Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Eastern Washington-Idaho Lutheran Synod pledges support to Spokane Diocese, victims

by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff

(From the June 14, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

Recently, the 2007 Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), passed a “Resolution of Solidarity With Victims of Sexual Abuse and With the Spokane Diocese.” This Resolution includes both a commitment of support and prayer for victims and the diocese and a promise of “symbolic” financial contributions to the diocese.

The formal text of the Resolution states:

WHEREAS the whole church has a responsibility to care for and protect her children; and
WHEREAS the church, her priests, pastors, and members have not always been faithful to this calling and children have been seriously harmed; and
WHEREAS we are that church and we are called to reconciliation and reparation for harm done; and
WHEREAS the Spokane Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church has confessed its responsibility for decades of abuse of children and we are, in God’s eyes, one church with them; therefore be it
RESOLVED that the Eastern Washington - Idaho Synod of the ELCA join the chorus of humanity in condemning this abuse and working at ways to prevent it; and be it further
RESOLVED that the Eastern Washington - Idaho Synod of the ELCA join our prayers with those of the Spokane Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church for justice and healing for all who are abused, and be it further
RESOLVED that we join brothers and sisters of the of the Spokane Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church with a symbolic contribution of $1,000 per year for five years (as a mission grant through the SHARE Fund) as our way of contributing to the healing of victims and restoration of parishes.”

Bishop Martin Wells, head of the ELCA Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod, explained.

“Our synod, which is comparable to your diocese, includes 106 congregations spread from Jackson, Wyo., to Lake Chelan (Wash.). We meet once a year in synod assembly. That’s the highest policy making body, for us. We were meeting in Boise a few weeks ago, and this Resolution percolated its way from the officers at the executive committee level, and they all agreed that they wanted to sign on to it. It went to the synod council, and they all agreed that they wanted to sign on it, and they wanted to send it to the floor for action as a Resolution by the whole assembly. So it had its own logic, and everybody bought in at each place along the way.”

Bishop Wells added that it is his opinion that the Resolution “grows out of distress for your church, for the diocese, and for the challenge that both the victims and the (parishes) face in trying to make this right. I think it comes out of something like First Corinthians 12, (which says that) when one part of the body suffers, the whole suffers. I think the notion of ‘standing with’ is pretty important.”

“I am extremely grateful to the Evangelical Lutheran community and to Bishop Martin Wells for their expression of solidarity with and support for the Spokane Catholic Diocese during our challenging time of dealing with the tragedy of sexual abuse within our Church,” said Bishop Skylstad. “We are all one in Christ as God’s people. Their expression of love and support for us is a wonderful expression of Ecumenical relationship as we all listen to the words of Jesus, “That they all may be one....”


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