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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Professors oppose 'Joint Declaration'

Fourteen Lutheran theological professors from the United States, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway sent a statement of their opposition to the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification to Cardinal Edward Cassidy on Dec. 22. Cassidy is president of the Pontifical Commission for Promoting Christian Unity for the Vatican.

Six of the professors teach at ELCA schools — five from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., and one from the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg, Pa.

Their statement says that the declaration is not reconcilable to the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Churches.

The theologians stated: "Because of the special responsibility we have as teachers of theology, we will resist every attempt to interpret or regulate the doctrine and preaching in our churches along the lines of [the declaration]" as it has been interpreted in light of the churches' official common statement.

The group cautioned against making further doctrinal agreements based on the declaration.


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