Vatican Lutheran Agreement

The road was not easy, which led first to the joint declaration and then to the signing of the joint official declaration, which confirmed it. Many misunderstandings and considerable resistance had to be overcome on both sides. It is understandable that such difficulties arise, because the way in which the doctrine of justification has been expressed in both denominations over the centuries has been very different. Neither the joint declaration nor the official joint declaration intends to conceal the past or to conceal the differences that remain. But the reflection on the Word of God and our common faith in the salvation that Christ brought allowed us to see differently the differences that past controversies had created and to see them in a new light. On the basis of this agreement on fundamental issues, we can hope that the dialogue will continue in a spirit of trust and mutual understanding, in order to put more emphasis on the points that still need it. The motivational declaration stage is an important step. At the dawn of a new millennium, Catholics and Lutherans allow us to witness together a central element of their common faith, so that the world can believe. Some Catholics have raised other objections.

Some argue that Lutheran signatories do not have the authority to represent their communities (since they are not full Catholic churches) and that no Lutheran can make the agreement binding on the voters of the Lutheran World Federation. However, the last paragraph of the appendix to the official joint declaration regulates this issue. [7] The dialogue between Protestant and Catholic theologians led to a general consensus as early as the 1980s in the “faith versus works” debate, but it took longer for the various ecclesiastical hierarchies to reach an official agreement. Eaton referred to previous agreements of the ELCA and the Catholic Church, including the 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. This doubt is the main reason that led the Catholic Church, on 25 June 1998, to publish a response to the Joint Declaration, which, while confirming the high consensus on the fundamental truths of the doctrine of justification, could not yet speak of an agreement that would eliminate all differences. It also presented, in order of its importance, a list of points on which the differences in the text of the declaration itself had not been overcome. The first point was precisely the constancy of sin in the justifiable, which we have just mentioned. In the joint declaration, it is not clear that the renewal and sanctification of the inner man, as a result of the justification, were a common doctrine of both denominations.

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