Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ecumenism and Baptism

From here.

The first great step towards the coexistence with the heretics.
The declaration for the mutual recognition of baptism.

From the newspaper "Orthodox Print" Issue 1692, Pg 4.

Steps for the complete elimination of the differences we Orthodox have with the Christian heresies, with the final goal, the recognition of the heretics by the Orthodox and the coexistence of our Church with their "Churches" have taken place in Germany, to which Protestant (of divers denominations), Anglicans, Old Catholics, Roman Catholics (Papal), the Ethiopian Church and the Orthodox Church of Germany, have signed a document of mutual recognition of baptism.

From this document the signatures from Planar are absent. And this is also consoling. However it is puzzling to the faithful members the participation and signature of the Orhtodox Church of Germany, with the understanding of course that what was reported is true. If it is true then we have the first steps by the Orthodox Church for her coexistence with the "Churches"and the affiliation with heresy.

What was reported.

Particularly from Magdenburgh, it was reported on April 23, the following:

"On April 29, the Evangelical Church of Germany, The German Bishopric Synod, Orthodox and Old Eastern Churches as well as the Free Churches within the German Confederation, will be signing, for the first time, a formal and clear declaration for the mutual recognition of baptism among them. The signing of the agreement will take place in the framework of an ecumenical Divine Liturgy on April 29, at 15.00 hr at the Cathedral of Magdenburgh. Present will be the leading representatives of 11 participating Churches as well as the sitting Cardinal Karl Leman, of the German Bishopric Synod, hosting will be done by the Bishop of the Evangelical Church of the District Of Saxony, Bishop Alex Noak and Bishop Walter Klimber (of the Evangelical Methodist Church) will preach.

Some thirty years there were in Germany individual regional agreements between the Churches- members of the Evangelical Church of Germany and Roman Catholic Bishops, for the reciprocal recognition of baptism. However there was no such agreement until now, at the level of the Evangelical Church of Germany or of the German Bishopric Synod. On May 2002 Cardinal Walter Casper, President of the Papal Synod initiated for the promotion of the union of Christians, the involvement of the Bishopric Synods on the topic of baptism and the ecumenical significance of the mutual inter-recognition (of baptism) as well as the signing of corresponding agreements between Churches. The German Bishopric Synod accepted this initiative from Rome, and proposed the mutual inter-recognition of baptism be pursued by the whole region of the German Bishopric Synod and of the Evangelical Church of Germany. A working group to which representatives of the Union of Orthodox Churches of Germany participated, as well as the Evangelical - Methodist Church (on behalf of other free Churches), the Old Catholics (on behalf of the Anglican Church), produced a document to which the Synod of the Evangelical Church of Germany as well as the entire German Bishopric Synod was in consensus.

The following Churches were in consensus with this document.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church, The Anglican Workers Community, the Episcopal communities of Germany, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church in Germany, the Evangelical Calvinist Church of Lower Saxony, the Evangelical Brotherly Union Church of Germany, the Evangelical Methodist Church, The Catholic Diocese of the Old Catholics in Germany, the Orthodox Church of Germany, the Roman Catholic Church, the Autonomous Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The ecumenical Divine Liturgy will be performed by the above representatives of the participating Churches. The sitting Bishop Volfgang Hubber of the Evangelical Church of Germany Synod, will initiate the divine liturgy, while the sitting Cardinal Karl Leman of the German Bishopric Synod will send forth the celebratory community with a command of baptism. The sermon will be given by Bishop Walter Klimber (of the Evangelical Methodist Church). For the Workers Union of Christians Churches who did not sign the inter-recognition baptism agreement, Pastor Verner Funk (of the Mennonites) will pronounce a greeting. One reason for this caution is due to the theological appraisal of infant baptism.

The Article of the Mutual Recognition of Baptism.
The Christian Baptism.

Jesus Christ is our salvation. Through Him God overcame the apostasis of the sinner from Him (Rom. 5:10) and made us His sons and daughters. As a participation of the mystical death and resurrection of Christ, the baptism means new birth in Jesus Christ. Whoever accepts this mystery and affirms in faith the love of God, joins with Christ and at the same time with His people of all periods and places. As a symbol of the unity of all the Christians, the baptism links with Jesus Christ the foundation of this union. And despite all the differences in the perception of the Church, there exists between us a basic agreement as of the baptism. For this we recognize each performed baptism according to Christ's commandment, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, with the symbolic act of submergence into the water, or by the pouring of the water and we are pleased for every person that is baptized. This common way of inter-recognition of baptism is expressed, the in Jesus Christ founded bond of union (Eph.4:4-6). The baptism performed thus is done once and is not repeated.

We recognize the Lima document: The common baptism in Christ is "an invitation to the Churches to overcome what divides them and to manifest visibly their community (Convergent declarations of the Commission of Faith and System of Government of the Ecumenical Synod of the Churches, Baptism, Art.6) Hannover, 23 April 2007.

The newspaper "Orthodox Print" believes that the Orthodox Church of Germany as well as the Phanar, to which the Orthodox Church of Germany belongs, owe to make it public through an official announcement and to tell us if from here on the Orthodox baptism will be performed for those who come to Orthodoxy from different heresies.

From the newspaper "Orthodox Print" Issue 1692, Pg 4.

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