Pope Francis, Allow Lutherans to Share the Eucharist with Catholics.
This petition had 46 supporters
It has been almost 500 years since the schism which separated Lutheran Christians from Roman Catholics. I know there are many issues upon which we still fail to reach full accord. Nevertheless, I believe those articles of the faith which our communions share in common are of far greater importance than those issues on which we may differ.
My parish is in the city of Philadelphia in the United States. The Roman Catholic Church dominates our neighborhood, yet we are always delighted to welcome our Roman friends to worship with us. Given the overwhelming Catholic presence in this area, we are frequently visited by Catholics for baptisms, weddings, confirmations, and the like. When we celebrate the mass I tell visitors that it would be unpardonably rude to invite them into our home and not offer them something to eat. As both Lutheran and Catholic traditions teach our Lord Jesus is truly present in the bread and wine of Holy Communion, I invite all baptized Christians who wish to receive our Lord's body for the forgiveness of sins to join us at the Eucharistic table.
It is painful for my parishioners, however, when they visit Catholic churches and are expressly told they may not receive the Holy Eucharist.
For some time I regularly visited an elderly, homebound woman in my parish to bring her the Sacrament. Her devoted husband of forty years, a devout Roman Catholic, always respected my visit and piously knelt when I spoke the verbum and consecrated the Host. In spite of my invitation, however, he felt forbidden by the teachings of his Church to receive the Sacrament with his wife.
I now ask Your Holiness to consider inviting your Lutheran brothers and sisters to join Roman Catholics around the table of Christ. I ask you to forgive the separation of the last 500 years and announce to the world that, whatever our traditional differences, we are one body in the sacrificial love of Jesus made present in the Holy Supper.
I have enjoyed my participation in the Lutheran/Roman Catholic dialogue; however, our communions have been talking for over fifty years. Perhaps now, as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation draws near, is the time to embrace each other again.
Your Holiness has, in a very short time, proven yourself to be a wise, compassionate, and open-minded servant of Christ. I earnestly beg you to consider my request. Please know that you will always be in my prayers and those of my parishioners.
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