From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Danish Bishops Mixed Response to Porvoo

Date 06 May 1996 06:10:33

Canon James M. Rosenthal, Director of Communications
Anglican Communion News Service
157 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UT, England
Tel. 44 0171 620-1110
Fax 44 0171 620-1071

#721 ACC

Danish Bishops Mixed Response to Porvoo

(LWI - Lutheran World Information) The bishops of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Denmark at their August meeting issued a
statement saying they cannot sign the Porvoo Common Statement.  The
Porvoo statement offers a vision of 12 Anglican and Lutheran
Churches in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and in the Nordic and
Baltic countries carrying out their mission in close co-operation
with each other.

The Porvoo document was sent in May 1994 to all parish councils,
pastors and other interested people of the Danish folk Church for
open hearing. The bishops had made it clear in advance that the
condition for approval of the statement was that it receive a
"reasonable support" from Church members. At their meeting in August
the bishops drew the conclusion that the open hearing had not
assured  the necessary support for the document, and therefore none
of the Church's 10 bishops could sign it.  The Porvoo document's
understanding of the Church and the ministry were seen as the most

Despite their negative formal position, the bishops underscored in
their joint statement, published on 30 August in the Danish Church
newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad, that the Danish Lutheran Church will
continue to maintain and strengthen close contacts to both the
Anglican and Lutheran Churches involved in the process.  The bishops
also stated that in the understanding of the common faith there are
no differences of a Church-dividing character.

The bishops underlined further that members of the Anglican Church
can without reservation participate in the worship services and
celebrations of the Eucharist in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
Denmark, and that residents in Denmark can become full members with
all rights in the Danish Church. Anglican pastors can, in line with
current rules, serve in the Danish Church without reordination, and
Anglican bishops can be invited to take part in the consecration of
Danish bishops.

The bishops underscored that according to the Lutheran understanding
of the ministry, a bishop is a pastor who has been given  special
supervisory duties over the pastors and parishes.  "We shall as well
underline that male and female pastors and bishops are fully equal
in the Danish folk Church."

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