Chicago, Ill., Jan 17, 2005 / 22:00 pm
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America should officially maintain its traditional position against same-sex blessing ceremonies and ministers involved in homosexual relationships, said a recommendation submitted by a 14-member panel, reported the Associated Press.
The panel, consisting of clergy, seminary professors and lay people, also recommended that the five-million member ELCA tolerate homosexuals within their congregations.
The Jan. 12 report acknowledged that the church faces a "pervasive" disagreement over homosexuality. However, it asked members to find "ways to live together faithfully in the midst of our disagreements."
Rev. James Childs Jr., who directed the panel, told the AP that the panel's approach favors "pastoral discretion" over legislation.