In Preparation of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017 the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation are working on a common declaration in honor of this date. Now in the run-up to the anniversary year the the Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Nikolaus Schneider and Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz declared to be in favor of Catholics and Protestants commemorating the anniversary year together during the recording of a talk show in German public TV, according to the Evangelical Press Service (epd).
Cardinal Lehmann said a common of the Catholic and Protestant Church declaration is possible, while Chairman Schneider said he wished for a common communion service in 2017. The show was recorded in a studio in Mainz and will be aired January 25.
Commonly the posting of Martin Luther's 95 theses at the door of the castle's church in 1517 is regarded as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, one of the largest and most lasting renewals of the Christian church. What began as a renewal within the church soon led to a split of the church into Roman Catholic and various strains of protestant churches. Protestant leadership and their reforming teachings including Martin Luther were seen a long time as disruptor of the church instead as renewer.
Cardinal Lehmann pointed out that recently also the person of Luther experienced a new more positive evaluation. Saying that for him personally he was rather a "Father in Faith", who did not desire a secession of the church. Being asked, whether a man like Luther could still become pastor in the Lutheran Church of Germany, Schneider answered evasively, he would be happy seeing his positive sides in the church, but he would be cautions about his negative sides.