Newtown, CT – A Lutheran pastor has apologized for his part in the interfaith prayer service for the 26 children and adults killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December. His mea culpa was in order because his church bars clergy members from worshiping with members of other faiths.
NBC News reports that the December interfaith service was attended by spiritual leaders from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faiths, the relatives of the 20 children killed, and President Obama himself.
Pastor Rob Morris, of Newtown’s Christ the King Lutheran Church, provided the interfaith service’s closing benediction. Earlier this month, the president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Pastor Matthew Harrison, wrote a letter to church members detailing his request for an apology from Pastor Morris for participating in “joint worship with other religions.”
“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,” Harrison wrote.
“There will be times in this crazy world when, for what we believe are all the right reasons, we may step over the scriptural line,” he wrote.
Morris apologized for his participation, which Harrison said he accepted, reports The Huffington Post.
“After consultation with my supervisors and others, I made my own decision,” Morris wrote in his apology. “I believed my participation to be, not an act of joint worship, but an act of community chaplaincy.”
What do you think? Should Pastor Rob Morris have apologized for his part in the Sandy Hook interfaith service?