Representatives of the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Friday recommended moving toward "full communion," overcoming barriers that have divided them for centuries.

The proposed "Concordat of Agreement" was achieved after 20 years of dialogues between scholarly teams of the two denominations.The heads of the two churches, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Edmund L. Browning of New York and ELCA Bishop Herbert Chilstrom of Chicago, announced the agreement at a news conference Friday.

The plan would recognize the authenticity of each other's ordained ministry and provide for the future joint consecration of bishops, gradually bringing them all into "apostolic succession" traced back to Jesus' time.