Mutual sponsorship at a baptism

Mutual sponsorship at a baptism

Adult baptism © KNA

Old Catholics and Lutherans in Germany take a step toward each other. The Synod of the Diocese of Old Catholics in Germany agreed to the mutual recognition of confirmation and confirmation. Even the baptism is approaching.

Already in November, the synod of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church (VELKD) had approved the mutual recognition.

The text of the Mainz agreement states: "Lutherans and Old Catholics see in confirmation a personal confession of the baptized, a life-historically significant act of blessing and an actualization of the entire baptismal event as a life-long present reality."With this agreement, it is also possible for Old Catholics and Lutherans to be each other's godparent at a baptism.

Since Friday, the synod has also been discussing a contemporary understanding of marriage and how to deal with same-sex partnerships. One of the ies discussed was whether the blessing of same-sex partnerships, which has been practiced for some years now, could be equated with marriage – also in sacramental terms. In a discussion process that goes beyond the synod, the Old Catholic Church wants to find its position here.

Against arms trade

The church parliament unanimously decided that the diocese should join the action alliance "Action Outcry – Stop the Arms Trade". Ecumenism was not neglected either. The Catholic diocesan administrator of Mainz, Dietmar Giebelmann, visited the synod, as did the church president of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, Volker Jung, and representatives of the Anglican Church.

The Old Catholics had separated from the Catholic Church after the First Vatican Council (1869/70) in a dispute over magisterial infallibility and the pope's primacy of jurisdiction.

Throughout Europe today there are about 75.000 Old Catholics united in the Union of Utrecht. The diocese of the Old Catholic Church in Germany includes about 15.000 Christians with 50 full-time parish priests. Since 1996, the church in Germany has also ordained women priests. The church rejects compulsory celibacy. Since 1985, there has been an agreement with the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) on a reciprocal invitation to participate in evening mass and the celebration of the Eucharist.

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