“On January 10, Pope Francis granted a private audience to Reverend Michael Jonas, pastor of the Lutheran Evangelical Community in Rome. In a subsequent interview with the official website of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), evangelisch.de, Jonas reports on his conversation with the Pope, saying that the Pope ‘stressed’ that ‘Catholics and Protestants are very close to one another in what they do in their public worship [Gottesdienst].’
He also reported that the Pope then referred to an incident where a Catholic priest helped a Lutheran minister in celebrating a liturgy of the word for his Lutheran community.
This interview with evangelisch.de had sparked interest both in German-speaking and English-speaking outlets.
Dr. Jonas is the pastor of the same Lutheran Evangelical Community which Pope Francis had visited in November of 2015. During that visit, Pope Francis caused ‘controversy by appearing to suggest that a Lutheran wife of a Catholic husband could receive Holy Communion based on the fact that she is baptized and in accordance with her conscience,’ in the words of Rome Correspondent Edward Pentin.”