Author Topic: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop  (Read 19934 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2019, 01:37:53 PM »
My memory may be hazy, but I think there was an ACNA bishop involved in Bishop Bradosky's installation.
Personally, I don't worry too much about whether any of our bishops are in apostolic succession.  They were all legitimately elected and installed.

I believe that there must be three other bishops (who were ordained in succession themselves) to make it "in historic succession."    :)


Yes, the first council of Nicaea decreed that at least three bishops in the historic episcopate were necessary for the ordination of a new bishop.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Mike in Pennsylvania

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2019, 03:09:55 PM »
Mr. Ames, your quote from the ELCA report on Ecumenism about the discussions with the NALC was interesting in that what we heard at the NALC Convocation (from Pastor David Wendel, who is responsible for ecumenism) was rather the opposite.  He said there really aren't any discussions going on with the ELCA at all.  We continue to be in discussion with the LCMS, which he said has been encouraging and fruitful, though no one thinks there will be any sort of altar and pulpit fellowship in the foreseeable future.  The NALC is also in close discussion with the ACNA and will be sponsoring a joint clergy conference next February with them; and also is working on an international conference of traditional Lutherans to be held in Wittenberg in September 2020.  However, the only church bodies with which we have formal agreements are the Mekane Yesus Church in Ethiopia and the Tanzanians.
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2019, 04:09:09 PM »
My memory may be hazy, but I think there was an ACNA bishop involved in Bishop Bradosky's installation.
Personally, I don't worry too much about whether any of our bishops are in apostolic succession.  They were all legitimately elected and installed.

According to Bishop Bradosky's Wikipedia page, those participating in his consecration were NALC (and former ELCA Synod) Bishop Paull Spring; ELCA Synod Bishops-retired Ralph Kempski, Henry Schulte, and Ron Warren; and the Rev. Dr. Berhanu Ofga’a, General Secretary of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. 

I do know that ACNA Bishops have preached at NALC Convocation Eucharists, and have been present, but weren't part of the laying on of hands.

As for any "romanticism" of Apostolic Succession via the Historic Episcopate, here I was simply responding to questions of by those who indicated their curiosity.  FWIW, most of my experience with the "romanticism" of Apostolic Succession within the ELCA is that other pastors will go out of their way to learn who ordained me so that, upon learning of my Augustana Synod connections, they can sneer "so, you must think your ordination is better than mine" -- which is always their judgement, not mine. 

Pax, Steven+
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2019, 04:19:32 PM »

“In accord with a Churchwide Assembly resolution in 2013, the ELCA maintains regular contact with the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). Together with leaders from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), Presiding Bishop Eaton and others have met several times with NALC leaders in order to build relationships, exchange information and discuss difficult issues.”
ELCA report on Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations


That's interesting to read.  Alas, my experience as an ELCA pastor on ELCA-NALC relations is that many ELCA synodical and churchwide officials are openly hostile to any mention or acknowledgement of the NALC.   :(

Pax, Steven+
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mj4

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2019, 04:28:04 PM »
...the only church bodies with which we have formal agreements are the Mekane Yesus Church in Ethiopia and the Tanzanians.

...only the two largest Lutheran churches in the world.

James_Gale

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2019, 04:46:46 PM »
My memory may be hazy, but I think there was an ACNA bishop involved in Bishop Bradosky's installation.
Personally, I don't worry too much about whether any of our bishops are in apostolic succession.  They were all legitimately elected and installed.

According to Bishop Bradosky's Wikipedia page, those participating in his consecration were NALC (and former ELCA Synod) Bishop Paull Spring; ELCA Synod Bishops-retired Ralph Kempski, Henry Schulte, and Ron Warren; and the Rev. Dr. Berhanu Ofga’a, General Secretary of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. 

I do know that ACNA Bishops have preached at NALC Convocation Eucharists, and have been present, but weren't part of the laying on of hands.

As for any "romanticism" of Apostolic Succession via the Historic Episcopate, here I was simply responding to questions of by those who indicated their curiosity.  FWIW, most of my experience with the "romanticism" of Apostolic Succession within the ELCA is that other pastors will go out of their way to learn who ordained me so that, upon learning of my Augustana Synod connections, they can sneer "so, you must think your ordination is better than mine" -- which is always their judgement, not mine. 

Pax, Steven+


I may have been wrong earlier when writing about this issue.  I did not do my homework independently to verify that bishops in historic succession had been involved in installing NALC bishops.


I based my posts on two things.


First, I have a vague recollection from nine years back that Paull Spring arguably was in historic succession either as a result of his installation as a synod bishop or as the first NALC bishop.  That recollection may be faulty.  Although I was there, I do not recall who laid hands upon Paull at his NALC installation.  My vague recollection, though, is that people discussed the issue in passing.


