From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Wider Ecumenical Context of the Joint Declaration

From "Frank Imhoff" <>
Date Thu, 06 Dec 2001 18:40:59 -0600

Reformed, Methodists Participate in Joint Lutheran-Roman Catholic

COLUMBUS, Ohio, United States of America/GENEVA, 6 December 2001
(LWI) - A consultation jointly organized by the Lutheran World
Federation (LWF) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting
Christian Unity (PCPCU) with the participation of representatives
of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and World
Methodist Council (WMC) has identified theological and procedural
issues involved in the possible association of the Methodist and
Reformed families of churches with the Joint Declaration on the
Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ).

The JDDJ, in which Lutherans and Roman Catholics have expressed
consensus on basic aspects of the doctrine of justification was
signed by representatives of the LWF and PCPCU on 31 October 1999
in Augsburg, Germany. It was expected that the agreement would
have repercussions for the churches that have been in dialogue
with the two signatory partners.

The JDDJ, while resolving one issue of faith-justification-over
which Lutherans and Roman Catholics had been historically divided
also points to other significant issues of faith such as
ecclesiology, authority in the church, sacraments and other
questions, which must still be resolved in dialogue in the search
for church unity.

Participants in the November 26 - December 1 meeting under the
theme "Unity in Faith - The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of
Justification in a Wider Ecumenical Context," agreed that
"Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Methodists and Reformed continue the
consultation process as equal partners in dialogue."

"The participants share the conviction that agreement in the
doctrine of justification represents an important step forward
towards the goal of church unity and is necessary for the
credibility of our common witness in the world," stated a joint
communique from the consultation.

Representatives of the four world communions recognized the
importance of doctrinal agreements for the development of official
church relations especially for those churches that have been
involved in church-dividing doctrinal condemnations.

The 23 theologians included six representatives each for the
Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics, and five persons for
the Reformed. An observer each represented the Anglican Communion
and World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission. Also
participating as a guest was a lecturer from Kehl, Germany.

Presentations at the consultation included reports on the JDDJ
reception by Lutheran and Roman Catholic representatives.
Discussion topics focussed on the theological and procedural
implications of this agreement for other ecumenical partners, the
significance of reaching doctrinal agreements for the development
of official church relations and the question of how unity in
faith presents itself as a multilateral issue.

The consultation was held at the Pontifical College Josephinum,
Ohio with the joint support of this institution together with the
Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Trinity Lutheran

List of participants:

Prof. Dr. Theo Dieter (Institute for Ecumenical Research,
Strasbourg, France), Rev. Dr. Wolfgang Greive (LWF, Geneva,
Switzerland), Bishop Em. William H. Lazareth (Princeton, New
Jersey), Rev. Sven Oppegaard (LWF, Geneva, Switzerland), Prof. Dr.
Michael Root (Columbus, Ohio), Rev. Dr. Darlis J. Swan (ELCA,
Ecumenical Liaison Officer to the LWF, Chicago, IL).

Bishop Dennis Dutton (WMC, Geneva, Switzerland), Rev. George
Freeman (WMC, Lake Junaluska, NC), Bishop Thomas Hoyt (Shreveport,
LA), Prof. Dr. Manfred Marquardt (p.t. Madison, NJ), Prof. Dr.
Sarah Lancaster (Delaware, Ohio), Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Wainwright
(Durham, NC).

Prof. Dr. Russel Botman (Western Cape, South Africa), Prof. Dr.
Anna Case-Winters (Chicago, IL), Rev. Dr. Odair P. Mateus (WARC,
Geneva, Switzerland), Prof. Dr. Michael Weinrich (Berlin,
Germany), and Prof. Dr. Mindawati Perangin-Angin (Medan,

Rev. Donald Bolen, (PCPCU, Vatican City) Bishop Paul-Werner
Scheele (Wuerzburg, Germany), Prof. Dr. George H. Tavard
(Birghton, MA), Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Thoenissen
(Johan-Adam-Moehler-Institut, Paderborn, Germany), Rev. Dr.
Matthias Tuerk (PCPCU, Vatican City), Prof. Dr. Jared Wicks SJ
(Rome, Italy).

Invited lecturer:
Prof. Dr. Harding Meyer (Kehl, Germany)

Of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of
Churches: Prof. Dr. Elizabeth C. Nordbeck (Newton Center, MA); Of
the Anglican Communion: Prof. Dr. William H. Petersen (Columbus,

(The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the
Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund (Sweden), the LWF now
has 133 member churches in 73 countries representing over 60.5
million of the 64.3 million Lutherans worldwide. The LWF acts on
behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as
ecumenical relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human
rights, communication, and the various aspects of mission and
development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva,

[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the information service of
the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Unless specifically noted,
material presented does not represent positions or opinions of the
LWF or of its various units. Where the dateline of an article
contains the notation (LWI), the material may be freely reproduced
with acknowledgment.]

*       *       *
PO Box 2100, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Editor's e-mail:
Tel: (41.22) 791.63.54
Fax: (41.22) 791.66.30

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home