News Releases and Information Bulletins
CCM Verax Information Service
For Immediate Release
Date: 02 May 2003
Title: ELCA Moral Leader in "Mitergate" Ecumenical Scandal
The Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Mark S. Hanson, appears to be covering up an unprecedented ecumenical scandal in the denomination. His failure to address this scandal calls Hanson's self proclaimed status of "moral leader" into question.
In a denominational news release from 11 March 2003, Hanson portrays himself as a "moral leader" in opposing the US led war in Iraq. Hanson asserts also that US President Bush is severing "himself from moral leaders in the society" by declining to meet with US religious leaders regarding the war with Iraq (Internet reference below).
A ELCA News release from 18 March 2003 on the same topic quotes the denomination's Presiding Bishop,
"As religious leaders, we always view war first and last as a moral question not a military strategy," Hanson said in explaining why the religious leaders want to meet with the president. "We believe that the President of the United States, who describes himself as a person of faith, must be in conversation with religious leaders to discuss the morality of declaring war, the conduct of war and the aftermath of war all of which are our deep concerns. We will continue to ask for these conversations and to speak out" (Internet reference below).
In the execution of the ELCA's ecumenical affairs, however, strategic deceit has declared war on morality. The ecumenical scandal in question pertains to Called to Common Mission (CCM), the full communion agreement between the ELCA and the Episcopal Church, USA.
In September 2001, CCM Verax informed Hanson and all other top ELCA leaders of new revelations that showed that CCM was knowingly perpetrated with false information. This misinformation was used to persuade ELCA assembly voters to adopt the structures and practices of Episcopalian bishops for full communion between the two churches.
Despite being informed of the "grand deception" in CCM, Hanson is taking no action to address the matter. This cover up is starting to be known in the ELCA as "Mitergate" (a play on the term miter, a pointy bishop's hat, and the Watergate scandal which caused former US President Nixon to resign his office in 1974).
On 26 March 2003, CCM Verax Administrator, Dr. Mark Menacher, challenged the ELCA Presiding Bishop to debate the "grand deception" in CCM at the 10th Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) to be held in July 2003 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. In reaction to Hanson's repeated failure to respond, Dr. Menacher comments,
"With Iraq, the President of the United States has proven himself, rightly or wrongly, to be a man who takes action. In light of Mitergate, the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA appears to be a different sort. Why would the President of the United States want to meet with a self-described moral leader who refuses to deal with a scandal like Mitergate in the ELCA? Bishop Hanson's moral double standard is indefensible."
PRESIDING BISHOP CRITICIZES WHITE HOUSE ON IRAQ (ELCA News
- March 11, 2003)
KNOWS NO DEADLINES' SAYS ELCA PRESIDING BISHOP (ELCA News -
March 18, 1003)