The Lutheran World Federation executive committee on Feb. 1 received the revised draft of a joint Lutheran-Roman Catholic declaration on justification and forwarded it to LWF's 122 member churches.
The committee requested members' responses by June 1, 1998. The statement declares that both churches' Reformation-era condemnations of each other do not apply to the present churches.
"The declaration, which is built on a document on justification developed by the ELCA and U.S. Roman Catholics, breaks new ground, helping us see each other as part of the same Christian family," said ELCA Presiding Bishop H. George Anderson, an LWF vice president."It sets a favorable climate for further discussions."
At its fall 1996 meeting the LWF Council delayed adoption, asking for revisions to some sections of the declaration. The executive committee agreed that the revised text is an improvement on the previous version.
The text of the declaration has been sent to ELCA theological faculties for reaction. Anderson said he hopes a collection of those responses will be brought to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August so it can act on the declaration.
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