Response from Bishop Dr. Imre Szebik (Hungary) to CCM Verax Lutheran World Appeal
(English translation)

Budapest, 11th July 2002

Honourable Doctor,
Dear Brother in the Lord,

First, I would like to ask for your understanding that we are just now answering your letter from 12th March. The delay is attributable to the fact that the dialogue with the Episcopal Church within the American church also needed to be studied thoroughly in Hungary, as you have requested.

I summarize our position as follows:

  1. We consider it very important that the problematic of the three-office (Episcopate, Presbyteriate, Diaconate) in relation to the Episcopal Church is discussed thoroughly in the course of ecumenical dialogue and brought to rest.

    It would be desirable for this question to be discussed between the Lutheran World Federation and the Episcopal Church at the highest levels and for a relevant guideline for all member churches to be published.

  2. We on our part are prepared to ask the leadership of the ELCA not to declare full communion with the Episcopal Church so long as the differences of opinion do not abate and the leaders of the groups of differing opinions cannot reach a compromise.

    At the time of the writing of this present letter we are addressing the presiding bishop of the ELCA with this request.

  3. With a fraternal heart and full responsibility we ask the opponents of the declaration of full communion to refrain from the founding of a new Lutheran church and to pray together with us that the unity of the church despite differences of opinion be preserved.

We hope that an agreement can be reached and wish you God's rich blessing in your dialogue, life, and service.

Your brother in the Lord,

Dr. Imre Szebik