Magazine article The Christian Century

Catholics, Reformed Agree on Approach to Baptism

Magazine article The Christian Century

Catholics, Reformed Agree on Approach to Baptism

Article excerpt

Leaders of Catholic and Reformed churches have signed an agreement to recognize each other's sacraments of baptism--a public step toward unity among groups that are often divided by doctrine.

"Baptism establishes the bond of unity existing among all who are part of Christ's body and is therefore the sacramental basis for our efforts to move towards visible unity," reads the Common Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism.

The document was signed, after seven years of discussion, at a worship service January 29 at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin, Texas, which opened the annual meeting of Christian Churches Together in the USA, an ecumenical network created in 2001.

Signers represented the Christian Reformed Church in North America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Reformed Church in America, the Roman Catholic Church and the United Church of Christ.

While most of the Reformed denominations already recognized Catholic baptisms, the statement puts an official stamp on mutual recognition of baptisms by each of the church groups. …

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