JDDJJoint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification
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While the JDDJ was signed, for the Roman Catholic Church, by a cardinal and a bishop, both serving on a pontifical council, it was not signed by the regnant pontiff John Paul II.
To summarize our findings thus far, it can be said that a change in Roman Catholic attitudes to Luther and the confessions has produced what the JDDJ calls a "common understanding" with "differing explications" in place of the mutual anathemas of a quarter-millennium ago--although the testimony of Borella reminded us that some Roman Catholics adamantly demur from this change in attitude.
The second section considered a series of Roman Catholic responses to Luther and the Lutherans, ranging from the clear and concise condemnations of Trent and a contemporary reminder by a traditional Roman Catholic philosopher that these condemnations are officially still in force in the "declarations of the magisterium through respectful studies of Luther by a Dominican who compares his understanding of salvation to Aquinas's and by a Jesuit who has used the Reformer in teaching Roman Catholic theology students, to the stunning "consensus" articulated in the JDDJ (albeit with "differing explications") and the encyclical Lumen fidei, in which Francis could be mistaken for Luther in key passages.
gift and challenge of JDDJ in mind: "Our consensus in basic truths
We particularly appreciate some of the distinctive insights in the JDDJ
We appreciate the recognition in the JDDJ that we are powerless to save ourselves, incapable of turning to God on our own, and that the freedom we know is not freedom for salvation.
As he comes to the JDDJ itself, Radano is especially helpful in his attention to the multi-layered meanings of reception.
It is remarkable how many members of the generation that saw the changes of the Council remained active in the events culminating in the JDDJ (including, of course, the present Pope Benedict XVI, whose support for the JDDJ is emphasized here).
The "reception" of JDDJ, the process by which the churches practically "receive" this newly claimed doctrinal consensus into their own everyday life and ministry, is hard to gauge.
I present this "narrative hermeneutical" reflection on the doctrine of justification using these "bookend" stories in order to demonstrate the truth of JDDJ's contention that not only are "remaining differences of language, theological elaboration, and emphasis in the understanding of justification ...
[But, with the JDDJ we have consensus on basic truths of the doctrine of justification, in light of which sixteenth-century condemnations of Lutherans and Catholics on justification no longer apply.] With the JDDJ it was possible to see anew that the Protestant affirmation of sola gratia and sola fide does not contradict the affirmation that by grace we are made capable of bearing good fruits through works of justice, mercy and active love.
The Pope pointed out that the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ), whose tenth anniversary was marked in 2009, "has proved a significant step along the difficult path towards reestablishing full unity among Christians and a stimulus to further ecumenical discussion." (34)