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Rome can be very softand adaptable in many respects, but the Eucharist is the core of its “Roman” identity and so it is strictly safeguarded.
Let the Reformation continue… yes, but let it continue in the gospel terms of Scripture alone and Faith alone.
The 2013 document, signed by the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church in preparation for the 2017 Reformation anniversary, indicates the goal of an ecumenical trajectory for the two church bodies.
On the surface, the Pope’s comments on justification seem to be very biblical and indeed very Protestant.
We sometimes receive strong criticism from evangelical Christians over our friendly interaction with senior Roman Catholic leaders. A response by Thomas Schirrmacher and Thomas K. Johnson.
I have attempted to demonstrate that the Catholic and Protestant systems of salvation are mutually exclusive, and that ecumenical dialogue must take seriously the distance that the word “alone” puts between them.
For the Catholic Church, “by grace alone” means that grace is intrinsically, constitutionally, and necessarily linked to the sacrament, and thus to the Church that administers it.
In Wittenberg, the WCRC signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (1999).
With Pope Francis the Roman Catholic Church is simply becoming more “catholic”, i.e. embracing and absorbing all, without losing its being “Roman”.
In assessing the ecumenical scene, the risk of looking at Lund without being aware of what happens in Rome is real.
“The aim of the JDDJ is to find commonalities, not differences. But with that comes a lopsided methodology that obscures those differences”, says theologian Michael Reeves.
There is a Catholic understanding of justification just as there is a Protestant view. These two perspectives are mutually exclusive.