World Orthodox-Lutherans Joint Celebration for Reformation and Statement on Clergy

May 22, 2015  (Source:

(LWI) – The international dialogue between Lutheran and the Orthodox churches in 2017 will include a celebration to mark 500 years of the Reformation.

Members of the Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission made this decision at the 16th Plenary session, held 28 April-5 May, in Rhodes, Greece. “It is an important ecumenical signal that the Lutherans and Orthodox will be celebrating the Reformation together,” said Rev. Dr Kaisamari Hintikka, LWF Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations.

She noted that theological inputs of the Reformation have also influenced eastern Christianity and reshaped societies both in the east and west. “It is good that we are able to acknowledge these influences and to celebrate the Reformation anniversary together,” said Hintikka, who serves as the commission co-secretary.

The commission said its 17th Plenary session in 2017 will also publish the final statement on “Ordained Ministry/Priesthood,” which both dialogue partners have been discussing since 2012 under a wider study on the “The Mystery of the Church.”

The Rhodes meeting was originally planned to conclude the present study process. However the commission members noted it was necessary to continue the ongoing discussion until the next Plenary session, in order to guarantee sufficient attention to the challenging topic of ‘Ministry’.

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