As a follow up to my earlier posts on Ecumenism I wanted to post the joint declaration between Lutherans and Catholics on the Doctrine of Justification. Here is the link to the document resulting from that historic event…it is an example of the Holy Spirit continuing the work of unifying the Church of Christ. It’s a quick read and contains many of the referenced documents at the bottom…about half the document is the list of references.
It is common in the document for it to be expressed that the joint declaration does not deny any previous condemnations, either Catholic or Lutheran, that were made during the Reformation and Council of Trent. Both sides state what is and isn’t acceptable and condemn what isn’t. The declaration bring’s clarity to terminology, emphasis, and perspective used by both parties and helps the reader see how the points discussed in the declaration are compatible and do not remove the importance nor deny the earlier condemnations. It clearly and jointly states what is true Christian justification.
As stated in paragraph 5 and multiple times throughout the document, “It does not cover all that either church teaches about justification; it does encompass a consensus on basic truths of the doctrine of justification and shows that the remaining differences in its explication are no longer the occasion for doctrinal condemnations.”
Both Trent and the Lutheran Confessions should be reviewed in the light of this revealing document.