The conversations are a continuation of previous talks with the Vatican Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 1990 and a follow-up visit by the BWA to the Vatican in March of this year.
Topics to be discussed include the authority of Christ in Scripture and tradition, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and Hearing the Word of God in the contemporary context.
We are pleased that all Baptist leaders with whom we spoke understand the importance and necessity of discussing with our Catholic friends issues where we have unity, and, on the other hand, issues where we have serious concerns and misunderstandings.
Theological conversations are not for the purpose of compromise, but for clarification and mutual edification.
The conversations may lead to “Further action together on ethical issues, including justice, peace and the sanctity of life, in accord with God’s purpose and to the praise of God’s glory,” an earlier report on the conversations noted.
Samford Univ./Beeson is located in The Diocese of Birmingham . The diocese of Birmingham is considered to be in the "Bible Belt" and is considered by the Catholic Church-a missionary area.
The Vatican Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will be represented by Bishop Arthur Serratelli of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, and eight other Catholic representatives.
The series of meetings will be held in various locations around the world, beginning in December and concluding in 2010.
The Diocese of Birmingham is located almost in the center of the area of the United States traditionally known as the Bible Belt. The Bible Belt refers to those states in the South and Southeast which are predominantly fundamentalist in religious thinking. All dioceses in this wide area are truly missionary insofar as no one of them is more than 5% Catholic. Churches of the area are largely Baptist, Church of Christ, Church of God, Pentecostal and Methodist. Using specific church membership as a criterion, Alabama is a very religious state.