Regarding the false doctrine of the Catholic theologian Hermes, cf. ), etc. 9-11): uncertainty (incertitudo), inequality (inaequalitas), amissibility (ammisibilitas). With what little right heretics in defense of their doctrine appeal to St. Augustine, may be seen from the following brief extract from his writings: “He who made you without your doing does not without your action justify you. For, even if it is not the formal cause of justification (causa formalis), it is nevertheless its true exemplar (causa exemplaris), inasmuch as the soul receives a sanctity in imitation of God‘s own holiness. By the latter Rosmini understood deliberate sins of commission (culpae actuales et liberae), by the former indeliberate sins (peccata non libera), which "do no harm to those who are of the people of God". For according to the teaching of the Catholic Church the righteousness and sanctity which justification confers, although given to us by God as efficient cause (causa efficiens) and merited by Christ as meritorious cause (causa meritoria), become an interior sanctifying quality or formal cause (causa formalis) in the soul itself, which it makes truly just and holy in the sight of God. The Lutheran World Federation and The Roman Catholic Church. From the Reformation perspective, justification But what probably contributed most of all to the crumbling of the system was the rapid growth of Socinianism and Rationalism which during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries gained so many adherents among the Lutherans. The Council of Trent assigns the first and most important place to faith, which is styled "the beginning, foundation and root of all justification" (Trent, l.c., cap.viii). let him be anathema"). Since, however, neither maxim can be found in the Bible, every Catholic is forced to conclude that Protestantism from its very beginning and foundation is based on self-deception. ); Thomassin (“De Trinit.”, viii, 9 sqq. For, by stating that fiduciary faith alone suffices for obtaining both justification and eternal happiness, he minimized our moral faculties to such an extent that charity and good works no longer affect our relations with God. Nevertheless, as the children of Adam were really corrupted by original sin, they could not of themselves arise from their fall nor shake off the bonds of sin, death, and Satan. Theologie”, Munich, 1867, p. 583). 12). Catholics believe that mankind has inherited original … Theol., s.v. If, moreover, the sinner be justified, not by an interior righteousness capable of increase or decrease, but through God's sanctity eternally the same, it is evident that all the just from the common mortal to the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary possess one and the same degree of righteousness and sanctity. This so-called "fiduciary faith" is not a religious-moral preparation of the soul for sanctifying grace, nor a free act of cooperation on the part of the sinner; it is merely a means or spiritual instrument (instrumentum, organon leptikon) granted by God to assist the sinner in laying hold of the righteousness of God, thereby to cover his sins in a purely external manner as with a mantle. Rechtfertigung.CATHOLIC TEACHING: Vega, De justificatione doctrina universa, LL. Catholic theology views justification as an infusion of grace that makes the sinner righteous. Now, forty years since its original publication, Hans Kung's groundbreaking study--acclaimed as a model for ecumenical discussion--has become a classic work. vii: "Unica formalis causa [justificationis] est justitia Dei, non qua ipse justus est, sed qua nos justos facit, qua videlicet ab eo donati, renovamur spiritu mentis nostrae: et non modo reputamur, sed vere justi nominamur et sumus, justitiam in nobis recipientes unusquisque suam"). Finally if, as Luther maintains, only the loss of faith (according to Calvin, not even that) can deprive us of justification, it follows that justification once obtained can never be lost. New York: Robert Appleton Company. The Roman Catholic doctrine of justification is analytic. For, just as light dispels darkness, so the infusion of sanctifying grace eo ipso dispels from the soul original and mortal sin. 105, 117) admits that neither the Church in her official teaching nor the majority of her theologians ever sanctioned, much less adopted, the extreme views of the Nominalists. For if it be essential to fiduciary faith that it infallibly assures the sinner of his own justification, it cannot mean anything but a firm conviction of the actual possession of grace. (Cf. Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. The doctrine of justification was of central importance for the Lutheran Reformation of the sixteenth century. Besides the principal effect of justification, i.e. But what probably contributed most of all to the crumbling of the system was the rapid growth of Socinianism and Rationalism which during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries gained so many adherents among the Lutherans. By this important decision the Council excluded the error of Butzer and some Catholic theologians (Gropper, Scripando, and Albert Pighius) who maintained that an additional "external favour of God" (favor Dei externus) belonged to the essence of justification. ); Thomassin ("De Trinit. In the Protestant system, however, remission of sin is no real forgiveness, no blotting out of guilt. What then is meant by justification? For the contrast between grace and sin is as great as between light and darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:8), between life and death (Romans 5:21; Colossians 2:13; 1 John 3:14), between God and idols, Christ and Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15 sqq. The Council of Trent decreed that the essence of active justification comprises not only forgiveness of sin, but also "sanctification and renovation of the interior man by means of the voluntary acceptation of sanctifying grace and other supernatural gifts" (Trent, l. c., cap. Bartmann, "St. Paulus u. St. Jacobus und die Rechtertigung", Freiburg, 1897). 