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Baptist-Catholic dialogue to be discussed 

Study day at Regent’s Park College will look at the report of the series of conversations which took place between the Baptist World Alliance and the Catholic Church between 2006-2010

A day conference reflecting on the dialogue between the Baptist World Alliance and the Catholic Church is to take place at Regent’s Park College in Oxford.

Pope Benedict Paul Fiddes300
Pope Benedict XVI greets Baptist Chairman of the Dialogue, Prof. Paul Fiddes, during a meeting of the joint commission in Rome. Photo: copyright Fotografia Felici

The day, which is free to attend, will feature presentations and discussions about the results of the series of conversations which took place between 2006-2010.  The dialogue’s report, called The Word of God in the Life of the Church, was published in 2013.

The Revd Prof. Paul S. Fiddes, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Oxford, was the Baptist Chair of the Dialogue.

He explained that although differences remain, “substantial convergence” has been achieved on the following issues: the basis of the church in the triune God, the relation between scripture and tradition, the place of the Virgin Mary in Christian devotion, baptism and eucharist, and the nature of oversight in the church.

A particular advance has been achieved by bringing the Catholic idea of the ‘communion’ of the church together with the Baptist idea of a ‘covenant’ community, he added.   

Prof Fiddes will be a speaker on 21 February, alongside colleague the Revd Dr Myra Blyth, Fellow of Regent’s Park College, Oxford; formerly a Programme Director at the World Council of Churches and formerly Deputy General Secretary of the Baptist Union, and The Revd Canon John O’Toole, National Ecumenical Officer and Secretary to the  Department for Dialogue and Unity at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

The text of the Dialogue can be found freely on the Vatican website of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
A special issue of the American Baptist Quarterly, containing the Dialogue and accompanying essays, can be purchased from paul.fiddes@regents.ox.ac.uk for £7.00 including postage. Order now, receive it now, and pay on the day.
The conference is free to attend. However, please register for the day by emailing Paul Fiddes, as above. Coffee and tea will be provided. Please bring your own lunch.

The day is organised by the Centre for Baptist History and Heritage, Oxford with the Baptist Historical Society

Baptist Times, 30/01/2015
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