The Vatican now accepts the Protestant view of justification by faith?

Let me understand this now OK. Because of the Catholic-Lutheran agreement of 1988, the Catholic church now accepts all Protestants as justified by faith and that they have obtained salvation by their faith. Is this correct? And that the heathen religions such as the Muslims and Hindus will also be accepted of God as well, because they have some sort of faith in God as well, but not necessarily the same God we have. So says Pope John Paul?

                            If this is true, then Allah is just as acceptable, as Jesus Christ is. I thought the Christian faith only embraced Jesus as their Lord and Savior?

                             Also, if Protestants can be justified just by faith alone in the works of Jesus, minus the sacraments, then why be a Catholic? I'm serious? I could go to a Baptist or Reformed church and be saved by faith alone.  And why be faithful until your death if one is now justified by faith as the Vatican now decrees?

                               I want to know if this is what the Vatican is now saying how Catholics are justified and receive salvation. There is something terribly wrong here. Please clear this up.Thank you.

No I don’t think you are understanding that correctly.Jesus is free to save who he pleases,if these others use the graces that they have recieved by God I guess that what is being said is Jesus is free to reveal Himself to them and save them their last breath.If they never knew or learned the truth can you be condemned for not doing what you don’t know?To whom more is given more is expected.That is my take anyway.God Bless

I believe that you are not fully understanding what the Vatican has said. I, too, at one point didn’t understand very well either. The Vatican does not say that non-Catholics will be saved by their theological systems, but it does dismiss the possibility that non-Catholics can be saved, if Christ in His mercy so deems it.

Think of it this way: four people jump off a 1000 ft. cliff. The first person, a Catholic, jumps off with a parachute. The second, a Protestant, jumps off with a pillow in each hand. The third, a Hindu, jumps off with rock. The fourth, a Muslim, jumps off with a fully-loaded RPG.

Now, it is clear that the only one likely to survive is the Catholic. However, it is possibly, however slightly, that one of the others might survive, too.

Maybe that model isn’t entirely correct, but that’s how I picture what the Vatican says of non-Catholics.

The Church has always taught that justification by faith exists. What she has not taught is justification by faith ALONE - sola fide. It’s similar to her teaching on Holy Scripture, which is indeed a part of the Deposit of Faith, but not the totality of it - sola scriptura.



I’ll bet the best way to find out what the Vatican says is to go to the document itself and find out! I bet it is available at the EWTN website! Maybe we should all search for it, read it, and then make a discussion of it! :wink:

God bless…

Yar, here be the link to the Joint Declaration thingy, if’n ye still be interested.

However, it has been rejected by many of the world’s Lutheran synods.

I still be interested, if’n I go there and find something out I’ll let ye know!!:smiley:

This paragraph sets out the intent of the joint declaration:

  1. The present Joint Declaration has this intention: namely, to show that on the basis of their dialogue the subscribing Lutheran churches and the Roman Catholic Church(9) are now able to articulate a common understanding of our justification by God’s grace through faith in Christ. It does not cover all that either church teaches about justification; it does encompass a consensus on basic truths of the doctrine of justification and shows that the remaining differences in its explication are no longer the occasion for doctrinal condemnations.

  2. In the New Testament diverse treatments of “righteousness” and “justification” are found in the writings of Matthew (5:10; 6:33; 21:32), John (16:8-11), Hebrews (5:1-3; 10:37-38), and James (2:14-26).(10) In Paul’s letters also, the gift of salvation is described in various ways, among others: “for freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1-13; cf. Romans 6:7), “reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21; cf. Romans 5:11), “peace with God” (Romans 5:1), “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17), “alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11, 23), or “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1:31; 2 Corinthians 1:1). Chief among these is the “justification” of sinful human beings by God’s grace through faith (Romans 3:23-25), which came into particular prominence in the Reformation period.

  3. Paul sets forth the Gospel as the power of God for salvation of the person who has fallen under the power of sin, as the message that proclaims that “the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith” (Romans 1:16-17) and that grants “justification” (Romans 3:21-31). He proclaims Christ as “our righteousness” (1 Corinthians 1:30), applying to the risen Lord what Jeremiah proclaimed about God himself (23:6). In Christ’s death and resurrection all dimensions of his saving work have their roots for he is “our Lord, who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:25). All human beings are in need of God’s righteousness, “since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 2:23; cf. Romans 1:18-3:22; 11:32; Galatians 3:22). In Galatians (3:6) and Romans (4:3-9), Paul understands Abraham’s faith (Genesis 15:6) as faith in the God who justifies the sinner and calls upon the testimony of the Old Testament to undergird his gospel that this righteousness will be reckoned to all who, like Abraham, trust in God’s promise. "For the righteous will live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; cf. Galatians 3:11; Romans 1:17). In Paul’s letters, God’s righteousness is also power for those who have faith (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21). In Christ he makes it their righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Justification becomes ours through Christ Jesus “whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith” (Romans 3:25; see 3:21-28). “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God–not the result of works” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

  4. Justification is the forgiveness of sins (cf. Romans 3:23-25; Acts 13:39; Luke 18:14), liberation from the dominating power of sin and death (Romans 5:12-21) and from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:10-14). It is acceptance into communion with God: already now, but then fully in God’s coming kingdom (Romans 5:1-2). It unites with Christ and with his death and resurrection (Romans 6:5). It occurs in the reception of the Holy Spirit in Baptism and incorporation into the one body (Romans 8:1-2, 9-11; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13). All this is from God alone, for Christ’s sake, by grace, through faith in “the Gospel of God’s Son” (Romans 1:1-3).


This is what I was told when I joined the church in 2005. I was told that justification is by faith alone and that the church no longer taught purgatory. I joined because of that, but is not church teaching.

CCC 1991 Justification is at the same time the acceptance of God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. Righteousness (or “justice”) here means the rectitude of divine love. With justification, faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divine will is granted us.

CCC 169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: “We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation.” Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.

CCC 846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

CCC 843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”

CCC 1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

See the above. A summary of the Catholic view of justification can be found at Galatians 5:6. One reason for the disagreement is that Luther and his Catholic opponents used the word faith in different contexts, as does the New Testament. Luther said “faith” and meant “trust.” His Catholic opponents heard him say “faith” and thought “creed” (dogmas). Mere assent to dogmas without the virtues of Hope and Charity will not help on Judgment Day. More recently the difference of communication has been resolved, leading to the Catholic Lutheran Joint Declaration on Justification. The key difference between Catholic and classical Reformation thought has to do with the phrase “working in love” of Galatians 5:6. Faith that is not doing works of love is sterile, and cannot save. Even the demons believe in a creedal sense, but what they lack is agape love.

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