Catholic and Lutheran theologians have come to terms with a centuries-old dispute, and will next week release an accord on the means of salvation
    Next Wednesday's Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification is intended to resolve a doctrinal debate at the heart of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, which split Western Christianity.
    The Vatican and Lutheran World Federation (LWF) crafted compromise language on one of the key unresolved points regarding what theologians call ``justification,'' or how humankind achieves salvation. For the Lutherans, it depends on the grace of God, while Catholics maintain that good works are also involved.
    With the declaration, Catholics and Lutherans have agreed that divine forgiveness and salvation come ``solely by God's grace'' and that good works flow from that.
    President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Australian Cardinal Edward Cassidy, and LWF General Secretary Rev. Ismael Noko, will announce joint acceptance of the document in Geneva on Wednesday.
    Agreement was announced by the two sides almost a year ago, but closing the gaps on wording took months more.
    AP 12:10pm 3/6/99


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