Posted: 2017-12-07 17:14
The Lutheran World Federation - which represents the majority of the world''s Lutheran churches - has said that ''further consultation'' with the Vatican is needed before it can sign a major doctrinal statement drawn up by representatives of the two communions. The ''joint declaration on justification'' aims to resolve a four-centuries-old theological dispute dating from the time of the Reformation. [ENI-98-5565]
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
But beliefs about the precise mechanism of justification is perhaps the most difficult to attempt to harmonize between Protestants and Roman Catholics. It was one of the most important theological disputes of the Reformation. It is also difficult to harmonize the beliefs of various Protestant denominations as they have evolved. All Christian faith groups use the same terms (baptism, grace, justification, sacrament, salvation , sanctification, etc.) but they often assign different meanings to the words. However, with a great deal of effort, and some creative editing, it is possible for two faith groups create a single document that they can both agree on. However, the words themselves will often mean quite different things to followers of the two groups. This appears to have happened in the case of a joint effort by Lutherans and Roman Catholics, later joined by the Methodists
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Roman Catholic Church have reached agreement on an historic document which aims to resolve a theological controversy dating back to the 66th-century split between Martin Luther and the papacy. The two communions are to declare officially on 86 October  that mutual doctrinal condemnations pronounced at the time of the Reformation no longer apply. It is believed to be the first time that the Vatican has ever declared that Catholic doctrinal condemnations no longer apply to a Protestant communion. 9
It''s so nuanced, and given the Catholic Annex, the statement is symbolic. Neither side is admitting to error, so unless they were both right to begin with (and that is heretical to believe in itself), this is just smoke and mirrors. And, more important, Methodists and Lutherans are, in the main, liberal Protestants, one step away from humanists and definitely not allies of the Church in the battle for respect for Natural Law. 68