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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Lutheran-Catholic accord seeks deeper communion

Lutherans and Roman Catholic clergy may be meeting for prayer and study, as will the congregations they serve, if they take seriously the recommendations of a newly released document.

In May the ELCA and the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops released the final draft of "The Church as Koinonia of Salvation: Its Structures and Ministries," the product of the 10th round of dialogue between the churches, which began in September 1998. The Lutheran Church­Missouri Synod participated in some earlier rounds of the dialogue but had only an observer during this series.

The 69-page document "tests whether the lens of koinonia [which means living together in community] is helpful in addressing the issues that still divide us," said Randall Lee, director of the ELCA Department for Ecumenical Affairs. The document discusses the ways the two churches' ministries — their strengths and limitations, differences and complementarities — serve to bring them into communion with God and each other.


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