The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Making the church a safe place

Public attention has been fixed in recent weeks on the issue of clergy sexual abuse, particularly in light of cases of pedophilia among priests in several Roman Catholic dioceses. The Catholic Church isn't alone in dealing with these matters. Even though the church in which we serve, the ELCA, has rarely experienced allegations of sexual contact with minors, we have zero tolerance for any sexual misconduct by our clergy.

This is written out of concern that there may be a public perception that the church protects clergy at the expense of children and other vulnerable people in our parishes. This has been an area of deep concern for many church bodies, which have sought to make an earnest response. While bishops cannot speak for these other church bodies, we want to state some things very emphatically for both the people of our church and the wider public audience.

There are four key principles that have guided the ELCA's Northern Illinois, Metropolitan Chicago and Greater Milwaukee synods' response to allegations of clergy sexual misconduct.

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February issue


Embracing diversity