Lutheran leaders have warned the Vatican that the creation of a structure to welcome conservative Lutherans into the Roman Catholic Church would harm dialogue and damage ecumenical relations. In 2009 an "ordinariate" was created to allow Anglicans to convert to Catholicism. Senior Vatican officials publicly suggested the creation of something similar for Lutherans. The idea was rebuked by Martin Junge, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation. Such a move would "send wrong signals" to Lutheran churches around the world as they prepare to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017 "in a spirit of ecumenical understanding and cooperation," Junge said.
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