You Know It's Ecumenism When No One Goes Home Happy

Not all Christian leaders happy with papal vespers service

REGENSBURG, Germany (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI participated in an ecumenical vespers service in Regensburg's cathedral, but not all Christian representatives were happy with the outcome. A Lutheran-Reformed bishop felt the pope put too much emphasis on relations with the Orthodox. An Orthodox representative expressed surprise that a Lutheran-Reformed bishop had been allowed to speak. A Methodist minister said he felt excluded because much of the singing was in Latin. Before the Sept. 12 service, Pope Benedict was introduced to representatives of the 16 members of the Association of Christian Churches in Bavaria, as well as to representatives of the Jewish community. They met in nearby St. Ulrich's Church and made their way in a procession from there to the cathedral. Parts of the vespers service were conducted by representatives of the Orthodox churches, and Lutheran-Reformed Bishop Johannes Friedrich of Bavaria read a meditation and called for Christian unity that allows room for differences.

It's pretty funny how all of them complained about a Catholic ceremony that they agreed to participate in. There was Latin? In a Catholic prayer? No Wittenburg, Werlock.

But my favorite part is the Orthodox complaint. He was apparently angry that the Lutheran even got speak. I have a visual image of an Orthodox bishop mocking a Lutheran. "Who here has valid orders? Oh yeah, not you--so shut up."

Thanks to the Rockford Diocese Observer and Catholic News Service.