Nov 27, 2020 / by OsmondMarketing / No Comments

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) is a document drawn up and approved in 1999 by the Pontifical Council of the Catholic Church for the Promotion of Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the Lutheran World Federation following a broad ecumenical dialogue. It says that the churches now share “a common understanding of our justification through God`s grace through faith in Christ.” [1] For the parties involved, this essentially resolves the 500-year-old conflict over the nature of justification, which was the root of the Protestant Reformation. The World Methodist Council adopted the Declaration on 18 July 2006. [2] [3] The World Community of Reformed Churches (representing the “80 million members of the Congregation, Presbyterians, Reformed, United, Unified and Vaud Churches”) adopted the Declaration in 2017. [4] Differences are not covered. Those who refer to the condition of the justified sinner appear to be of particular importance (see JD 28-30). This was one of the most controversial points of mutual understanding between the two denominations. There is a consensus that the justified person always remains under the threat of sin and must constantly fight against the tendencies that lead to evil. However, for Lutheran people, this means that man is “simul justus and peccator” (both righteous and sinful); that is to say that he is alone, because God has forgiven him for his sins and given him the righteousness of Christ, but when he looks at himself, he recognizes that at the same time he is completely a sinner, because sin is in him; he constantly follows the false gods and does not love God as he should: this resistance to God is truly a sin.

Catholics, on the other hand, insist, after the Council of Trent, that God does not hate anything in the person who is born again, and that sconciscence, although not in accordance with God`s original plan for the human person, since it comes from sin and leads to sin, is not in itself strictly “sin”. In view of these discrepancies, which have been openly acknowledged, the question arose as to whether it was possible to find that reciprocal condemnations do not apply today to the teachings of both parties. In practical terms, from a Catholic point of view, could this be said safely with regard to the Lutheran doctrine of the justus and peccator simulator presented in the joint declaration? The anniversary is “an opportunity to animate a critical moment in our history by going beyond the controversies and disagreements that have often prevented us from understanding each other,” he added.