Catholic Lutheran Agreement on Justification

This agreement between Lutherans and Catholics was formed by decades of theological dialogue, sustained by prayer for unity, and is a tribute to the perseverance of the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church. But we would certainly be remiss if we did not recognize our firm conviction that all these impulses were nourished by the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of unity and who helps us to answer Jesus` prayer for his disciples, “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). 39. The concept of preserving grace and growing grace and faith is also advocated by Lutherans. They emphasize that righteousness as God`s acceptance and participation in the righteousness of Christ is always complete. At the same time, they note that there may be a growth in its effects in the Christian life. While they regard the good works of Christians as fruits and signs of justification and not as their own “merits,” they nevertheless also understand eternal life according to the New Testament as an undeserved “reward” in the sense that they fulfill God`s promise to believers. [See sources in section 4.7]. The joint statement begins with a preamble and then lays out the main points of the biblical message of God`s work to justify the fallen. This is followed by an analysis of the doctrine of justification as an ecumenical problem between the Catholic Church and the churches that emerged from the Reformation.

The result of recent dialogues is then given as the common or common understanding of today`s justification. The Cathedral Foundation L`Osservatore Romano English Edition 320 St. Petersburg Cathedral Baltimore, MD 21201 Subscriptions: (410) 547-5315 Fax: (410) 332-1069 5. The purpose of this joint statement is to show that, on the basis of their dialogue, the undersigned Lutheran Churches and the Roman Catholic Church[9] are now able to articulate a common understanding of our justification by God`s grace through faith in Christ. It does not cover everything that one of the two churches teaches about justification; it includes a consensus on the fundamental truths of the doctrine of justification and shows that the remaining differences in their explanation are no longer the cause of doctrinal condemnations. The three main concerns expressed in the Response of the Catholic Church are set out in the Annex under No. 2 (Joint Declaration, 28-30, on the justified as sinners) and No. 3 (Joint Declaration, 18, Justification as a Criterion of the Life and Practice of the Church, and 21, on cooperative and simply passive expressions in relation to the new life that comes from divine mercy towards the justified). On 31 October 1999, the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was signed in Augsburg by the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation. This event was undoubtedly of great importance on the path to Christian unity, as the question of justification was known to be one of the most discussed issues at the time of the Protestant Reformation.

For Luther, the Pauline message of justification by faith alone was the Articulus stantis et cadentis Ecclesiae, the point at which the Church persists or fails in her faith. Concretely, this doctrine means that only Christ can save man who is corrupted in his depths by sin, giving him that righteousness that is proper to Christ himself, without man being able to contribute to this work of salvation. On the other hand, Luther also speaks of the justified person as a new creature and of the good works that are the fruit of justification. “To the extent that Catholic doctrine emphasizes that grace is personal and linked to the Word, this renewal is. is certainly nothing more than a response from the Word of God itself, and that the renewal of man does not contribute to justification and is certainly not a contribution to which a person could appeal to God, our objection. no longer applies” (VELKD 89:12-21). In addition to clarifying the concrete points that have been mentioned, the appendix also highlights the problem of the different meaning that Catholics and Lutherans attach to the doctrine of justification in the context of the hierarchy of truths. .

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