLutheran.com offers a platform for ELCA members to share their diverse experiences of what it means to live Lutheran.
You might also want to read:
Unity between traditions
Sealing the deal on the Reformation
Reformation? Or reclamation?