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Lutheran Church–Canada and Roman Catholics begin talks

February 6, 2013 7 Comments
Participants of February’s meeting between LCC and the CCCB (left to right): Rev. Nolan Astley, Rev. Timothy Scott, Dr. Michael Attridge, Bishop Gerard Bergie, Rev. Dr. Thomas Winger, Mr. Jonas Abromaitis, Rev. Dr. John Stephenson, Rev. Warren Hamp

Participants of February’s meeting between LCC and the CCCB (left to right): Rev. Nolan Astley, Rev. Timothy Scott, Dr. Michael Attridge, Bishop Gerard Bergie, Rev. Dr. Thomas Winger, Mr. Jonas Abromaitis, Rev. Dr. John Stephenson, Rev. Warren Hamp

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario – Representatives of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) met together February 1 in an attempt to chart a course for formal talks between LCC and the CCCB. Participants of the Working Group have suggested “Christian marriage” in general and “pastoral preparation and support for Christian marriage” in particular as possible topics to guide ongoing discussions.

First steps toward conversation began through informal connections in the St. Catharines area, and were followed by a brief meeting between representatives of both sides in May 2012 to discuss the possibility of formal discussion. After conferring with its Permanent Council and Commission for Christian Unity, the CCCB has approved a three-year dialogue with LCC. LCC entered into the discussions at the recommendation of its President, Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee, and the Commission for Theology and Church Relations.

At the Working Group’s February meeting, the Lutherans were represented by Rev. Nolan Astley (First Vice-President, LCC), Rev. Warren Hamp (Chairman of LCC’s Commission for Theology and Church Relations), Rev. Dr. Thomas Winger (President, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary), and Rev. Dr. John Stephenson (Professor, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary).  Representing the Roman Catholics were Bishop Gerard Bergie (Bishop of St. Catharines), Rev. Timothy Scott (General Councilor, The Basilian Fathers), Dr. Michael Attridge (Professor, St. Michael’s College), and Mr. Jonas Abromaitis (Senior Advisor for Ecclesial and Interfaith Relations, CCCB).

In September 2011, the International Lutheran Council (ILC)—of which LCC is a member church—met in Niagara Falls for its world conference. There it adopted a resolution seeking official dialogue with Roman Catholics on the international level, and encouraged member church bodies to seek out such discussions on the national level as well. Bishop Bergie was on hand for the event and brought greetings to the ILC on behalf of the CCCB.

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7 Comments »

  • Roman Catholics and Confessional Lutherans « Captain Thin said:

    […] For more, read the whole story at First Things. On the same topic, a short article went up today over at The Canadian Lutheran entitled “Lutheran Church–Canada and Roman Catholics begin talks.” […]

  • Canadian Lutheran Online » Blog Archive » Thoughts on the retirement of the Professor Pope said:

    […] Rev. Dr. John Stephenson is Professor of Historical Theology at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (CLTS) in St. Catharines, Ontario. He is one of Lutheran Church–Canada’s (LCC) representatives on the Working Group for discussions between LCC and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. […]

  • President Harrison, the LCMS, and Ecumenical Dialogue » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog said:

    […] That last topic brings to mind another topic worthy of discussion in considering President Harrison’s first term—namely, the LCMS’ increasingly friendly relations with other church bodies. We’ve seen some of that, of course, in the reaction to the HHS mandate. In addition to testify with other Christians at congress on the matter, President Harrison has been a signatory to a number of letters along with other religious leaders expressing concern about the mandate, most recently a few days ago. It’s led to especially collegial relations with Roman Catholics, with President Harrison writing a letter in June of last year thanking the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their defense of religious freedom. (The growing relationship between confessional Lutherans and Catholics around the world is something I’ve addressed elsewhere on First Things. Up here in Canada, something similar is going on as Lutheran Church–Canada and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops recently began talks). […]

  • Steadfast Lutherans » Great Stuff — President Harrison, the LCMS, and Ecumenical Dialogue said:

    […] That last topic brings to mind another topic worthy of discussion in considering President Harrison’s first term—namely, the LCMS’ increasingly friendly relations with other church bodies. We’ve seen some of that, of course, in the reaction to the HHS mandate. In addition to testify with other Christians at congress on the matter, President Harrison has been a signatory to a number of letters along with other religious leaders expressing concern about the mandate, most recently a few days ago. It’s led to especially collegial relations with Roman Catholics, with President Harrison writing a letter in June of last year thanking the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their defense of religious freedom. (The growing relationship between confessional Lutherans and Catholics around the world is something I’ve addressed elsewhere on First Things. Up here in Canada, something similar is going on as Lutheran Church–Canada and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops recently began talks). […]

  • LCMS president and other church bodies said:

    […] We’ve seen some of that, of course, in the reaction to the HHS mandate. In addition to testify with other Christians at congress on the matter, President Harrison has been a signatory to a number of letters along with other religious leaders expressing concern about the mandate, most recently a few days ago. It’s led to especially collegial relations with Roman Catholics, with President Harrison writing a letter in June of last year thanking the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their defense of religious freedom. (The growing relationship between confessional Lutherans and Catholics around the world is something I’ve addressed elsewhere on First Things. Up here in Canada, something similar is going on as Lutheran Church–Canada and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops recently began talks). […]

  • Knights of Columbus Insurance said:

    This is a great to start a discussion on good issues . I’m sure this discussion would be definitely good for the nations.

    Knights of Columbus Carl Anderson

  • Canadian Lutheran Online » Blog Archive » Catholic-Lutheran dialogue in Canada continues said:

    […] – Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) continues its national dialogue with Roman Catholics in Canada, meeting most recently September 30 at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (St. Catharines, […]

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