Left-behind lutherans.

Author:Niebanck, Richard J.
Position::Letter to the editor

In assessing Pastor Frank Senn's apologia, "I'll Stay Here, Where I Stand" ("While We're At It," December 2006), Richard John Neuhaus argues that, in accounting for his decision to stay put, Senn is "implausibly elevating the ecclesiological status of a reforming movement that transmogrified in some places into established churches." While Neuhaus honors "the sincerity of Pastor Senn and others similarly situated," he regards Senn's argument as bogus. Far better it would have been to cite the "family and other obligations [that] quite rightly enter into [one's] reflections about whether or not to become Catholic"--obligations of an essentially nontheological character.

Neuhaus ignores the one obligation that cannot be relegated to the category of the miscellaneous "other": the obligation of the shepherd to his flock, an obligation solemnly undertaken at one's ordination into the Holy Ministry. Far from being just one of many "other," however valid, reasons, this is "of the very essence" of the Church.

Pastor Senn's fidelity to this obligation is exemplary in both his ministry...

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