Joint Declaration as a groundbreaking ecumenical document

 — Feb. 22, 200022 févr. 2000

U.S. theology professors discuss its implications

[HANOVER, Germany/GENEVA | LWI] Reformed, Anglican, Roman-Catholic and Lutheran church leaders and professors of theology in the United States have acknowledged the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification as a “groundbreaking document.”

The theological implications of Joint Declaration was one of the major points discussed at a symposium from 4 to 6 February at the Yale Divinity School and Berkeley Divinity School in New Haven (Connecticut, USA).

Participants in the forum included Dr. Christian Krause, President of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick (Germany), Bishop Dr. Walter Kasper, Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and Sir Henry Chadwick, an Anglican professor of theology at Oxford University.

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was affirmed by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Roman-Catholic Church and solemnly confirmed on 31 October 1999 in Augsburg, Germany. For the first time since the Reformation, both churches made a statement on the doctrine that severed the unity of the Western church in the 16th century.

During the United States symposium, Krause noted that the Joint Declaration was held in high regard by the participants. Summarizing the contributions made by the professors, Krause said that lifting up the theological approach of the declaration enabled academic theology at the universities to again concern itself more with ecumenism.

The LWF president said that the significance of the Joint Declaration was furthermore to be found in the way the document relates to the core of the biblical message. He noted that the “universal character” of the Joint Declaration has been acknowledged and bears special significance in the sense that the other recent interdenominational agreements are regionally limited while this document is universally valid for both partners.

Krause said he was impressed by the Anglican and Reformed participants’ expression of joy about the Joint Declaration. They had repeatedly voiced their interest in continuing to develop this ecumenical document in such a way that it would include other denominations in addition to the Lutheran/Roman-Catholic context.

William Franklin, Dean of Berkeley Divinity School described the symposium as a good opportunity for the universities to regain their leading role within the ecumenical movement, for the development of a new forum for ecumenical activities, and for encouraging a new generation of future theologians to work for the unity of the churches.

Posted: Feb. 22, 2000 • Permanent link:
Categories: Lutheran World InformationIn this article: Catholic, dialogue, JDDJ, Lutheran
Transmis : 22 févr. 2000 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Lutheran World InformationDans cet article : Catholic, dialogue, JDDJ, Lutheran

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