Magazine article The Christian Century

Episcopal Church Nods to ELCA Bylaw Change

Magazine article The Christian Century

Episcopal Church Nods to ELCA Bylaw Change

Article excerpt

An after-the-fact bylaw change this past summer by Lutherans to their full-communion agreement with the Episcopal Church has been accepted by the latter if Lutheran ordinations by a pastor instead of a bishop are restricted to "the rarest and most serious of circumstances." The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which celebrated its pact with Episcopalians in January, passed the bylaw to keep peace in the denomination with conservatives who objected to requiring a bishop at every clergy ordination.

A carefully worded statement by the Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations, which met at the Lutheran Church Center in Chicago October 23-27, said the rule change "need not impair or hinder our relationship of full communion with the ELCA." The action was the first official response by Episcopal leaders to the alteration. The ELCA ecumenical affairs department thanked its Episcopal counterparts "for their gracious understanding" and analysis of the situation. …

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