Residents of this north German city have long taken pride in four native sons — three Catholic priests and a Lutheran pastor — who were beheaded in quick succession on Nov. 10, 1943 by the Nazi regime.
The commingled blood of Catholic priests Johannes Prassek, Hermann Lange, Eduard Mueller and Lutheran pastor Karl Friedrich Stellbrink spawned an ecumenical cooperation between the city’s majority Lutherans and minority Catholics that still lasts.
But the Vatican’s decision to beatify the three priests on June 25 — but not Stellbrink — is testing that ecumenical spirit, and has some religious leaders worried that the event could drive a wedge between the two communities.
“People worry that the priests who are beatified will be seen as higher than Stellbrink, and that the focus will be on the three, not the four,” said the Rev. Constanze Maase, pastor of Luther Church in Luebeck.
I understand the entire ecumenical thing, but honestly, what about what the Lutheran would have wanted?