Lutherans and Roman Catholics in Canada gathered in Winnipeg to celebrate the fifth year of the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, Nov. 17, 2004. Similar celebrations were held around the world throughout November and early December.
The joint declaration has helped reconnect justification with Christian formation and prayer life, said National Bishop Raymond L. Schultz, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).
The JDDJ has created a more familiar and friendly environment among Lutherans and Catholics in Canada, he added.
The JDDJ was signed on Oct. 31, 1999, between the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church, in Augsburg, Germany.
According to the Lutheran World Federation news, the celebration was an occasion to express the significance of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic agreement for church life. The declaration also signified that the condemnations from the 16th century Reformation do not apply to the teachings presented in the JDDJ.
Altogether, there were about 200 Lutherans and Catholics from churches across Winnipeg and other regions. The theme of the celebration was Justified Freed for Life, and the service included an affirmation of baptism, intercessory prayers in English, French, German and Spanish, and excerpts from the JDDJ, which were read antiphonally by Lutherans and Catholics.