Many in the Lutheran Church now say, “We have come to an agreement, now we must celebrate the Eucharist together.” Whereas we have to say “No, we haven’t come so far in our mutual dialogue,” and, of course, this will create a kind of frustration among many of the Lutherans that we cannot possibly celebrate together.Oddly enough, those who are most passionately in favor of intercommunion between Rome and the Churches of the Augsburg Confession are those who have created the distance between Rome and Wittenberg that will preclude such fellowship of the Table. In other words, ELCA folks and others who advocate the radical ecumenism of reconciled diversity are now in fellowship with those who cannot bring themselves to say that Christ is actually present in bread and wine (as opposed to idea, mind, heart, etc...) Because of those radical altar and pulpit fellowship agreements, Rome is rightly wary of Lutherans actually believing what we say so clearly in our Confessions. And Missouri is in the same place. We want to believe that Lutherans affirm the same Christ and the same real presence but the truth is not the case. Until there is real unity of doctrine, Lutherans will not enjoy communion with all other Lutherans and Rome, unless Pope Francis decides to bypass it all, will also wait for a day that may or may not ever come (who knows, with the Lord all things are possible). Just a word of warning for those who insist upon communion with just about anyone and everyone, this will have consequences for those who take such fellowship more seriously. Missouri longs for true unity of faith and doctrine which will make such fellowship possible but we refuse to jump the gun and wade into seas that just might drown us. It is the longing for true unity of all Christians that we seek but we will not ignore or bypass real differences in confession to get there. This time Rome may be closer to Missouri than Chicago. What a surprise!