A Lutheran pastor who participated in an interfaith prayer service in Newtown, Conn., in the days after the Sandy Hook massacre has apologized after being criticized by the leader of his denomination for violating its prohibition against joint worship with other religions.
The Rev. Rob Morris, a new pastor who lost one of the members of his congregation in the shooting, defended himself in an open letter published by the church, saying that before the tragedy, he had spent hours with his congregation educating them about the differences between Lutheran teaching “and the teachings of false religions such as Islam or Baha’i,” both of which had clergy members at the interfaith service. He also noted that, in his own prayer at the service, he had spoken about Jesus and quoted from the Bible.
And now, apparently, all is forgiven.
The Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, president of the Missouri Synod, called on Mr. Morris to apologize, which he did.
“There is sometimes a real tension between wanting to bear witness to Christ and at the same time avoiding situations which may give the impression that our differences with respect to who God is, who Jesus is, how he deals with us and how we get to Heaven, really don’t matter in the end,” Mr. Harrison wrote in an open letter on the Web.
Because it was not Mr. Morris’s intention to give the impression that the other faiths were equally valid, Mr. Harrison called on Lutherans upset by what had happened to accept Mr. Morris’s apology and support him and his congregation “especially in providing funding
That's about enough of that.