1998 NCC News Archives

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NCC General Secretary Issues Pastoral Response to
President Clinton's Aug. 17, 1998, Speech

NEW YORK, August 18, 1998 ---- The Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC), has issued a pastoral response to President Clinton's August 17 speech to the nation.

In her response, Dr. Campbell reacts with sadness to "human frailty" and draws on belief in a God who "judges with unclouded vision and responds with understanding love – a model for our human lives."

Dr. Campbell also says, "our long experience in pastoral care has taught us the wisdom of protecting personal life from public display. I hope that, as a nation we are now learning that truth."

The full text of Dr. Campbell's statement follows.

A Pastoral Response
From the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell
August 18, 1998

Our thoughts and prayers are with the President, his family and the nation. It is more a moment of sadness than surprise when we confront the human frailty in ourselves or others. We are grateful for the grace of honesty in the face of untiring accusations.

Yet, we believe that all of us in our humanity are finally accountable to God and to those who love us. Our God is One who judges with unclouded vision and always responds with understanding love – a model for our human lives.

Our long experience in pastoral care has taught us the wisdom of protecting personal life from public display. I hope that, as a nation, we are now learning that truth. The private lives of our public leaders are best left private or we will have none allowed to lead.

In such a painful time, the Clinton family deserves our quiet support. Our churches invite all people to join us in private and caring prayers.

-end-

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