Minnesota bishops Catholic, Lutheran share common ground

  • Article by: ROSE FRENCH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 1, 2011 - 11:02 PM

Discussion and prayer are a 35-year tradition of leaders' retreat.

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mplssellNov. 1, 1111:11 PM

The ELCA is very much like the Roman Catholic Church; top down hierarchy, absolute belief system, & large number of members. ELCA use to do what they did best - worldwide missionary work; now they changed their belief system & the interpretation of the Old Testament, which alienated small congregations throughout America. If you do not believe in the new rules of the ELCA - you need to leave (thousands did). ELCA Bishops flexed their muscles for the first time - mass exodus happened (sort of like Martin Luther split from the Roman Catholic Church - ironic isn't it).

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mnpls1234Nov. 2, 11 5:29 AM

They aren't going to talk about child molestation, or is that something they swap notes on it private? I guess talking about that doesn't keep the sheep fom filling the coffers in an attempt to buy their way to a heaven like preaching hatred against others does.

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swaybachNov. 2, 11 6:19 AM

I applaud both.

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minneg56Nov. 2, 11 6:35 AM

Unfortunately it appears the common ground between churches is becoming an iron fist over worshippers! Catholics have long been 'lorded' over by an archaic top heavy church hierarchy. In recent years we have an AB in St. Paul who seems to be more political than he should be while he should be looking to develop consensus and not alienating segments of our greater population. Maybe its time for people to just start doing good works for others on Sunday mornings and skip the ever increasingly politically charged and scripted, kneel, sit, stand worship services. Quit spending money going on mission trips which are many times more "show than go." Give your weekly donation to the real poor ... you don't have to go very far to find people who are hurting these days -many of whom live on your block and who are your next door neighbors.

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obamasarmyNov. 2, 11 6:40 AM

I'm glad that these two groups are talking and listening to what each others concerns are. I'd also like to see this expanded to include Muslim clergy. How great it would be if Lutheran and Catholic leaders could have the courage to reach out to leaders from other religions and not resort to villifying each other.

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minneg56Nov. 2, 11 7:04 AM

Seems the common ground between religions is an iron fist over worshippers! Maybe it's time to ditch the scripted stand, sit, kneel and sing services and just go do something good for someone else on Sunday mornings. Many of the mission trips seem to be window dressing for the church. No doubt some are helped but it's kind of like the Pharisees- "look at what I'm doing to help others." These days you don't have to go very far to find someone in need and you don't need a plane ticket to find them. Just go through your own neighborhood and help someone ... and be quiet about it so the party you help can maintain their dignity.

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jimmywestoneNov. 2, 11 7:33 AM

I see that the athiests are out on the comment board bright and early this morning. Let's make a deal.... I won't criticize you for what you do on Sunday mornings if you don't criticize me for going to church if I feel like it. What someone does in their own time is their own business.

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mnpls1234Nov. 2, 11 8:54 AM

"I won't criticize you for what you do on Sunday mornings if you don't criticize me for going to church if I feel like it."---now only if you and your cult leaders practiced what you preached. though that seems to be a common theme with christians.

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olddaveNov. 2, 1112:22 PM

@mplssell -- if your reference to the "new rules of the ELCA" is directed at the 2009 decisions regarding clergy in same-gender relationships, most of what you said is factually incorrect. First, the decisions were rendered by an assembly composed of clergy and laity, with lay people selected in a mix of random and democratic processes at local levels comprising roughly 60% of the voting members. It is not the top-down process you imply. And the actual measures approved in 2009 did not take any stand at all on whether same-gender partnerships are acceptable or not by Biblical standards ... it actually left such decisions to be made, again, at the local level. Again, totally at odds with your claim of top-down leadership being the problem. And a "mass exodus" has not happened as a result. Only a few percent of congregations have left; membership has also been slowly declining at the rate of 1-2% per year (with a larger decline -- roughly 4% larger than usual -- observed in the year following the 2009 assembly that will probably not be repeated). And the general decline parallels similar declines seen even in other conservative denominations. Probably a one-time drop of about 4% can be attributed to the actual decisions themselves ... hardly an exodus. And again, the losses were not because ELCA Bishops flexed their muscles. They were the result of traditionalists that could not accept the fact that more liberal Lutherans in other parts of the country were going to be given greater flexibility to live as per their own understanding of Scripture. Your claim that people left because beliefs were being imposed that they disagreed with is almost the exact opposite of what happened. Traditionalists were, in fact, mostly upset that their beliefs were no longer being imposed throughout the ELCA.

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