In Indianapolis last week, a couple people who presumably should know mentioned in passing that Bishop-elect Selbo was being installed by people in historic succession.  They may have been wrong.


All that aside, I believe that few if any NALC leaders care all that much about this issue.  It's arguably interesting to discuss.  But nobody seems particularly hung up on whether the NALC bishops would pass muster under any other church body's notion of historic succession or the historic episcopate.

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2019, 05:04:13 PM »
My memory may be hazy, but I think there was an ACNA bishop involved in Bishop Bradosky's installation.
Personally, I don't worry too much about whether any of our bishops are in apostolic succession.  They were all legitimately elected and installed.

I believe that there must be three other bishops (who were ordained in succession themselves) to make it "in historic succession."    :)


Yes, the first council of Nicaea decreed that at least three bishops in the historic episcopate were necessary for the ordination of a new bishop.

Yes, but it is unclear whether the participation of three consecrating bishops is considered necessary for validity, or only for liceity.  As a modern-day example, Rome appears to recognize the validity of the episcopal consecrations of the bishops of the Society of St Pius X, despite the fact that only 2 bishops (Lefebvre and de Castro Mayer) laid hands on them.  The consecrations -- which occurred despite the express prohibition of Pope John Paul II -- were clearly illicit, and all participants were excommunicated, but Rome appears to recognize their validity.  In fact, JP2 himself, in reacting to this event, specifically noted that the participants were excommunicated for "disobedience to the Roman Pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church, such as is the ordination of bishops whereby the apostolic succession is sacramentally perpetuated."

Peace,
Jon

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #52 on: August 16, 2019, 05:29:20 PM »
My memory may be hazy, but I think there was an ACNA bishop involved in Bishop Bradosky's installation.
Personally, I don't worry too much about whether any of our bishops are in apostolic succession.  They were all legitimately elected and installed.

I believe that there must be three other bishops (who were ordained in succession themselves) to make it "in historic succession."    :)


Yes, the first council of Nicaea decreed that at least three bishops in the historic episcopate were necessary for the ordination of a new bishop.

Yes, but it is unclear whether the participation of three consecrating bishops is considered necessary for validity, or only for liceity.  As a modern-day example, Rome appears to recognize the validity of the episcopal consecrations of the bishops of the Society of St Pius X, despite the fact that only 2 bishops (Lefebvre and de Castro Mayer) laid hands on them.  The consecrations -- which occurred despite the express prohibition of Pope John Paul II -- were clearly illicit, and all participants were excommunicated, but Rome appears to recognize their validity.  In fact, JP2 himself, in reacting to this event, specifically noted that the participants were excommunicated for "disobedience to the Roman Pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church, such as is the ordination of bishops whereby the apostolic succession is sacramentally perpetuated."

Peace,
Jon

The distinction between "valid" and "licit" has been applied to our Lutheran celebrations of the sacrament. That is: the sacrament consecrated by a Lutheran pastor is "valid" but it is not "licit" since we are not in full communion with the Bishop of Rome.

Peace, JOHN
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mj4

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #53 on: August 16, 2019, 05:57:06 PM »
My memory may be hazy, but I think there was an ACNA bishop involved in Bishop Bradosky's installation.
Personally, I don't worry too much about whether any of our bishops are in apostolic succession.  They were all legitimately elected and installed.

I believe that there must be three other bishops (who were ordained in succession themselves) to make it "in historic succession."    :)


Yes, the first council of Nicaea decreed that at least three bishops in the historic episcopate were necessary for the ordination of a new bishop.

Yes, but it is unclear whether the participation of three consecrating bishops is considered necessary for validity, or only for liceity.  As a modern-day example, Rome appears to recognize the validity of the episcopal consecrations of the bishops of the Society of St Pius X, despite the fact that only 2 bishops (Lefebvre and de Castro Mayer) laid hands on them.  The consecrations -- which occurred despite the express prohibition of Pope John Paul II -- were clearly illicit, and all participants were excommunicated, but Rome appears to recognize their validity.  In fact, JP2 himself, in reacting to this event, specifically noted that the participants were excommunicated for "disobedience to the Roman Pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the church, such as is the ordination of bishops whereby the apostolic succession is sacramentally perpetuated."

Peace,
Jon

Yes, I was about to make a similar point. Reading Canon 4 of Nicaea suggests that even though it's preferred that all the bishops of a province lay hands on the candidate, if they can't all make it, then at least three "should" participate. The emphasis is on finding a suitable number short of everybody having to show up.

Your account of the consecrations of the bishops of the Society of St Pius X reminds me the first ordinations of women in the Episcopal Church. This was before the church approved such ordinations. I recall them referred to as "valid, but irregular".

