The Q&A column in the February Lutheran Witness, “Whom May I Commune,” was most distressing. There are some underlying questions that were not addressed: First, where were our LCMS clergy, and what were they doing, or not doing? Second, what are our pastors teaching the members about close(d) Communion that even causes such questions to arise?
Have our LCMS clergy become so remote that those in assisted-living facilities no longer feel a need to shepherd those vulnerable members?
The indication that there were multiple questions of a similar nature emphasizes that close(d) Communion is not as widely practiced as the LCMS official policy would require. It’s not enough to have a policy; it must be adhered to in actual practice. Further, our laypeople need to be educated, or reeducated, and insist that local pastors/congregations adhere to the policy in actual practice.
Finally, the answer to the question posed by the Roman Catholic minister was a good one. Lacking, however, was any ownership or responsibility on the part of the LCMS for correcting the problem which, in part, it helped create.
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