The 2.7-million-member Lutheran Church Missouri Synod reelected the Rev. Ralph A. Bohlmann to a second term as president at the church's biennial convention in St. Louis which began last Saturday.
In business sessions, the 1,100 delegates voted to "deplore and disassociate" the church from "intemperate remarks" that Martin Luther made about Jews, but affirmed what they said was his attitude of Christian love for Jews and his prayers for their conversion.
This year's 500th anniversary celebrations of Luther's birth has focused renewed attention on his anti-Semitism, which some critics have linked to the persecution of Jews by Nazi Germany.
On foreign policy issues, the convention approved by a voice vote a resolution tacitly criticizing "many churches and church leaders" for "promoting highly specific policies and judgments regarding national defense, nuclear weapons and disarmament." The Synod "in principle opposes the adoption of conscience-binding pronouncements which are not based on the clear teachings of Holy Scripture," the statement said.
The resolution urged church members to pray "that God in His mercy spare humankind from the horrors of nuclear war, and guide the rulers of the nations to lead us in the way of world peace."
The church, the most conservative of major American Lutheran bodies, broke with tradition and for the first time named a woman, Florence Montz of Bismarck, N.D., to its 14-member board of directors.
The Hare Krishnas have expelled one of the 16 original Americans to join the sect in 1966 because of "bizarre, aberrant behavior," according to a spokesman for the group.
Meeting in Miami last weekend, 21 members of the governing body of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, as the group is properly known, expelled Hans Kary, a sect leader, who has been in trouble with the law in this country and abroad.
In 1980, police in Southern California confiscated a store of weapons and ammunition from Kary and West Coast Hare Krishna installations. In 1977, he was acquitted, after a bizarre trial in Germany, which was disrupted by drumming and chanting, of charges that he had collected more than $1 million under false pretenses.
At one time, Kary led the Krishna operation for the West Coast of the United States, and for Southeast Asia, including India and Ceylon.
Chinese officials in Shanghai are considering a proposal to put commemorative plaques on six former synagogues, now converted to factories and schools.
The proposal was made to Shanghai authorities by a four-member delegation from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, a U.S.-based ecumenical organization that seeks to promote religious freedom in communist countries. Rabbi Arthur Schneier of New York, head of the foundation and leader of the delegation, said that Shanghai's vice mayor was "very enthusiastic" about the proposal and promised to take up the matter with the appropriate authorities.
Shanghai at one time had a European Jewish community of about 25,000, many of them refugees from the Nazi regime in Europe who subsequently left. Present Chinese Communist leaders have not up to now acknowledged the existence of the Jewish community.
Evangelist Billy Graham predicted that the World Council of Churches, which begins its sixth assembly next week in Vancouver, British Columbia, will "go back to its roots and that there will be a new emphasis on biblical evangelism."
The evangelist said that the council has gotten "further and further" from its evangelical foundations, but that "there is pressure building up within the church" for the ecumenical body to be more evangelical.
Graham made the comment at a press briefing before the opening this week of the International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam, sponsored by his Minneapolis-based Evangelistic Association. Some 4,000 itinerant evangelists, most of them from India and African countries, have been recruited by Graham's association for training at the invitation-only gathering in the Netherlands. People in the News
Dr. Marjorie Suchocki has been named dean of Wesley Theological Seminary at 4500 Massachusetts Ave. NW, the first woman to hold such a post in any United Methodist Church seminary. Formerly on the faculty of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Suchocki succeeds Dr. J. Philip Wogaman, who has returned to full-time teaching at the seminary. She will assume her new duties Jan. 1.
Cardinal Lawrence Shehan of Baltimore is the new chairman of the board of directors of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostalate, a private Roman Catholic research facility here.
Episcopal Bishop John T. Walker has appointed a 16-member Committee of Inquiry on the Nuclear Issue. Headed by Viron P. Vaky, former assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, the committee has been directed to analyze the political and national security considerations of the present nuclear policy from a Christian perspective. The group will develop a statement of its findings for public study.
The Rev. William Norvel, former pastor of St. Benedict the Moor Parish at 320 21 St. NE and currently serving a Los Angeles parish, has been elected consultor general of the Josephine order, a Roman Catholic society of priests and brothers who work primarily with black Catholics.
Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, has been designated to receive the 1983 gold medallion of the New York City Council of Churches' Family of Man award. It is not clear whether Tutu will be permitted to attend the award presentation, scheduled for Nov. 1, since his passport has been taken away by the South African government. Addenda
The Russian Orthodox Church has published a new edition of the Bible, complete with a concordance, maps of Bible lands and reproductions of old icons. It is the fifth edition of the Bible since World War II.
Author Elie Wiesel, in his capacity as chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, called on the U.N. Human Rights Commission to investigate the imprisonment and execution of members of the Baha'i faith in Iran. Baha'i sources outside Iran say 142 Iranian Baha'is have been executed under the regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and 14 others are missing and presumed dead.