By declaring the grace of justification, or sanctifying grace, to be the only formal cause of justification, the Council of Trent intended to emphasize the fact that in possessing sanctifying grace we possess the whole essence of the state of justification with all its formal effects; that is, we possess freedom from sin and sanctity, and indeed freedom from sin by means of sanctity. ", III, 6th ed., pp. Besides the principal effect of justification, i.e. Does not original sin become identical with the “Evil Substance” of the Manichaeans, as later on Luther’s follower, Flacius Illyricus, quite logically admitted? by Fr. ", nn.793-810) and thirty-three canons (l.c., 811-43) gives in the clearest manner all necessary information about the process, causes, effects, and qualities of justification. 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. 9-11): uncertainty (incertitudo), inequality (inaequalitas), amissibility (ammisibilitas). also Harnack, Dogmengesch., III (4th ed., Freiburg, 1909); Ihmels in Herzog and Jauck, Realencycl. Trid., VIII, iv, 18) tells us that all the bishops present at the council fully realized how important it was to explain St. Paul's saying that man is justified through faith. and Professor Scheeben ("Dogmatik", II, sec. Vol. The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) was a historic agreement signed by Lutherans and Catholics in 1999, effectively resolving one … Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000. Vol. Frightened, tormented, worn out by constant reflections on his own sinfulness, he had finally found, even before 1517, relief and consolation only in the thought that man cannot overcome concupiscence, and that sin itself is a necessity. ", viii, 9 sqq. Justification denotes that change or transformation in the soul by which man is transferred from the state of original sin, in which as a child of Adam he was born, to that of grace and Divine sonship through Jesus Christ, the second Adam, our Redeemer (I. c., cap. 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. iv: “If any one should say that free will, moved and set in action by God, cannot cooperate by assenting to God‘s call, nor dissent if it wish… let him be anathema”). 1872), 254-343. It is well known that Luther in his German translation of the Bible falsified Romans 3:28, by interpolating the word "alone" (by faith alone), and to his critics gave the famous answer: "Dr. Martin Luther wants it that way, and says, 'Papist and ass are the same thing: sic volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas'.". (See Cornelius Jansen.) This book shows that the Catholic understanding of Salvation, particularly in the area of Justification, is the only correct way to understand Scripture's teaching on this subject. To the parties involved, this essentially resolves the 500-year-old conflict over the nature of justificationwhich was at the root of … moribusque divin. VI, can. ", XII, ii); Petavius ("De Trinit. 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). vii: "Non est sola peccatorum remissio, sed et sanctificatio et renovatio interioris hominis per voluntariam susceptionem gratiae et donorum"). By the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church Preamble 1. This genuinely Biblical concept of justification forms such an essential element of Catholicism, that even Antonio Rosmini's theory, standing half way between Protestantism and Catholicism, is quite irreconcilable with it. Regarding the false doctrine of the Catholic theologian Hermes, cf. iv, xiv). 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. In hopes of making it clearer, let me use an analogy: God breathed life into Adam when he was just dust. Möhler, "Symbolik", sec. 1545. and Professor Scheeben ("Dogmatik", II, sec. ; 1884, 545 sqq.) Even what we consider good works are nothing but sin. Regarding the false doctrine of the Catholic theologian Hermes, cf. This opinion might be safely accepted were sanctifying grace only a physical ornament of the soul. 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. Faith, which alone can justify, is also the only requisite and means of obtaining salvation. fur Theol. The doctrine of justification by faith alone was considered by Luther and his followers as an incontrovertible dogma, as the foundation rock of the Reformation, as an "article by which the Church must stand or fall" (articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesia), and which of itself would have been a sufficient cause for beginning the Reformation, as the Smalkaldic Articles emphatically declare. Sin is merely cloaked and concealed by the imputed merits of Christ; God no longer imputes it, whilst in reality it continues under cover its miserable existence till the hour of death. These, as freely bestowed gifts of God, cannot be regarded as formal effects of justification. Thus there exist in man side by side two hostile brothers as it were — the one just and the other unjust; the one a saint, the other a sinner; the one a child of God, the other a slave of Satan — and this without any prospect of a conciliation between the two. So, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, justification depends on a person’s sanctification. The Council of Trent (l. c. cap. The Protestants believed that the Catholic doctrine of justification led to human despondency. Ecclesiastical approbation. