Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber (Photo: NAC)

“I am serious about my desire for reconciliation”

Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber (Photo: NAC)

Zurich. The information evening of 4 December 2007 has elicited some very different reactions, especially as concerns the historical portion. In a letter which Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber has published in the “Our Family” Church magazine (volume 6/2008), he apologised for any “injury” the evening may have caused.

It had not been his intention to offend anyone, said the Chief Apostle. “In hindsight we must concede that we had not expected such reactions prior to the information evening.” The presentation was intended as an objective analysis of the past. There was no intention of stirring up negative emotions and feelings. The Church leader also clearly expressed that it was he who had asked the chairman of the “History” Work Group, Apostle Walter Drave, to present the historical portion of the information evening. “In so doing I was interested in arriving at an objective appraisal of history. We had no intention of placing blame or putting anyone on the spot.” He also expressed his wish for reconciliation: “As I am now aware, this did not come to proper expression during the information evening.”

Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber then went on to answer the question of why the topic of Church history was even addressed in the first place: “Our history is a part of our identity. It thus belongs to us. We cannot simply deny it, even if things come to light that are unpleasant, or which could perhaps be interpreted in a disadvantageous manner for us. The gospel requires us to hold to the truth.”

To conclude his letter, Chief Apostle Leber called for reconciliation: “I also extend my hand to those brothers and sisters who are no longer with us on account of the resulting separation at the time. I am serious about my desire for reconciliation.”

23 March 2008