Lutheran leader sorry for Newtown pastor reprimand

Reprimand of pastor who led the benediction at an all-faith service for the Newtown, Conn., was met with criticism.

ST. LOUIS — The president of a conservative Lutheran group is apologizing for his handling of a conflict within the denomination over a Newtown, Conn., pastor's participation in an interfaith prayer vigil.

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod President Matthew Harrison posted a video apology on the synod website Monday. He says his reprimand of the Rev. Rob Morris not only led to criticism of the synod but created more hardship for Morris and his Christ the King Lutheran Church congregation.

Morris offered the benediction at a Dec. 16 service with other religious leaders who gathered on behalf of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod constitution bars clergy from praying with representatives from other religions.

The synod is based in St. Louis and has about 2.3 million members.

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