A priest and a pastor focus on the papacy in a friendly armchair discussion in Duluth. (Submitted photo)

The Theology Uncapped event at St. Benedict’s Church, Duluth, on Sept. 28, which was sold out, featured speakers from both Catholic and Lutheran perspectives on the topic of the papacy.

Fr. Richard Kunst, pastor at St. John’s Catholic Church, Duluth, and St. Joseph’s, Gnesen, presented the Catholic Church’s teaching on the papacy, while the Rev. Peter Kowitz, pastor at United Lutheran Church, Proctor, represented the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s teaching.

Attendees reported being impressed by the speakers’ congeniality during the friendly armchair discussion of a potentially volatile topic. Many said they found the discussion educational in nature; not only did they get a better understanding of both points of view, but they also came away with a better understanding of each church’s history and structure.

“Enlightening” is what one participant called it.

Most impressive was the hope for Christian unity the event inspired. Many Catholics and Lutherans alike were not aware of the work being done at the highest levels of the church to embrace Christian unity. Pastor Kowitz cited Pope Francis’ visit to Lund, Sweden, at the end of October 2016, and how that was a big step toward Catholic/Lutheran reconciliation. He was a part of prayer service that mirrored the one Pope Francis and Bishop Munib A. Younan, head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, held during the Pope’s visit to Sweden.
The next Theology Uncapped event is Thursday, Jan. 25, in Duluth. Visit www.theologyuncapped.org for details.