Catholic Church and four Reformed churches
recognize validity of one another's baptism
New York, July 14, 2011 – The
general secretary of the National Council of Churches today celebrated an
historic agreement among the Roman Catholic Church and four historic
churches to recognize the validity of one another's baptism.
Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, staff head of the nation’s leading ecumenical
body, said, "these five churches have taken a significant step on this road
The United Church of Christ was the most recent church to adopt the “Common
Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism” during its synod earlier
this month in Tampa, Fla.
The agreement was approved by the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. in 2008, the
United States Council of Catholic Bishops in November of last year, and the
Reformed Church of America and the Christian Reformed Church at their
denominational meetings last month.
"The National Council of Churches is an expression of the ecumenical desire
of the churches to be one," Kinnamon said. "It exists to manifest the
visible unity of the Church, to the degree that we are already united in our
common confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and to foster greater
unity until such time that the churches are fully united around a common
Kinnamon said, "Knowing that your churches have proven faithful in
responding to the Lord’s own prayer that his followers be one (John 17:21),
all of the churches in the NCC join you in celebrating this important
The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, the UCC’s Minister of Ecumenical and
Interfaith Relations, said the next step with these partners will be
conversations around the Eucharist.
"We are looking forward to our continued ecumenical engagement with our
Formula of Agreement partners as well as the Roman Catholic Church," she
Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of
the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for
shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's
37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican,
Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace
churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local
congregations in communities across the nation.
NCC News contact:
Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),