Churches termed ‘compatible’

Published September 1, 2002

Left to right: Canon David Hamid, co-secretary of the Anglican Communion Office, Lutheran Bishop Ambrose Moyo of Zimbabwe, and retired Bishop David Tustin of England, chatting in Brazil.

In Europe, Anglicans and German Lutherans have agreed on closer ties, but don’t allow clergy to serve in each other’s churches. In Brazil, Anglicans and Lutherans are having theological conversations, to see whether they agree on basic areas of the faith. In Canada and the United States, Anglicans and Lutherans are serving in each other’s churches and jointly participating in the ordination of bishops.

These developments, among others, were digested by an ecumenical committee called the Anglican-Lutheran International Working Group at its third and final meeting in May in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

In a final report, called Growth in Communion, the group said Anglicans and Lutherans are basically compatible and recommended that a permanent group be established to monitor international developments concerning the two denominations.

“Although different things have been done in different places to recognize our ministries, basically we have moved toward integration of the Lutheran churches and the basic (Anglican) episcopate,” said Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, director of faith, worship and ministry with the Anglican Church of Canada, who was a member of the group.

Anglicans attending also included retired bishop David Tustin of Great Britain, Bishop Orlando Santos de Oliveira of Brazil and Canon David Hamid of the Anglican Communion office in London. Lutherans included Bishop Ambrose Moyo of Zimbabwe, Rev. Hartmut Hovelmann of Germany and Prof. Michael Root of the United States.

Anglicans and Lutherans around the world have been moving toward closer relations for several years and the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops directed that an international group assess developments in Anglican-Lutheran relations.


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