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Desire for reconciliation of heresy accusations spreading

   

February 10, 2004
-by Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man.— It’s taken 400 years, but some Christian denominations are now preparing to acknowledge and seek reconciliation for condemning early Anabaptists and Mennonites.

The Swiss Reformed Church has invited Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish from North America and other parts of the world to attend a time of worship and celebration to commemorate a memorial to Felix Manz and other Mennonites and Anabaptists who were killed for their faith during the Reformation. The service is being planned for the summer of 2004.

Recently, the Canadian head of the Christian Reformed Church William Veenstra has approached MC Canada to address a similar condemnation in its confession of faith. And in summer of 2003 at a convention in Winnipeg, the Lutheran World Fellowship passed a resolution to address the condemnation of Anabaptists in their confession of faith.

Helmut Harder, retired church leader, continues his role in a seven year dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church aimed at reconciling its denunciation of Anabaptists. Harder will attend a symposium on martyrdom in Italy this spring.

“It’s taken a long time, but right now, in our own lifetime, we are seeing the end and indeed the healing of some of those battles and experiences that took place in the past,” said Nighswander.

Nighswander made reference to these and other examples of conflict in a sermon on the topic of “Loving Enemies.” The complete sermon can be heard in audio format at www.mennonitechurch.ca/files/multimedia/love_enemies.mp3. [4.7MB MP3 file - Help with MP3 files]