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Evangelical Lutheran Assembly approves 'historic' statement of accord with Catholics

August 16, 2016

America’s largest Lutheran organization has announced that “Church-dividing issues” have been resolved, and the path is clear for unity with the Catholic Church.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America approved a statement entitled “Declaration on the Way,” which lists agreements that have been achieved with the US Catholic bishops’ conference on issues including the nature of the Church and the Eucharist. The statement was approved by an overwhelming 931- 9 vote at the Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans.

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church said that the statement “helps us to realize more fully our unity in Christ with Catholic partners, but it also serves to embolden our commitment to unity with all Christians.”


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  • Posted by: feedback - Aug. 18, 2016 1:00 PM ET USA

    Perhaps our Lutheran brethren should work on unity among their own fractions first.

  • Posted by: loumiamo - Aug. 18, 2016 11:59 AM ET USA

    Now that Luther has enlightened the true path, how many separate trails have his disciples discovered, and which group will Francis acknowledge first, or sit with, when he celebrates their glorious anniversary this October?

  • Posted by: Watt Dwineault - Aug. 17, 2016 7:47 PM ET USA

    Oh well. Nice to see acknowledgement of areas of agreement.

  • Posted by: feedback - Aug. 17, 2016 8:09 AM ET USA

    I find it rather interesting that the presiding "bishop" Elizabeth and the US Catholic bishops’ conference did not notice at least one large elephant in the room.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Aug. 17, 2016 6:53 AM ET USA

    Does she understand that unity with the Catholic Church is going to be dependent on Lutherans giving up female clergy, accepting seven sacraments, etc? And does not the ELCA approve abortion, contraception, and other moral indignities incompatible with Catholic doctrine? ELCA, I believe, is the most liberal Lutheran group.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Aug. 16, 2016 9:47 PM ET USA

    I can think of a few minor unresolved issues: 1- The Pope, 2- Female priests and bishops, 3- Divorce, 4- Contraception and I am sure there are others.

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Aug. 16, 2016 9:23 PM ET USA

    Unity with the Catholic Church? Bishop ELIZABETH Eaton? I think I see one teeny, tiny, little problem to full unity! Anyone else see it?

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Aug. 16, 2016 6:31 PM ET USA

    Unfortunately, if one takes the time to read the Declaration, one finds several serious "Church-dividing issues" that have not been resolved. A prime example is the definition of sacrament which, in the Lutheran world, leaves only two: Baptism and the Eucharist. Not exactly a non Church dividing issue. The issues of ordination, priesthood, bishoprics is in the same unresolved arena. The issue of papal ministry, etc. ditto. Thus, the announcement is clearly premature.

  • Posted by: I am Canadian! - Aug. 16, 2016 5:53 PM ET USA

    I can we achieve unity with a congregation that has a female bishop as its leader?