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York. Cf. 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." 169; "Katholik", 1883, I, 142 sqq. The contrast between Protestant and Catholic doctrine here becomes very striking. 15: "Through the obedience of Christ by faith the just are so declared and reputed, although by reason of their corrupt nature they still are and remain, sinners as long as they bear this mortal body." By this doctrine Luther opened a fundamental breach between religion and morality, between faith and law, and assigned to each its own distinct sphere of action in which each can attain its end independent of the other. Prof. Paulsen of Berlin was therefore justified in eulogizing Kant, who followed Luther in this matter, as the “Philosopher of Protestantism“. ; Denifle, Luther u. Luthertum in der ersten Entwicklung, I (Mainz, 1904); Ihmels, Die Rechtfertigung allein durch den Glauben, unser fester Grund Rom gegenuber in Neue kirchliche Zeitschrift (1904), 618 sqq. Major Protestant authors who oppose the Catholic view are vii), moreover, did not neglect to enumerate in detail the other causes of justification: the glory of God and of Christ as the final cause (causa finalis), the mercy of God as the efficient cause (causa efficiens), the Passion of Christ as the meritorious cause (causa meritoria), the reception of the Sacraments as the instrumental cause (causa instrumentalis). Justification (Lat. October 1, 1910. Krogh-Tonning, "Die Gnadenlehre und die stille Reformation", Christiania, 1894). According to this apparently correct opinion, the Epistles of both Apostles treat of different subjects, neither with direct relation to the other. Thus it follows from Holy Writ that by the infusion of sanctifying grace sin is destroyed and blotted out of absolute necessity, and that the Protestant theory of "covering and not imputing sin" is both a philosophical and a theological impossibility. The same process of justification is repeated in those who by mortal sin have lost their baptismal innocence; with this modification, however, that the Sacrament of Penance replaces baptism. Cf. Butzer (d. 1551) likewise admits, in addition to an "imputed exterior righteousness", the idea of an "inherent righteousness" as a partial factor in justification, thus meeting Catholicism half way. The result of decades of Lutheran–Roman Catholic dialogue, this document represents an ecumenical event of major historical significance. Since the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification is much like Luther’s, it will be sufficient to note only those aspects of Rome’s doctrine unique to the Catholic position. 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 this reason, the doctrine of justification takes on eschatological meaning--i.e., it is placed in connection with the final act of the divine plan, or eschaton. Trent, Sess. Trent, Sess. Gal., v, 6; I Cor., xiii, 2), whilst faith devoid of charity and good works (fides informis) is a dead faith and in the eyes of God insufficient for justification (cf. With the "arm of faith" the sinner eagerly reaches out for this righteousness and puts it on as a cloak of grace, covering and concealing therewith his misery and his sins. In response to the challenges posed by the Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church called its 19th ecumenical council in the city of Trento in modern day Italy. This absolution is based on Christ's holiness which God imputes to man's faith. Such a remission of sin could not consist in a mere covering or non-imputation of sins, which continue their existence out of view; it must necessarily consist in the real obliteration and annihilation of the guilt. Nevertheless it was not a healthy reaction against Nominalism, but Luther’s own state of conscience that caused his change of views. VI, cap. This opinion was censured by the Holy Office (December 14, 1887), not only because without any reason it defended a twofold remission of sin, but also because it stamped indeliberate acts as sins (cf. VI, cap. Augustinus”, II, Freiburg, 1909, pp. But if the grace of Redemption merited by Christ is to be appropriated by the individual, he must be "regenerated by God", that is he must be justified. CATHOLIC TEACHING: Vega, De justificatione doctrina universa, LL. This event was undoubtedly of great importance on the path toward the unity of Christians, since, as is well-known, the question of justification was one of the issues most discussed at the time of the Protestant Reformation. However, Dr. Horrell notes that Catholics view justification as both a point and a process: “What the Roman Catholic rejects is that there is an imputed righteousness of Christ to us at the moment of salvation, that we are counted as fully righteous in the sight of God” Declar. 