Have the Roman Catholics and Protestants contracted to unite into one church?

Questions & Answers October 27, 2017

Q: Have the Roman Catholics and Protestants contracted to unite into one church? — Ruben, from Argentina

A: Ruben, I think you may be alluding to The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) that was signed by the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church, represented by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 1999. The signing of this document between these two entities took place after about 35 years of dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans.

Since 1999, other religious groups have entered into dialogue and have also signed the Declaration. These include the World Methodist Council in 2006, the Anglican Church in 2016, and the World Communion of Reformed Churches on July 5, 2017. The World Communion of Reformed Churches is the largest body of Reformed churches in the world, representing 80 million members of Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed, United, Uniting, and Waldensian churches.

It does appear that many Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church are drawing closer together following the signing of the Declaration. This should not surprise us as we study the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and read “The Great Controversy.”

It is interesting to note a statement made by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding the JDDJ in a news release of Oct. 30, 2015:

“A significant outcome of the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in the United States and internationally is the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ), signed in 1999 in Augsburg, Germany. With the JDDJ, the LWF [Lutheran World Federation] and the Catholic Church agreed to a common understanding of the doctrine of justification and declared that certain 16th century condemnations of each other no longer apply.”

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