BWA to Finalize Report on Catholic-Baptist Dialogue in July

The Executive Committee of the Baptist World Alliance met this week to discuss several matters, including that of its ongoing dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church.

Eron Henry, associate director of communications for the Baptist World Alliance, told The Christian Post that the report on the dialogue has still not been finalized. "The report of the dialogue between Baptists and Catholics will be available for public consumption after it has been formally accepted and approved by the BWA General Council in July," said Henry.

"Both the BWA and the Vatican are in the process of approving, adopting or ratifying the report. Until that is done it cannot yet be deemed to be an official document."

Gathering Baptist leaders from across the globe, the BWA meetings held March 3-6, took place at the organization's international offices in Falls Church, Va., near Washington, D.C.

In addition to the Executive Committee, BWA also had Executive sub-committees, and advisory committees meeting regarding various topics. According to a BWA press release from late February, items on the agenda include the consideration of two major documents, the "Principles and Guidelines for Intra-Baptist Relationships" and a report on the role of the BWA's regional secretaries. Also on the agenda was a look into the status of dialogue between Baptists and Catholics.

Created by the Special Commission on Intra-Baptist Relations, the "Principles and Guidelines for Intra-Baptist Relationships" focuses on how the BWA will handle its lingual, cultural, and ideological diversity as an international religious body.

The meeting began on Sunday afternoon with a meeting of the regional secretaries. On Monday, focus was put on the men's and women's departments, as well as BWAid. Tuesday saw more focus on budget issues. Due to the expected "Snowquester" blizzard, the Executive Committee worked late Tuesday evening, with the Wednesday meetings being canceled and the BWA office being closed.

For years, members of the BWA and the Catholic Church have come together to dialogue about certain theological issues and differences.

For example, in December 2004 the BWA and the Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPU) held ecumenical talks in Washington, D.C., about the topics of baptism and the Virgin Mary. In Dec. 2006, BWA sent a team to Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala. to meet with Roman Catholics

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