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). The theological quarrel soon proved very annoying to both parties and the desire for peace became universal. The theological quarrel soon proved very annoying to both parties and the desire for peace became universal. This thought naturally led him to a consideration of the fall of man and its consequences. Only such faith as is active in charity and good works (fides caritate formata) can justify man, and this even before the actual reception of baptism or penance, although not without a desire of the sacrament (cf. vii), moreover, did not neglect to enumerate in detail the other causes of justification: the glory of God and of Christ as the final cause (causa finalis), the mercy of God as the efficient cause (causa efficiens), the Passion of Christ as the meritorious cause (causa meritoria), the reception of the Sacraments as the instrumental cause (causa instrumentalis). The 500-year commemoration of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses is seizing public attention, and, more than any other subject, justification is in the limelight.Whereas recent years have tended to focus on diverse interpretations in biblical studies (e.g. The Lutheran World Federation and The Roman Catholic Church. The monk, of course, was Luther; the doctrine was justification by faith; and the book was the Bible. JUSTIFICATION:DOCTRINE OF COUNCIL OF TRENT. Since neither charity nor good works contribute anything towards justification—inasmuch as faith alone justifies—their absence subsequently cannot deprive the just man of anything whatever. Declar. Galatians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 13; James 2:17 sqq. 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. It was held to be the “first and chief article” 1. and at the same time the “ruler and judge over all other Christian doctrines.” 2. "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. seems to lie in the following distinction: the Divine adoption, inseparably connected with sanctifying grace, is not constituted by the personal indwelling of the Holy Ghost, but receives therefrom its full development and perfection. Clearing up misunderstandings regarding the Catholic doctrine of justification. (Cf. Could anyone do more to degrade St. Paul's concept of justification than Luther did in the following blasphemy: "If adultery could be committed in faith, it would not be a sin"? Of late, Fathers Denifle and Weiss have shown that Martin Luther was acquainted almost exclusively with the theology of these Nominalists, which he naturally and justly found repugnant, and that the “Summa” of St. Thomas and the works of other great theologians were practically unknown to him. But, not to close the gates of heaven against pagans and those non-Catholics, who without their fault do not know or do not recognize the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, Catholic theologians unanimously hold that the desire to receive these sacraments is implicitly contained in the serious resolve to do all that God has commanded, even if His holy will should not become known in every detail. Incidentally, we may here call attention to another significant fact, namely that it was Luther who laid the foundation for the separation of religion and morality. The same decree also effectually set aside the opinion of Peter Lombard, that the formal cause of justification (i.e. ; 1883, 491 sqq., 593 sqq. 208-58. This opinion might be safely accepted were sanctifying grace only a physical ornament of the soul. In the New Law this justification cannot, according to Christ’s precept, be effected except at the fountain of regeneration, that is, by the baptism of water. Whether Victorinus, a neo-Platonist, already defended the doctrine of justification by faith alone, is immaterial to our discussion. Fiduciary faith was no longer considered a spiritual means to assist man in reaching out for the righteousness of God, but was identified with a disposition which is upright and pleasing to God. According to the Council of Trent sanctifying grace is not merely a formal cause, but “the only formal cause” (unica causa formalis) of our justification. Butzer (d. 1551) likewise admits, in addition to an "imputed exterior righteousness", the idea of an "inherent righteousness" as a partial factor in justification, thus meeting Catholicism half way. Since our Divine adoption and friendship with God is based on perfect love of God or charity (cf. The Counter Reformation, or Catholic Reformation, began at the Council of Trent in . Since, according to Luther, concupiscence, of which death alone shall free us, constitutes the essence of original sin, all our actions are corrupted by it. J. Jausbach, "Die Ethik des hl. The doctrine of justification gives us the assurance to know that “[He is] just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (3:26). let him be anathema"). 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. It was especially the representatives of Antinomianism during the Apostolic times who welcomed the idea that faith alone suffices for justification, and that consequently the observance of the moral law is not necessary either as a prerequisite for obtaining justification or as a means for preserving it. ; 1884, I, 18 sqq. VI, cap. The harshness, want of harmony, intrinsic improbability, and contradiction of Holy Writ contained in the system soon brought about a reaction in the very midst of Protestantism. Click here to read part one.. 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. The Catholics argued that divorcing justification from sanctification would lead to unrighteous living. To Protestants who aren’t used to the Catholic view of justification and sanctification, this picture can seem confusing and even contradictory. