November 29, 2010

In what Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta called "a milestone on the ecumenical journey," the U.S. Catholic bishops affirmed an agreement to recognize baptisms in four Protestant Church communities.

By a 204-11 vote Nov. 16 in Baltimore, the bishops approved the Common Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism, which was drawn up over the past six years by a team of scholars from the Catholic-Reformed dialogue group, made up of representatives of the U.S.

Conference of Catholic Bishops, Christian Reformed Church in North America, Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church in America and United Church of Christ.

The agreement will allow Catholic ministers to presume that Baptisms performed in these communities are "true Baptism" as understood in Catholic doctrine and law.