1545. While in Baptism infants are forthwith cleansed of the stain of original sin without any preparation on their part, the adult must pass through a moral preparation, which consists essentially in turning from sin and towards God. Recently, the Catholic doctrine of justification has become a divisive issue even among evangelicals, as they seek to determine how far they should go in cooperative relations with Catholics.In this conclusion to our series on Roman Catholicism, we will examine both the commonalities and differences between Catholic and Protestant soteriology (beliefs about salvation). Without your knowing He made you, with your willing He justifies you, but it is He who justifies, that the justice be not your own" (Serm. Cf. In their explanation grace and sin exclude each other with the same necessity as do fire and water, although in both cases God, by a miracle of his omnipotence, could suspend the general law and force the two hostile elements to exist peacefully side by side. Neither repentance nor penance, neither love of God nor good works, nor any other virtue is required, though in the just they may either attend or follow as a result of justification. The most important of these differences is to be found in Calvin's system, which taught that only such as are predestined infallibly to eternal salvation obtain justification, whilst in those not predestined God produces a mere appearance of faith and righteousness, and this in order to punish them the more severely in hell (Cf. English-Language Edition. In general it was precisely the denial of man's free will in the moral order, and of the impossibility of his full cooperation with Divine grace that repelled so many followers of Luther. u. Kritik (1903), 349 sqq. First, a clarification is in order. Although it is a Catholic dogma that sanctifying grace and sin (original and mortal) do never exist simultaneously in the soul, there may be, nevertheless a diversity of opinion regarding the extent of this incompatibility, according as it is considered as either moral, physical, or metaphysical in character. To the parties involved, this essentially resolves the 500-year-old conflict over the nature of justificationwhich was at the root of … The strict orthodoxy of the Old Lutherans, e.g. Declar, § 23: “Indeed, neither contrition nor love nor any other virtue, but faith alone is the means by which we can reach forth and obtain the grace of God, the merit of Christ and the remission of sin.”) It is well known that Luther in his German translation of the Bible falsified Rom., iii, 28, by interpolating the word “alone” (by faith alone), and to his critics gave the famous answer: “Dr. Augustinus, II (Freiburg, 1900); Pohle, Dogmatik, II (4th ed., Paderborn, 1909), 484-5556; Hefner, Entstehungsgeach. It says that we must cooperate with the grace of Christ and do good work to be saved. 8. VI, can. ", III, 6th ed., pp. This would logically imply in contradiction to the “unica causa formalis” of the Council of Trent, a twofold formal cause of justification (cf. As its first effect this supernatural faith produces in the soul a fear of God‘s avenging justice, and then, through the consideration of God‘s mercy, it awakens the hope of forgiveness for Christ’s sake, which is soon followed by the first beginnings of charity (I. c.: “illumque [Deum] tanquam omnis justifiae fontem diligere incipiunt”). MLA citation. Since justification consists in an interior sanctity and renovation of spirit, its formal cause evidently must be a created grace (gratia creata), a permanent quality, a supernatural modification or accident (accidens) of the soul. Justification in Roman Catholic Doctrine Roman Catholicism blends its doctrines of sanctification and justification. VI, cap. let him be anathema"). Thus we find in one of Luther's letters, written to Melancthon in 1521, the following sentence: "Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ more strongly, who triumphed over sin, death, and the world; as long as we live here, we must sin." MLA citation. By this decree the Council not only condemned the Protestant view that the will in the reception of grace remains merely passive, but also forestalled the Jansenistic heresy regarding the impossibility of resisting actual grace. Krogh-Tonning, "Die Gnadenlehre und die stille Reformation", Christiania, 1894). For this last opinion, defended by the Thomists and the majority of theologians, there is also a solid foundation in Holy Writ. 48: "It is settled beyond question that our justice is to be sought wholly outside of ourselves and that it consists entirely in our Lord Jesus Christ." Cardinal Pallavicini* (Hist. omnia, VI (Paris, 1873); Nussbaum, Die Lehre der kathol. vii: "Non est sola peccatorum remissio, sed et sanctificatio et renovatio interioris hominis per voluntariam susceptionem gratiae et donorum"). real obliteration of sin by means of sanctification, there is a whole series of other effects: beauty of the soul, friendship with God, and Divine adoption. Augustinus", II, Freiburg, 1909, pp. Since God alone was able to free us from this great misery, He sent in His infinite love His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, Who by His bitter passion and death on the cross redeemed fallen man and thus became the Mediator between God and man. According to Rosmini, there are two categories of sin: such as God merely covers and does not impute (cf. Solid. iv, xiv). For the contrast between grace and sin is as great as between light and darkness (II Cor., vi, 14; Eph., v, 8), between life and death (Rom., v, 21; Col., ii, 13; I John, iii, 14), between God and idols, Christ and Belial (II Cor., vi, 15 sqq. Solid. As the dogmatic side of the controversy has been fully explained in the article on GRACE, we shall here consider it more from an historical point of view. It says that we must cooperate with the grace of Christ and do good work to be saved. 48: "It is settled beyond question that our justice is to be sought wholly outside of ourselves and that it consists entirely in our Lord Jesus Christ." . Theol., s.v. theol. On October 31, 1999 Bishop Kasper the Secretary of Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Rev. We now come to the different states in the process of justification. Solid. So, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, justification depends on a person’s sanctification. The next step is a genuine sorrow for all sin with the resolution to begin a new life by receiving holy baptism and by observing the commandments of God. October 1, 1910. "The Half-Melanchtonians" had succeeded in smuggling Synergism into the "Book of Torgau" (1576); but before the "Formulary of Concord" was printed in the monastery of Bergen (near Magdeburg, 1557), the article in question was eliminated as heterodox and the harsh doctrine of Luther substituted in the symbols of the Lutheran Church. Nevertheless, as the children of Adam were really corrupted by original sin, they could not of themselves arise from their fall nor shake off the bonds of sin, death, and Satan. fur Theol. Luther's most dangerous adversary, however, was his friend Melancthon, who, in his praiseworthy endeavour to smooth over by conciliatory modifications the interior difficulties of this discordant system, laid the foundation for the famous Synergisten-Streit (Synergist Dispute), which was so soon to become embittered. The Catholic Encyclopedia. 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