The article tries to find a possible model of role that the papal office can play for ec-umenical dialogue. First, the author reviews opinions about the pope and his office issued by the Evangelical Church in the 16th century, especially in Martin Luther’s theology. In the second step, there is an analysis of the ‘pope’ understanding presented by the modern Polish Lutheran theology. According to the applied method of “unity in reconciled diversity” it seems that the pope, as a head of the Roman Catholic Church could be understood as primus inter pares. The article develops the possible consequence of this papal duty in the vision of the ecumenical Pentarchy. It would be an ecumenical collaboration between the 5 biggest traditions of the modern Christianity: Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Eastern Pre-Chalcedonian Churches, Anglicanism and Lutheran Protestantism. This model does not mean a way to the institutional primacy of the Bishop of Rome.
The paper’s authors undertake the reflection on the stages of the evolution of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s views on the Church and its role as it is played in the lives of its singular members and in the context of the Reformation’s ethical heritage. One can distinguish among three stages of the Bonhoefferian ecclesiology, deepening his vision of the Church. As far as the first one is considered, the Church is defined as the spiritual community of believers, outside of which salvation is impossible. At the second stage the German theologian accentuates the sinfulness of man as a member of the Church. Its recognition constitutes the basis for the transformation that can take place in the human individual due to accepting Christ into oneself. The third stage is stepping into the world of „before-final” matters in the full responsibility for the choices made by particular members of the ecclesial community. The Church, as Bonhoeffer saw it, was supposed to support itself on strong pillars: on freedom, personal responsibility, imitating Christ, neighbourly love, on sacraments and Gospel. In this aspect Bonhoeffer was the faithful continuator of the Reformation program.