Baptist-Catholic Dialog Resumes

Baptist and Catholic delegates meeting virtually. Source: Baptist News

After a year of delays, conversations between the Baptist World Alliance and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity resumed June 16 and 18 via Zoom.

The Baptist World Alliance is a fellowship of 241 Baptist conventions and unions in 126 countries and territories comprised of 47 million baptized believers in 169,000 churches. The Pontifical Council is an outgrowth of Vatican II and has official sanction to work for ecumenical understanding and Christian unity.

Co-secretary of the group Steven Harmon, professor of historical theology at Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, said, “While we continue to long for the time when we can resume our face-to-face work as a whole joint commission, it was a joy for us to be able to renew our relationships and worship together virtually.”

Harmon was joined by co-secretary Avelino Gonzalez-Ferrer of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The meeting, a part of the working groups Phase III plan of engagement focused on “The Dynamic of the Gospel and the Witness of the Church.” The group’s dialogue began in 1984, roughly a decade after the close of Vatican II.

Currently, a hybrid meeting is being scheduled for December 2021 and will be hosted by the Pontifical Council in Rome and convene at Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC.

Delegates from the Baptist World Alliance included: Paul S. Fiddes (UK), Derek Hatch (USA), Glenroy Lalor (Jamaica), Tomas Mackey (Argentina), Elizabeth Newman (USA), Lina Toth (Lithuania/UK), Valerie Duval-Poujol (France), and BWA Director of Integral Mission Everton Jackson (Jamaica/USA).

The Catholic delegation consisted of Peter Casarella (USA), Stephen Fernandes (India), William Henn (Italy), Przemslaw Kantyka (Poland), Marie-Hélène Robert (France), Jorge A. Scampini (Argentina), and Susan Wood (USA).

Source: Baptist News