Nelson Minnich, professor, Church history, and Michael Root, professor, theology, were quoted in a Catholic News Service article on the upcoming conference at Catholic University on the 500th anniversary of the reformation.
... While Catholics saw papal authority as the core issue, for Luther the prime issue was justification, according to Michael Root, another Catholic University professor, of systematic theology, who will speak at the conference. Luther argued that justification — God’s act of declaring a sinner righteous — could be achieved through faith alone. The Catholic Church held — in a position codified by the Council of Trent — that faith and the sacraments were both necessary for justification.
However, ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans resulted in a joint declaration issued in 1999 that acknowledged Luther’s position on justification. Root should know: At that time, he was executive director of the Lutheran World Federation, and a practicing Lutheran who later joined the Catholic Church. ...
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