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #54 on: August 16, 2019, 06:42:42 PM »
Could someone please simplify this for an ordinary layman? Is it accurate to say that the NALC regards consecrating or installing a Bishop as not requiring the laying on of hands of a Bishop in the historic apostolic succession, but if it happens, that's OK?

Mike in Pennsylvania

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #55 on: August 16, 2019, 07:01:59 PM »
Could someone please simplify this for an ordinary layman? Is it accurate to say that the NALC regards consecrating or installing a Bishop as not requiring the laying on of hands of a Bishop in the historic apostolic succession, but if it happens, that's OK?
George, I would say that is correct.
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George Erdner

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #56 on: August 16, 2019, 08:05:59 PM »
Could someone please simplify this for an ordinary layman? Is it accurate to say that the NALC regards consecrating or installing a Bishop as not requiring the laying on of hands of a Bishop in the historic apostolic succession, but if it happens, that's OK?
George, I would say that is correct.

Kind of makes debating about it moot then, doesn't it?

RayToy

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #57 on: August 16, 2019, 10:44:53 PM »

I was wondering if they received it when they were installed as ELCA bishops; then took it to the NALC. However, it is true that the NALC could receive it from other Lutheran bodies who have it or from Episcopal priests. (Although, are they in full-communion with the Episcopal Church?)

The retired ELCA bishops who later joined the NALC were all installed prior to CCM.  Episcopal priests do not pass on Apostolic Succession via the Historic Episcopate.  The NALC doesn't have a full-communion agreement with TEC; perhaps you can imagine that the TEC's gay bishops, who also predate the NALC's formation, might be an impediment to that.  They do have a close relationship with the Anglican Church in North America, but there has been no declaration of full communion.  No ACNA Bishops, or Lutherans Bishops in Apostolic Succession, participated in the laying on of hands at +Spring's or (to the best of my knowlegde) +Bradosky's installations.  Of those laying hands on +Selbo, only Bishop Alex Mkumbo, of the Central Diocese in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, would be in succession.

Pax, Steven+

     My memory is hazy, but I believe one bishop from Tanzania laid hands on Bishop Spring.  I vaguely recall a conversation about the number of bishops in succession required for historic succession, and the answer was along the lines of three to guarantee, but technically, only one.

Thanks,
Ray
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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #58 on: August 17, 2019, 08:08:04 AM »
Could someone please simplify this for an ordinary layman? Is it accurate to say that the NALC regards consecrating or installing a Bishop as not requiring the laying on of hands of a Bishop in the historic apostolic succession, but if it happens, that's OK?
George, I would say that is correct.

Kind of makes debating about it moot then, doesn't it?

Hi George,
Well, we would sure lose a lot of discussions around here if we omitted moot points, don’t you think?
 ;)
Donna
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James_Gale

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Re: Dan Selbo's election as NALC Bishop
« Reply #59 on: August 17, 2019, 08:56:00 AM »
Could someone please simplify this for an ordinary layman? Is it accurate to say that the NALC regards consecrating or installing a Bishop as not requiring the laying on of hands of a Bishop in the historic apostolic succession, but if it happens, that's OK?
George, I would say that is correct.

Kind of makes debating about it moot then, doesn't it?


I don't really view this discussion as a debate.  I don't think that anyone here is really trying to win others to a point of view.  Instead, I believe that the discussion is a collective effort at (i) reconstructing what the NALC actually has done when installing bishops; (ii) discerning its reasons (if any); and (iii) offering semi-informed speculation about the future role (if any) of historic succession when installing bishops.  This all stemmed from Pr. Johnson's musings over whether the NALC at its founding planted the seeds for eventual tension between high- and low-church members.  Historic succession could be one manifestation of that tension, as illustrated by the fact that the NALC's leadership includes people who helped lead opposing sides during the ELCA's passionate CCM debates over the so-called historic episcopate. 


You asked whether "the NALC regards consecrating or installing a Bishop as not requiring the laying on of hands of a Bishop in the historic apostolic succession, but if it happens, that's OK."  From a legal perspective, you're basically right.  The NALC does not require the laying on of hands by a bishop in historic succession (or by anyone else, for that matter).  The NALC's governing document simply don't address the issue either way.  I believe strongly that this in part is because the NALC's founding leaders would have disagreed over the issue and that that disagreement was not worth litigating, at least not at a time when other priorities (e.g., getting a new church body off the ground) were much, much higher.


(NALC leaders did incorporate one element of the ELCA's settlement on this issue.  The NALC constitution provides that the "Bishop will normally conduct the rite of ordination," but that "absent extraordinary circumstances," if a candidate asks the bishop to appoint "a particular ordained minister to preside" instead, the request "shall be approved."  Some of the NALC's founders would have preferred a requirement that the bishop conduct all ordinations.  But such a requirement would have been unacceptable to many others.)