It’s fashionable to apologize. In 1992 Lutheran churches apologized for the actions of Columbus–who wasn’t a Lutheran, and at a time when there were no Lutheran churches anywhere in the world.
The Lutheran World Federation has come up with an apology that makes sense, and is long over due–directed to the Anabaptists, who were directly persecuted by Lutherans, and whose persecution was justified in Lutheran Confessional documents.
Last year, a statement by participants in the Lutheran-Mennonite International Study Commission noted that the 16th-century condemnations do not figure prominently in the reading of the Reformation among Lutherans today. Added the communiqué: “The history of persecution has, however, been deeply imbedded in the memory of Anabaptist descendants and requires careful joint processing in order that obstacles may be removed for the sake of better understanding and closer relations between Mennonite and Lutheran churches today.”