“You are heretics, but it might not be your fault,” begins todays second “On the Square” article, a reflection on the Lutheran-Catholic agreement on justification. In The Skeleton of Genuine Reconciliation, Father David Poecking continues:
In decades and centuries past, that posture of exculpatory condescension often represented the most we could achieve in ecumenical reconciliation. We may not be able to agree on anything else, but we might concede that Christians today are not fully responsible for the divisions of the sixteenth century.
The 1999 “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,” issued by the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church—both later joined by the Methodist World Council—took us a step beyond that minimal exculpation.
He goes on to examine the Declaration and the unexpected benefits for real and deeper reconciliation between divided Christians it suggests.