The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (the theologically liberal Lutheran denomination) has arrived at a new accord with the Roman Catholic Church, focusing on church, ministry, and eucharist. Read the document here.
After giving all of the agreements that were found, the document gives the issues of disagreement that remain: the papacy and women’s ordination (which ELCA practices).
That would sound like Missouri Synod Lutherans, who agree that only men may be ordained into the holy ministry, are even closer to Rome than the ELCA, disagreeing only on the authority of the pope!
To be sure, there would be quite a bit of agreement even with the LCMS on church, ministry, and eucharist–though also quite a lot of disagreements that have been papered over. (Find them.)
If the ELCA wants to heal the breach with Rome, I would encourage them now to discuss abortion, gay marriage, and sexual morality. The differences would be much greater, though perhaps in the name of ecumenism the ELCA would change its permissive teachings. [Read more…]