21 August 2003

The mixed confessional heritage of the EKD

Among the church bodies adhering to the Heidelberg Catechism is the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD). But given its origins in the united church imposed by the King of Prussia in 1817, the EKD also adheres to the Augsburg Confession.

The Augsburg says the following: "Falsely are our churches accused of abolishing the Mass; for the Mass is retained among us, and celebrated with the highest reverence" (Article XXIV).

But the Heidelberg says this: "But the Mass teaches that the living and the dead do not have their sins forgiven through the suffering of Christ unless Christ is still offered for them daily by the priests. It also teaches that Christ is bodily present in the form of bread and wine where Christ is therefore to be worshiped. Thus the Mass is basically nothing but a denial of the one sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ and a condemnable idolatry" (Q&A 80).

So, as far as the EKD is concerned, which is correct?

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