Ecumenical challenge

A new story for Protestants and Catholics

On October 31, Lutherans and Roman Catholics will celebrate the signing of a joint declaration on justification by faith. In that declaration, both parties agree that "all persons depend completely on the saving grace of God for their salvation," and that new life in Christ is "solely due to the forgiving and renewing mercy that God imparts as a gift and we receive in faith and never can merit in any way."  Such words take a dramatic step toward resolving a 16th-century dispute that was at the heart of the Protestant break from the Roman Catholic Church. They also take a step toward ending certain Protestant stereotypes about Catholic beliefs.


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