Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Latin American Baptist on Pope Francis, Catholic-Evangelical relations

Harold Segura
Many readers of Ecclesial Theology will be interested in the initial reactions to the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis posted by Harold Segura, a Baptist minister and theological educator from Columbia who currently serves as Regional Director for Church Relations and Christianity Identity for World Vision--Latin America and the Caribbean. Segura participated in a "pre-conversation" conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December 2001 that paved the way for the second series of international theological conversations between the Baptist World Alliance and the Roman Catholic Church held 2006-2010 (the official report from which will be published this summer). During the 2001 Buenos Aires meeting Segura presented a paper offering Baptist responses to a paper presented by Walter Cardinal Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, on "The Concept of Communio as a Framework Within Which to Discuss Issues of Concern."

Also of interest in these connections is a blog journal posted by Segura while he served as a Baptist observer at the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean in Aparecida, Brazil in May 2007. Segura's journal postings were published  in book form as Crónicas de Aparecida: Un pastor evangélico en la Quinta Conferencia general del Episcopado Latinoamericano y del Caribe by (Ediciones Kairós, 2008). John L. Allen, Jr. published an interview with Segura in the National Catholic Reporter regarding his experiences observing the bishops' conference in Aparecida and his reflections on implications for ecumenical relations in Latin America.

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