The nation's third-largest Lutheran denomination moved to clarify its views on the Catholic Church Monday, after being drawn into the national political debate by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.
The Wauwatosa-based Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the most theologically conservative of the nation's three main Lutheran denominations, issued a statement on its website explaining its long-held tenet that the Catholic papacy is the anti-Christ. But it said that position is born of doctrinal differences rather than anti-Catholic bigotry.
"We respect the right of people to hold beliefs different from ours even as we point out the error," WELS president, the Rev. Mark Schroeder, said in the statement.
"Testifying to the errors that still exist in Catholic doctrine is itself an expression of love," he said. ...