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Pastor apologizes for role in prayer vigil after Connecticut massacre

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Pastor apologizes for role in prayer vigil after Connecticut massacre

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Connecticut Lutheran pastor has apologized for participating in aninterfaith prayer vigil for the 26 children and adults killed at a Newtown elementary school in December because his church bars its clergy from worshiping with other faiths.

The December prayer vigil was attended by President Barack Obama, leaders from Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, and relatives of the 20 first graders who were gunned down in their classrooms two days earlier after a gunman entered their school.

The December 14 shooting shook the nation and led to calls for improved school security, gun control and better mental health care.

The pastor, Rob Morris of Newtown's Christ the King Lutheran Church, provided the closing benediction at the interfaith event.

Earlier this month, the president of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Pastor Matthew Harrison, wrote a letter to church members saying he had requested an apology from Morris for his participation in "joint worship with other religions."

"There is sometimes a real tension between wanting to bear witness to Christ and at the same time avoiding situations which may give the impression that our differences with respect to who God is, who Jesus is, how he deals with us, and how we get to heaven, really don't matter in the end," Harrison wrote.

"There will be times in this crazy world when, for what we believe are all the right reasons, we may step over the scriptural line," he wrote.

Harrison said he had accepted Morris' apology.

This is not the first time a Lutheran leader has been chastised for participating in a community service in the wake of a local tragedy.

David Benke, a Lutheran pastor in New York, was suspended for praying at an interfaith vigil in 2001, 12 days after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Benke, who had refused to apologize for the incident, was reinstated in 2003.

In his own letter to his church, Morris wrote it was not his intent to endorse "false teaching" and apologized to those who believed he had.

"I did not believe my participation to be an act of joint worship, but one of mercy and care to a community shocked and grieving an unspeakably horrific event," he wrote. "I apologize where I have caused offense by pushing Christian freedom too far, and I request you charitably receive my apology."

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 6:34 AM
Replies (21-30):
MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:13 AM

I'm assuming that since I am Catholic that I am not welcome to attend one of their services?   That disturbs me.


Quoting Stephanie329:

Yep, and note to self: don't go to a Lutheran church.

Quoting teri4lance:

Cue mega eye rolls.


 

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM

 

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

I'm surprised, too.  Catholics (and I am Catholic) are usually the most stringent about these things!  I believe it's disgraceful that this pastor denomination forced him to apologize.  He did nothing wrong.   

 

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Oh my heavens!  I am Catholic and we have great interfaith ministry here.  I always think is a marvel seeing the Catholic, Jewish and Muslim leaders together...for the same purpose!

I think this is so sad.  I wonder if the Lutherans have a walled off area up in heaven.....

 

 

 I just can't get all worked up about someone praying...whether it be for health, good sportsmanship, a safe trip...I don't care what your faith is...I will be happy to be on the receiving end of those prayers!

Praying, especially during times of tragedy brings people together and gives them a measure of comfort.  Getting bashed for doing it is disrespectul to the victims and their families imho.

 

OneDay.
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM
That's too bad
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
SlingsAndThings
by Bronze Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:18 AM

I can't help but think God probably wasn't angry at him for participating in the event.

Oh you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with those who are patient-


Al Quran 2-153


MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Thank you for saying that.  When my mother passed away we brought in  our priest for the Last Rites, a Rabbi friend of my late father, a female Methodist Pastor I was friends with and a Baptist Preacher that one of my good friends called.  She was very blessed as she was sent off.  The leaders were a source of immense confront to my family.


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

I'm surprised, too.  Catholics (and I am Catholic) are usually the most stringent about these things!  I believe it's disgraceful that this pastor denomination forced him to apologize.  He did nothing wrong.   

 

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Oh my heavens!  I am Catholic and we have great interfaith ministry here.  I always think is a marvel seeing the Catholic, Jewish and Muslim leaders together...for the same purpose!

I think this is so sad.  I wonder if the Lutherans have a walled off area up in heaven.....

 

 

 I just can't get all worked up about someone praying...whether it be for health, good sportsmanship, a safe trip...I don't care what your faith is...I will be happy to be on the receiving end of those prayers!

Praying, especially during times of tragedy brings people together and gives them a measure of comfort.  Getting bashed for doing it is disrespectul to the victims and their families imho.

 


 

parentalrights1
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Good ol' religious arrogance
FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM

That is very sad.

Crossing the lines of Christianity.  

Seems those lines need to be crossed.

There is nothing wrong with reaching out to others, of other faiths, coming together for the greater good.

I feel sorry for those in this Church who believe the way they do.

Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

 Oh that's just pathetically sad. Does he think this will make the victim's families feel any better. Um... yeah I'm taking back my prayer, because I prayed with the wrong people. smh

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Well this neatly encapsulates everything wrong with organized religion:

Earlier this month, the president of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Pastor Matthew Harrison, wrote a letter to church members saying he had requested an apology from Morris for his participation in "joint worship with other religions."

"There is sometimes a real tension between wanting to bear witness to Christ and at the same time avoiding situations which may give the impression that our differences with respect to who God is, who Jesus is, how he deals with us, and how we get to heaven, really don't matter in the end," Harrison wrote.

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:29 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

Thank you for saying that.  When my mother passed away we brought in  our priest for the Last Rites, a Rabbi friend of my late father, a female Methodist Pastor I was friends with and a Baptist Preacher that one of my good friends called.  She was very blessed as she was sent off.  The leaders were a source of immense confront to my family.

 

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

I'm surprised, too.  Catholics (and I am Catholic) are usually the most stringent about these things!  I believe it's disgraceful that this pastor denomination forced him to apologize.  He did nothing wrong.   

 

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 Oh my heavens!  I am Catholic and we have great interfaith ministry here.  I always think is a marvel seeing the Catholic, Jewish and Muslim leaders together...for the same purpose!

I think this is so sad.  I wonder if the Lutherans have a walled off area up in heaven.....

 

 

 I just can't get all worked up about someone praying...whether it be for health, good sportsmanship, a safe trip...I don't care what your faith is...I will be happy to be on the receiving end of those prayers!

Praying, especially during times of tragedy brings people together and gives them a measure of comfort.  Getting bashed for doing it is disrespectul to the victims and their families imho.

 

 

 

 Oh your welcome!  I get annoyed when people get all bent out of shape because they have been prayed for!  Your grandmother had quite the send off!!  I think there will be a LOT of people surprised when they find people of all faiths in heaven!

When I was in banking one of the ladies was Church of Christ and she told a joke on her faith...a man died and went to heaven..St Peter was showing him around..they came to an area with walls so high the man could not see where they end...he asked St Peter what was on the other side....St Peter said, "shhhh that is for the Church of Christ...they think they are the only ones up here."  I can't help but think of that joke when I see stuff like this.

 

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