Here is an interesting piece on commemorating and celebrating the Reformation in 2017. The authors are SarahHinlicky Wilson of the Strasbourg Ecumenical Institute and Thomas Albert Howard of Gordon College. I appreciate the insistence that a commemoration must also be an assessment, a coming-to-terms with the achievements and failures of our engagement with the Reformation. I continue to think, however, that the word ‘celebration’ is best avoided. I do not know if I, as a Catholic, could genuinely ‘celebrate’ the Reformation.
I think that a truly ecumenical attitude must recognize that there may be occasions when Protestants wish to celebrate the Reformation in ways that a Catholic (or Orthodox perhaps) cannot. Catholics need to respect that. Similarly, Protestants need to respect that there may be Reformation events in which Catholics (or perhaps Orthodox) would not wish to participate. We shouldn’t get bent out of shape in such a situation.