Oh wait. The ELS did the same thing with the Roman bishop.
All the Protestants like to cluck their tongues over the abuse done by Roman Catholic priests. The horror stories continue. They were in the national press in 1987 but blew up internationally much later, thanks to the persistent networks of clergy abuse victims. Currently the pope is in the spotlight, although John Paul II escaped the same scrutiny for being completely oblivious. Whether one was worse than the other is hard to prove.
The guiding principle of the Roman hierarchy is this: the priest represents Christ and is beyond criticism, no matter what he has done. They enjoy the ultimate protection racket. Cardinal Law in Boston was promoted to the Vatican for his many felonies. The only priest disciplined by the Catholics was the one who said clergy abuse was wrong.
"If only the priests could marry." But the Protestants do marry and perpetrate the same crimes, although not quite on the global scale as their priestly competition.
The Lutherans and other Protestants are no better than the Romans. There three basic areas of abuse in all church bodies are:
A. Physical abuse - where children are threatened, beaten or undergo dangerous hazing rituals.
B. Sexual abuse - where vulnerable adults and children are used by church workers.
C. Emotional abuse - where shunning, lying, defamation, using the grapevine, and forcing people out of the charmed circle are used to intimidate and silence people.
Danger signs include:
1. Excusing physical abuse as: the way things always have been done, proving someone's manliness, "only the tough survive," or some other sick self-absolution; hazing and lying about hazing, as WELS does about GA right now.
2. Smirking at sexual abuse and pretending it never happened, meanwhile finding out who told the truth and punishing that person.
3. Not following the Scriptures because of the fear of retribution visited on them by synodical officials and their friends, who will turn their backs on a moment's notice.
4. Not admitting that church workers murdered their spouses, but covering up felonies, lying to the legal system when swearing to tell the truth. There is always a call for the good ol' boys, especially the criminals and false teachers.
5. Worrying loudly about a confessional group starting while overlooking an apostate lobby funded by offering money.
6. Not revealing how the money is spent or where the millions went.
7. Reacting with panic to honest inquiry, perhaps parrying the questions with flattery and friendliness, then moving in for the kill when someone is persistent.
Although anything is possible with the Word, I doubt whether the Lutherans care to apply the Word. Too many leaders have enjoyed luxuries, meetings with ELCA, training with Babtists, scandals hushed up, felonies denied to welcome any change.
This is how far WELS has traveled the road to perdition - when a number of their own pastors and members uncovered and addressed the plagiarism of false teachers at Bethany in Appleton, synod pastors rushed in to beat up those who...
a) plagiarized? No, you must be kidding.
b) ...wrote against plagiarism, following the guidelines of the Scriptures and Confessions. You win the door prize. You will have a bright future, enjoying the Left Foot of Fellowship.