The second meeting of the third phase of international ecumenical conversations between the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity took place 10-14 December 2018 in Rome at the Domus Internationalis Paulus VI.
The Baptist delegation was led by co-chair Revd Dr Frank Rees, Associate Professor and Chair of the Academic Board at the University of Divinity in Australia, and the Catholic delegation was led by co-chair Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson, New Jersey, USA. The meeting took up the theme of the “Context of Common Witness.” This discussion reflected on the global cultural context in which common Christian witness is being conducted today in six continents of the world. This sub-theme helps to illuminate the overall theme of the third phase of dialogue – “The Dynamic of the Gospel and the Witness of the Church.” The Baptist-Catholic group will meet annually through 2021 for this third phase.
Included in the week of ecumenical conversations was a meeting with Pope Francis during the general papal audience on Wednesday 12. On Thursday 13, the group visited a local Baptist church in Trastevere.
The group will convene for its third round of conversations 9-13 December 2019 in Warsaw, Poland, hosted by the Higher Baptist Theological Seminary. The secretaries for the co-chairs are Revd Dr Steven R. Harmon, Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, Boiling Springs, North Carolina, USA on behalf of the BWA, and Revd Avelino Gonzalez-Ferrer of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
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