Posted on March 15th, 2013
LCMS President Emeritus Gerald Kieschnick recently commented on newly-elected Pope Francis and the papacy in general. Writing in his blog/email newsletter Perspectives, Kieschnick said two things of particular interest. The first deals with the date of Easter:
During my days in office I had hoped to be able to visit with the pope, primarily to enlist his assistance in persuading the Christian Church to establish a fixed Sunday of the year for Easter, the first Sunday in April. Alas, that hope will not be fulfilled, unless what Dr. Paul Maier writes in his historical novel Constantine Codex actually becomes fact. Check it out.
Given the very long-standing controversy over the date of Easter, that President Kieschnick would have such a hope is very surprising.
The second item of interest is his statement differentiating his opinion on the papacy from our confessional statements:
Although our Lutheran Confessions considered the pope the antichrist, I consider members of the Roman Catholic Church my brothers and sisters in Christ.
The past-tense “considered” seems to say that he no longer holds the confessional view of the papacy as antichrist. Certainly one must carefully and sensitively articulate the doctrine in these days of hyper-sensitivity. Hopefully this was just a careless application of grammar and not an intentional disavowal of the Treatise.