Baptism and Full Communion


Convivium, 4 May 2017

Convivium Editor in Chief Father Raymond J. de Souza reflects on a moment of unity during Pope Francis' visit to Egypt last week that received relatively little attention, but is certainly a highlight.

During the visit of Pope Francis to Egypt last week, most of the attention was on Christian-Muslim relations against the backdrop of the lethal persecution of Christians at the hands of Islamist jihadis. It was a moment of solidarity, and a most welcome one. 

Yet a more important moment of unity came in the common declaration signed by Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. There the two shepherds addressed the question of baptism:

In obedience to the work of the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies the Church, keeps her throughout the ages, and leads her to full unity – that unity for which Jesus Christ prayed: Today we, Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II, in order to please the heart of the Lord Jesus, as well as that of our sons and daughters in the faith, mutually declare that we, with one mind and heart, will seek sincerely not to repeat the baptism that has been administered in either of our Churches for any person who wishes to join the other.

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