Michelle Bachmann's former church, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) has officially weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding their teaching that the pope is the Antichrist. The church's president, Rev. Mark Schroeder, writes:
WELS holds to the historic Lutheran position that the Roman Catholic papacy fits the biblical characteristics of the Antichrist. We do this without reservation and without apology. We believe that our doctrines cannot be tempered by political correctness or modified to align with changing culture or public opinion.
Schroeder then goes on to give a theological justification for the view, maintaining that labeling the pope the Antichrist is really an act of "love." To wit: "Testifying to the errors that still exist in Catholic doctrine is itself an expression of love; remaining silent or glossing over doctrinal differences would express the opposite."
Despite these rather, well, emphatic views, Schroeder maintains that neither Bachmann nor WELS can be taken as anti-Catholic. Hmmm.
Somehow I don't think this is going to resolve the issue.
Timothy O'Brien, SJ