ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson and 11 ELCA officials are on a Feb 3-17 junket to Europe. Landing first in London, Hanson spent an hour with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who then spoke “briefly” with the others.
After their photo-op with the ABC, the ELCAers are hopping over to Istanbul, Rome, and Geneva.
This kind of junketing is really ecumenical junk. Photo-ops are easy – ask any Jewish lawyer with a photo of the Pope and himself on his office wall. Real progress in ecumenism happens elsewhere.
The junkets cost real money, too. Don’t be fooled by the report: “Each person in the delegation is providing for his or her own travel and lodging expenses.”
No matter what pocket the money comes from, this is ELCA money that could better have been spent elsewhere. And as a matter of fact, such junkets are often perks to pay off, or solidify the support of, certain bishops and supporters.