Some ecumenical convergence on Mary

  • May 16, 2013

Mary is often considered to be a major stumbling block on the road to Christian unity in terms of doctrine and devotion, but that is less and less the case. Today Mary is appearing more frequently in Anglican and Protestant liturgical hymns and calendars and her image is hanging on their church walls.

So said Dr. Max Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and professor of liturgy at Notre Dame University in his session on “Mary: Ecumenical Convergence” at the National Workshop on Christian Unity in Columbus, Ohio, in April.

The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary into heaven have been traditional points of discord. We would do better, Dr. Johnson said, to establish our common ground with the Council of Ephesus’ teaching in 431 around Mary as Theotokos (God-bearer) against Nestorius and his followers who took umbrage at the title “Mother of God.”

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