News Releases and Information Bulletins
CCM VERAX PRESS RELEASE
Title: CALLED TO COMMON MISSION BECOMES MORE CONTROVERSIAL
(Au Gres, Michigan, USA) Called to Common Mission (CCM), the full-communion agreement between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Episcopal Church (USA), is set to become more controversial than ever before.
For many years CCM has divided ELCA Lutherans. The issue of dispute has been the requirement in CCM that the ELCA adopt an "historic episcopate" as a condition for unity with the Episcopal Church. The "historic episcopate" refers to a tactile succession of bishops which supposedly stretches back to the earliest times in the church. CCM claims that the Lutheran Reformers expressed their "deep desire" in the Lutheran statements of faith (Confessions) to have structures like the "historic episcopate."
Research published in the Epiphany (January) edition of the theological journal Logia demonstrates this claim in CCM to be incorrect. In an article entitled "Called to Common Mission: A Lutheran Proposal?" Pastor Mark D. Menacher, PhD presents his data. Based on research first published in 1995 Menacher explains that the Lutheran Reformers did not know what the concept of "episcopal succession" was when the relevant Lutheran statement of faith was written in 1530-1531. Thus, he concludes that it is historically impossible for the Lutheran Reformers to have referred to "episcopal succession" in the Lutheran Confessions, as CCM claims.
Menacher details further that when the concept of "episcopal succession" became a marginal topic of discussion in the church in 1538-1540, this concept was dismissed by the Lutheran Reformers, both Luther and Melanchthon.
The new controversy over CCM entails more than incorrect information being given to the ELCA membership. In his article Menacher also reveals that Professor Michael Root, an ELCA CCM drafter, was aware as early as 1995 of this research which undermines CCM. As a result, Menacher argues, the 1999 ELCA Churchwide Assembly which approved CCM was knowingly and wrongfully led to believe something about "episcopal succession" exactly opposite to the Lutheran Reformers' intentions.
Menacher states, "The Lutheran Reformers rejected 'episcopal succession' out of hand. That was clear before CCM was drafted. So, why was CCM drafted to say something contrary to known historical fact?"
Although ELCA leaders have been made aware of this new research which could cause CCM to unravel, ELCA leaders have not yet addressed the matter publicly. In fact, Menacher reports, some ELCA leaders have been using the events of September 11 to avoid an investigation of the matter.
Under the banner of CCM Verax ("verax" being Latin for "speaking truthfully") Menacher has also launched a web site to make his findings more widely available to the ELCA membership.
The CCM Verax web site can be found on the Internet at http://www.ccmverax.org.
A synopsis of the "grand deception" in CCM is at http://www.ccmverax.org/GrandDeception.htm
A copy of the research
paper sent to all top ELCA leaders is at
Please send inquiries to:
Mark D. Menacher,
CCM Verax Administrator Note:
At this point in time, CCM Verax is administered by Pastor Mark D. Menacher, PhD. Pastor Menacher is a graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He holds a Ph.D in historical and systematic theology from the University of Manchester, England. While in the United Kingdom, he served a pastorate in the Lutheran Church in Great Britain (LCiGB). In addition to his pastoral duties, Pastor Menacher also served on the LCiGB's Executive Committee and as the LCiGB's ecumenical officer. Pastor Menacher's wife is from Wales, and she is an Anglican (Episcopalian).