CCM Verax Response and Clarification to Bishop
Dr. I. Szebik (English translation)
5 September 2002
Dear Bishop Szebik,
We would like to thank you most heartily for
your letter from 11th July 2002, which we received on 30th
August. We were glad to hear from you, and we are very grateful
that the Lutheran Church in Hungary has heard our request
for help and also has studied our difficult situation.
In order to clarify a few points of misunderstanding,
one should offer a few comments to the three points in your
The problem at hand is not the three-fold
office of ministry in the Episcopal Church per se but
rather the validity and the steadfast nature of Article
VII of the Augsburg Confession (AC) - not only within
the ELCA but also within the Lutheran World Federation.
Through the agreement Called to Common Mission (CCM) the
leadership of the ELCA has debilitated AC VII, and it
has do so with the conscious misinterpretation of Apology
XIV. That the LWF central office supports this agreement
contraindicates a satisfactory resolution alone from Geneva.
It would not help to dissuade the ELCA
from declaring full communion with the Episcopal Church
until the differences of opinion can be resolved because
the agreement already came into effect on 1st January
2001. Since that time the ELCA has considered the Episcopal
Church to be a "full communion" partner. The
Episcopal Church, on the other hand, will only do likewise
when it has been determined that the ELCA has become sufficiently
"episcopalianized" in order to be entitled to
full communion with the Episcopal Church.
The process of unity in CCM runs contrary not only to
AC VII but also to the lived expression of the Doctrine
of Justification and to the Two-Kingdoms-Doctrine.
When dealing with the unity of the church,
one must be clear that the ELCA church leadership considers
the ELCA to be mainly a constitutional church and not
a Lutheran confessional church. When one places priority
on the constitution, one has already impaired, if not
practically dissolved, the unity of a Lutheran church.
When an LWF member church prefers the distinguishing marks
of another church or confession to the Lutheran Confessions,
and even to the simple truth, then the LWF should have
guidelines for rescinding the membership of such a church.
With these misunderstandings removed, we are
very thankful for your readiness to achieve a confessional
resolution of the problem.
Mark Menacher (Dr.)
Pastor und CCM Verax Administrator