|PRESENTATION OF THE JOINT STATEMENT|
|Edward Cardinal Cassidy
President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
|1. In June of last year, both the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church
officially responded to the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification that had
been prepared by the Joint Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue Commission. Following two distinct
processes of reception, both the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church were
able to declare that a consensus had indeed been reached in the Joint Declaration "in
basic truths of the doctrine of justification".
2. In making this statement, both the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation indicated some aspects of the doctrine of justification that required further study. The "Clarifications" of the Catholic Church, however, seemed in the view of the Lutheran partner to leave some doubt as to the nature and the extent of the approval of the Joint Declaration on the part of the Catholic partner. This resulted in a number of statements being made even in the press and a sense of disappointment by both partners.
3. The Secretary-General of the Lutheran World Federation and myself, in consultation with those responsible with us for pursuing this matter, set about finding a way in which to affirm the consensus reached and overcome the doubts that had arisen.
4. The document that we are making public today is the fruit of those discussions. It consists of two parts: an Official Common Statement by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church to be signed together with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification and an Annex.
5. The Official Common Statement explains clearly and unequivocally just what the two partners understand by their act of signing the Joint Declaration. The two partners declare together:
6. The Annex, as I have stated, "further substantiates the consensus reached in the Joint Declaration". In brief, it takes up those questions that were causing some uncertainty on the part of one or other of the two partners and without altering the Joint Declaration, removes that uncertainty. A study of the questions raised by the two dialogue partners in their respective responses, side by side with the Official Common Statement and its Annex will show how those questions have been dealt with to the satisfaction of both partners.
7. On the Catholic side, the Official Common Statement and the Annex have been approved by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. His Holiness Pope John Paul II has been informed accordingly and has given his blessing for the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, together with the Official Common Statement with its attached Annex on the date and in the place to be decided by the two partners.
Provided Courtesy of: