Magazine article The Christian Century

Valparaiso Repents for Interfaith Service

Magazine article The Christian Century

Valparaiso Repents for Interfaith Service

Article excerpt

Top officials at Valparaiso University have "expressed sincere repentance" to Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod members for permitting a 2002 interfaith service to take place on their campus in Valparaiso, Indiana. The service marked the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Last year's campus service was the subject of a formal complaint because it included prayers by Muslim and Jewish leaders.

University President Alan Harre, an ordained minister, and Joseph Cunningham, pastor of the campus chapel, received letters September 22 that clarified the resolution of the dispute by the synod's Praesidium, the Associated Press reported. "The defendants expressed sincere repentance for the wrong that they did in authorizing and conducting the service," read the letter signed by Paul Maier, president of the Praesidium, which is composed of the president and the five vice presidents of the denomination.

Clergy from eight states had filed a complaint about the service, but the former president of the Indiana district cleared the university leaders of any wrongdoing earlier this year. The Praesidimn ordered a further investigation. …

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