The dialogue between Protestant and Catholic theologians led, as early as the 1980s, to a general consensus in the debate “faith against works”, but it took longer for the various ecclesiastical hierarchies to reach an official agreement. The position of the Catholic Church at the time of the publication of the response in June 1998 and the position that later led to the signing of the joint official declaration is not exactly the same; The reserves that were then dissipated. This amendment is detailed in the annex of the official joint declaration of 11 June 1999. The appendix goes beyond the restoration of the consensus reached (which allows us to say that the convictions of the past do not apply to the doctrines of both parties set out in the joint declaration), some of the points of the declaration that still gave way to doubts and questions about the importance of the agreement reached. We will take into consideration in particular the questions mentioned in the response of the Catholic Church. 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. The separation was “a huge source of suffering and misunderstanding,” he said. The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) was a historic agreement signed in 1999 by Lutherans and Catholics, effectively resolving one of the main theological conflicts of the Reformation. Originally a Catholic-Lutheran agreement, it was now accompanied and confirmed by three other world Christian communions, namely the Methodist, Anglican and Reformed Church. Eaton referred to previous agreements of the ELCA and the Catholic Church, including the 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. The road was not easy, which led first to the joint declaration and then to the signing of the joint official declaration, which confirmed it. Many misunderstandings and considerable resistance had to be overcome on both sides.
It is understandable that such difficulties arise, because the way in which the doctrine of justification has been expressed in both denominations over the centuries has been very different. Neither the joint declaration nor the official joint declaration intends to conceal the past or to conceal the differences that remain. But the reflection on the Word of God and our common faith in the salvation that Christ brought allowed us to see differently the differences that past controversies had created and to see them in a new light. On the basis of this agreement on fundamental issues, we can hope that the dialogue will continue in a spirit of trust and mutual understanding, in order to put more emphasis on the points that still need it. The motivational declaration stage is an important step. At the dawn of a new millennium, Catholics and Lutherans allow us to witness together a central element of their common faith, so that the world can believe. We Lutherans and Catholics are deeply grateful for the ecumenical journey we have travelled together over the past fifty years. This pilgrimage, supported by our common prayer, our worship and our ecumenical dialogue, has led to the suppression of prejudices, mutual understanding and the identification of decisive theological agreements. Faced with so many blessings along the way, we raise our hearts in praise of the trinity God for the mercy we receive. The statement states that the joint journey of the past fifty years has “eliminated prejudice, strengthened mutual understanding and identified essential theological agreements.”