Trilateral Conversation publishes final report on baptism
“Increased mutual understanding and cooperation” while growing together in faith
(LWI) - The final report on the Lutheran-Mennonite-Roman Catholic Trilateral Conversation has been published. The report summarizes and concludes five years of intense theological consultations between the three communities on the understanding and practice of baptism in light of contemporary pastoral and missional challenges facing all three Christian communities.
Representatives of the Catholic Church (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity), the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and the Mennonite World Conference (MWC) met from 2012-2017 on the understanding and practice of Baptism.
The report titled Baptism and Incorporation into the Body of Christ, the Church summarizes the rich discussions that have taken place over those five years on three fundamental themes: 1) the relation of Baptism to sin and grace, 2) the celebration of Baptism and the communication of grace and faith in the context of the Christian community, 3) the living out of Baptism in Christian discipleship.
“It is a great joy to share that The Trilateral Report is now available”, says Prof. Dr Dirk Lange, LWF Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations. “The Trilateral Report builds on and strengthens the relationship between our three communities as we move from conflict to communion.”
“Gift and call”
The report follows upon the Lutheran-Mennonite bilateral report Healing Memories which led to a powerful service of reconciliation in 2010 and the Mennonite-Roman Catholic bilateral dialogue that resulted in Called to be Peacemakers.
Baptism and Incorporation into the Body of Christ, the Church reminds us of that deep bond in faith that unites us.
“Baptism and Incorporation into the Body of Christ, the Church reminds us of that deep bond in faith that unites us. Baptism is the introduction into the body of Christ that transcends the borders of nations and confessions of faith. The Report challenges us to become more deeply aware of baptism as both gift and call for everybody’s life of faith,” Lange adds.
Respond to challenges of today’s world
“We rejoice to be on the path of increased mutual understanding and cooperation as we help one another grow in faithfulness to Jesus Christ and respond to the many pastoral and missional challenges of today’s world.”
Participants in the meetings on behalf of the Mennonites were Prof. Dr Alfred Neufeld (co-chair, Paraguay); Prof. Dr Fernando Enns (Germany); Rev Rebecca Adongo Osiro (Kenya); Prof. Dr John Rempel (Canada); Rev Dr Larry Miller (co-secretary, France).
Lutheran delegation members were Prof. Dr. Friederike Nüssel (co-chair, Germany); Bishop Emeritus Dr Musawenkosi Biyela (South Africa); Prof. Dr Theodor Dieter (France); Rev Prof. Peter Li (Hong Kong, China); Revd Raj Bharath Patta (India/UK); and Rev Dr Kaisamari Hintikka (co-secretary, Finland/Switzerland).
Catholic Church delegation members were Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, IMC (co-chair, Colombia); Rev. Prof. William Henn, OFM Cap (USA/Italy); Rev Prof. Luis Melo, SM (Canada); Sister Prof. Dr Marie-Hélène Robert, NDA (France); and Rev Avelino González-Ferrer (co-secretary, USA/Vatican).