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Casual notes

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Charles_Austin:
Just casual notes that may or may not be of interest

Charles_Austin:
Met former bishop, Paull Spring at the coffee break this morning. He is here as a visitor.
Also met my old friend Dr. Samuel Nafzger, LC-MS and head of the ILC.
We had a fine talk about the need to continue conversation across all Lutheran lines, a theme Dr. Nafzger has proclaimed for years. There is a level of "fellowship" that is not "full fellowship," and that should be nurtured.

Charles_Austin:
Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima brought greetings to the Assembly from His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Part of the message:
The Orthodox Church continues its theological dialogue with the Lutheran Churches through the Lutheran World Federation with responsibility and commitment. We celebrate next year the completion of 30 years since this dialogue was initiated and we acknowledge with sincerity that the path ahead of us will be long and difficult toward the hoped for an expected unity.
My observation: the dialogue will continue and unity is "expected." (Being of the Eastern Churches, of course, the Metropolitan may be thinking in centuries.)

The Patriarch's message said:
Orthodoxy understands that such a dialogue exists only to reach the goal of communion and that there should be no deviation from this task until the goal is reached.

My observation: Good

The Patriarch's message:
The unity of the Church is a gift from God and its fulfillment could be realized only with a return to the common historical and theological sources of the Undivided Church, to the period of the Apostolic teaching, of the Church Fathers and of the Synodical Ecumenical Councils of the Church and in the participation of the sacraments and mysteries in the life of the Church.
My observation: O.k., so here we have some problems. But at least there is something to talk about.

Charles_Austin:
The retiring head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Office for Promoting Christian Unity told Lutherans here he felt “deep emotion and gratitude” looking back on “these years of such rich and enriching cooperation with the Lutheran World Federation.” Cardinal Walter Kaspar said “Lutheran Catholic relations have been since the beginning of our international dialogue…in my heart and will remain in my heart.” Kaspar retires this year after heading the Vatican’s office for Christian Unity since 2001.
The cardinal said the 1999 signing of a Lutheran-Roman Catholic “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,” was “a milestone of the ecumenical movement.”
Referring to his recent, “Harvesting the Fruits,” a book about the ecumenical movement, Kaspar said “I was more than surprised to see such a rich harvest and that we have achieved much more than we could even dream before. There has been no ecumenical winter.”
Kaspar paid special tribute to LWF President Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and LWF General Secretary Ishmael Noko as especially “good friends” of Lutheran-Roman Catholic relations.

ptmccain:
a return to the common historical and theological sources of the Undivided Church, to the period of the Apostolic teaching, of the Church Fathers and of the Synodical Ecumenical Councils of the Church and in the participation of the sacraments and mysteries in the life of the Church.

Sounds like a very wise and appropriate comment, no doubt to gently point out that many of the leadership in the larger Lutheran churches in the LWF have moved away from the "common historical and theological sources" of the undivided Church.

Too bad the Orthodox spokesman was not as blunt as was the Orthodox representative who spoke to the Presbyterian Church USA at their recent convention. Who, as reported by the Associated Press, said that efforts to approve gay marriage looked to him like an attempt to "invent a new religion a sort of modern paganism." Hardun added, "When people say that they are led and guided by the Holy Spirit to do it, I wonder if it is the same Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible." The Orthodox priest's remarks drew applause from conservative Presbyterians who made similar arguments at the gathering in Minneapolis.

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