Religion: Lutherans for Rome

In the land of Luther, a top Lutheran clergyman is trying to lead his church back to recognition of the authority of the Roman Catholic Pope and to the restitution of much Catholic liturgy and theology—while yet preserving the Lutheran Church's identity. For this stand. Dr. Hans Christian Asmussen, 63, who now lives in Heidelberg, has lost his big former parish in Kiel. Yet the trend that he espouses is so strong that almost every German city now has churches where Lutherans can go to confession.

The group around Dr. Asmussen is called Die Sammlung (The Gathering), and it was born in...

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