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Church of Russia uncertain of status of Roman Catholic and Protestant Baptism

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  • emrys@globe.net.nz
    A Statement of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church concerning the signing of a document on mutual recognition of
    Message 1 of 1 , May 8 6:38 PM
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      A Statement of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian
      Orthodox Church concerning the signing of a document on mutual recognition
      of baptisms by several churches in Germany.

      On April 29, 2007, in Magdeburg (Germany), there was signed a declaration of
      mutual recognition of baptism by several churches of that country, including
      the Roman Catholic and several Protestant denominations. On the declaration
      there is also the signature of Archbishop Longin of Klin, who acted in the
      name of, and as delegated by, the Commission of the Orthodox Church in
      Germany (KOKiD), headed by a bishop of the Patriarchate of Constantinople,
      Metropolitan Avgoustinos, and established with the aim of coordinating the
      activities of various Orthodox jurisdictions in that country.

      At the same time, the Orthodox participants in the preparation of this
      declaration adopted a document titled "A Note from the Working Group of the
      Commission of the Orthodox Church in Germany concerning the practice
      implementation of the declaration on baptism".

      This document, in part, says that the reception of heterodox Christians into
      the Orthodox Church by Chrismation "takes place [...] if the baptism which
      has already been performed outside the Orthodox Church corresponds to the
      Orthodox understanding".

      The document of the Orthodox Working Group also says: "In the Orthodox
      Church there cannot be one fixed procedure or form for reception of all
      baptized Christians, since, aside from local traditions, much depends on
      individual spiritual needs, and therefore is within the competence of the
      clergy involved in the reception of those who desire to be received into the
      Church".

      It is a known fact that in worldwide Orthodoxy, and in part, in the Russian
      Orthodox Church, for many centuries there has been a theological discussion
      which still continues, on the order of receiving heterodox Christians into
      the Orthodox Church. The changes that now are taking place in the teaching
      and practice of some Protestant communities, makes it quite necessary to
      examine this question in a conciliar fashion.

      In November of this year, in Moscow there will be an international
      theological conference of the Russian Orthodox Church on "Orthodox Teaching
      about the Church's Sacraments", in which Orthodox theologians will be able
      to discuss this subject.

      In connection with this, the Communications Service of the Department of
      External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate is empowered to
      declare, that the signing of this document by Archbishop Longin of Klin, who
      acted not in the name of the Russian Orthodox Church or her Diocese in
      Germany, but as a representative of the KOKiD, at the request of her
      presiding officer Metropolitan Avgoustinos, represents only the personal
      opinion of Vladyka Longin.

      (From mospat.ru, translated by JRS).

      http://www.mospat.ru/index.php?page=36165
      in Russian

      Fr Ambrose
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