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Catholics, Lutherans at Conference to Share Rite

May 31, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

BERLIN — Defying a papal admonition against receiving Communion in churches that are not Roman Catholic, a lay organization that aims to reform the Catholic Church said it plans to share Communion with Lutherans on the sidelines of a major German ecumenical conference.

"It is neither unique nor new for Christians to issue invitations to each other," said Eva Maria Kiklas of the We Are Church movement, which believes that celibacy should be optional for priests and seeks a greater role for women in the church.

Her group, along with an ecumenical organization, the Church From Beneath Initiative, plans to hold a Roman Catholic Eucharist at a Lutheran church in Berlin, followed by an open Communion. They will later hold a joint Lutheran Communion.

Disturbed by what he sees as abuses of sacred practices, Pope John Paul II in April issued a stern reminder that services in Protestant churches cannot substitute for Sunday Mass.

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