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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Hanson: We must continue speaking

Our relationships with other churches won't be severed by the movement of U.S. troops and the dropping of U.S. bombs," ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson told the Conference of Bishops, meeting March 7-11 in Charleston, S.C. "I hope we will talk ... about our shared public leadership in these challenging times."

Quoting a letter from Lutheran churches in South Africa, Hanson said in a possible war with Iraq "not only will the Iraqi people experience great suffering, but the whole church." The ELCA bishops' global colleagues "appreciate and encourage us to continue speaking," he added.

Hanson shared his frustration when a White House staff member asked him why President Bush would meet with religious leaders who oppose the administration's policy (March, page 8). "I sought to say that would be a reason in and of itself," Hanson said. "I would hope our president is in constant conversation with folks with whom he is not in agreement


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