This is a wonderful sign of ecumenism (Christian unity):
Leaders of U.S. Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches will sign a historic agreement Tuesday in Austin by which the two traditions will formally recognize each other’s liturgical rites of baptism.The one concern is that we are sure to understand that the differences we recognize are not unimportant.
The product of seven years of talks among five denominations, the agreement will be signed at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at a prayer service and celebration at St. Mary Cathedral. The service will be open to the public and will be part of the opening day activities of the national meeting of Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A., which will continue through Friday in Austin.
Representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Christian Reformed Church in North America, Reformed Church in America and United Church of Christ will sign the document.
“This ecumenical effort, this mutual recognition of baptism, is part of our response to Jesus’ prayer that ‘we may all be one,’ ” said Bishop Joe Vásquez of the Catholic Diocese of Austin.