Nyhetsbyrået Zenit om undertegnelsen av felleserklæringen

Historic Agreement between Catholics and Lutherans

Signing of Joint Declaration on Doctrine of Justification

VATICAN CITY, OCT 29 (ZENIT).- This weekend, Catholics and Lutherans will take am historic step when they remove their mutual condemnations over theological differences that go back to Martin Luther's time.

The place and date chosen for the signing are not accidental. On October 31, 1517, the founder of Protestantism pinned his 95 theses on the doors of Augsburg's Cathedral. Today, a 3-day meeting between Catholics and Lutherans began in Augsburg. It will end on October 31, with the signing by both denominations of the Joint Declaration of the Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation on the Doctrine of Justification.

Cardinal Edward I. Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is representing the Catholic Church and will sign the Declaration.

"Today is truly a historic day for the contemporary ecumenical movement," Cardinal Cassidy wrote, in a commentary published this noon. "The agreement reached by the World Lutheran Federation, on fundamental truths of the doctrine of justification, is of great significance not only for the two parties directly involved, but also for the whole ecumenical movement, as the doctrine of justification is at the heart of the Christian faith. It was differences in the understanding of this fundamental Christian teaching that led to the disputes that resulted in the Reformation."

The Australian Cardinal added: "Of course, this is not the end of the road as regards our dialogue on the question and its consequences. As the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification points out, there is still much work to be done. But it has been a step that had to be taken before further progress could be made."

The key phrase of the document, which is a resume of the joint understanding on justification by Catholics and Lutherans, is in paragraph n. 15: "We confess together that we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts, makes of capable, and calls us to do good works, not because of our own merits but only through grace and faith in Christ's salvific work."



av Webmaster publisert 31.10.1999, sist endret 31.10.1999 - 22:09