Eleven German denominations – including Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Anglican churches – have formally recognized each other’s baptism, at an ecumenical ceremony here.
Baptism is a “powerful bond of Christian unity,” said Bishop Wolfgang Huber of the Evangelical Church in Germany, at the recent service.
Bishop Huber noted the “immense symbolism” of celebrating the service at Magdeburg cathedral, which has a 1,000-year-old baptismal font, thought to be the oldest being used in Germany.
“We are gathered round a font at which baptism has been celebrated in the name of the triune God for more than a millennium,” said Bishop Huber. “This font represented the one baptism, to which we bear witness today, even before the division between Eastern and Western Christianity [in 1054] and long before the beginning of the Reformation.”
In Germany this is the first formal agreement on baptism at a national level.