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Moving Toward a Wider Anglican-Lutheran Fellowship

( [email protected] ) May 03, 2004 07:50 PM EDT

The Joint Standing Committee of the Primates of the Anglican Communion approved an Anglican-Lutheran mandate to promote ecumenical dialogue and fellowship between the two denominations, the Anglican News Service reported on April 28.

The Primates essentially gave “substance” to the resolutions of the 12th meeting of the Anglican Communion in Hong Kong in 2002, and the 10th Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Winnipeg last July. Both resolutions called for the ratification of a mandate for a new Anglican Lutheran Commission.

The mandate, while supported by many of the western nations in both the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran World Federation, was directly rejected during July’s LWF conference in 2003 by many of the Global South leaders. Many evangelicals Lutherans in the United States have also voiced opposition to the mandate, which they say would essentially bind the two denominations together under similar ordination laws, methods and standards.

Should the two bodies align membership, they will jointly have 143 adherents around the world.

The following is the full text adopted by the Joint Standing Committee:

The Anglican Consultative Council and the Lutheran World Federation, in accordance with the resolutions of the Twelfth Meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Hong Kong in September 2002, and the commitments of the Tenth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation in Winnipeg in July 2003, approve the establishment of a new Anglican-Lutheran International Commission (ALIC), with the following mandate.

That the Commission shall

a. provide guidance regarding the evaluation and implementation of the Report of the Anglican-Lutheran Working Group (1999-2002), Growth in Communion, with a view to co-ordinated decisions by the governing bodies of both communions, in co-operation with their member churches,

b. continue to monitor and advise upon the development of Anglican -Lutheran relations around the world, having regard to their consistency with each other and with the self-understanding of the two communions, give attention to the impact of different ecumenical methodologies, and to clarify questions of transitivity (i.e. the consequences that an agreement reached in one ecumenical relationship may be seen to have for other relationships),

c. explore the possibility of common actions and statements, and, in particular, seek ways to promote joint study projects of issues relevant to Anglican - Lutheran relations,

d. consider ways to engage with and promote the wider ecumenical movement, and, in particular, give consideration to the ecumenical role and contribution of Christian world communions,

e. to report to the relevant bodies on both sides on the progress of work, and to ensure consultation on emerging developments in regional Anglican - Lutheran relations