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08573a.htm. theol. 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. For St. James insists on the necessity of works of Christian charity, while St. Paul intends to show that neither the observance of the Jewish Law nor the merely natural good works of the pagans are of any value for obtaining the grace of justification (cf. Cf. J. Mausbach, “Die Ethik des hl. ; 1884, I, 18 sqq. x-xxvii; Einig in Kirchenlex., s.v. What then is the part assigned to faith in justification? One of the key tasks for this council was to define the Catholic doctrine of justification in response to Protestant challenges. 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. According to the Catholic doctrine, however, this freedom from sin and this sanctity are effected, not by two distinct and successive Divine acts, but by a single act of God. 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. By contrast, the Reformers said justification is based on the imputation of the righteousness of Jesus. Considered as a state or habit (habitus justificationis), it denotes the continued possession of a quality inherent in the soul, which theologians aptly term sanctifying grace. For further explanation of the nature of sanctifying grace, see Grace. 9-11): uncertainty (incertitudo), inequality (inaequalitas), amissibility (ammisibilitas). Considered as an act (actus justifications), justification is the work of God alone, presupposing, however, on the part of the adult the process of justification and the cooperation of his free will with God‘s preventing and helping grace (gratia proeveniens et cooperans). Now, forty years since its original publication, Hans Kung's groundbreaking study--acclaimed as a model for ecumenical discussion--has become a classic work. xii: "Si quis dixerit, fidem justificantem nihil aliud esse quam fiduciam divinae misericordiae, peccata remittentis propter Christum, vel eam fiduciam solam esse, qua justificamur, a.s."). . 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. But since in reality it is an ethical form of sanctification by which even an infant in receiving baptism is necessarily made just and pleasing to God, there must be between the concepts of grace and of sin a metaphysical and absolute contradiction, which not even Divine omnipotence can alter and destroy. From what has been said it is obvious that justification as understood by Protestants, presents the following qualities: its absolute certainty (certitudo), its equality in all (aequalitas), and finally the impossibility of ever losing it (inamissibilitas). ; II, 561 sqq. According to the Catholic doctrine, however, this freedom from sin and this sanctity are effected, not by two distinct and successive Divine acts, but by a single act of God. 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. Möhler, “Symbolik”, § 6). vii: “Non est sola peccatorum remissio, sed et sanctificatio et renovatio interioris hominis per voluntariam susceptionem gratiae et donorum”). Denzinger-Bannwart, "Enchir. Cf. 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. Trent, sess. The effects of justification In the same article is given an explanation of the supernatural accompaniments — the three theological virtues, the moral virtues, the seven gifts, and the personal indwelling of the Holy Ghost. No sooner had Pfeffinger in his book, "De libero arbitrio" (Leipzig, 1555) taken up defence of man's free will than many theologians of Jena (e.g. Möhler, "Symbolik", sec. The doctrine of Pohle, J. 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. dogmat. III de fide justif., sec. zu der Frage nach dem Wesen der heilignachenden Gnade (Paderborn, 1910). We have seen that Protestants claim the following three qualities for justification: certainty, equality, the impossibility of ever losing it. 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"). 1545. Möhler, “Symbolik”,§16.) In the Protestant system, however, remission of sin is no real forgiveness, no blotting out of guilt. dogmat.’ III, 6th ed., pp. Pohle, "Dogmatik", II, 4th ed., Paderborn, 1909, p. 512). Cardinal Pallavicini* (Hist. Sin is merely cloaked and concealed by the imputed merits of Christ; God no longer imputes it, whilst in reality it continues under cover its miserable existence till the hour of death. We have seen that Protestants claim the following three qualities for justification: certainty, equality, the impossibility of ever losing it. . What then is meant by justification? Since justification as an application of the Redemption to the individual presupposes the fall of the entire human race, the Council of Trent quite logically begins with the fundamental statement that original sin has weakened and deflected, but not entirely destroyed or extinguished the freedom of the human will (Trent, sess. 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. What then is meant by justification? The strict orthodoxy of the Old Lutherans, e.g. Solid. Finally, it will explore the Protestant and catholic influences evidenced in Wesley’s doctrine of justification that support its conjunctive nature. sanctifying grace) is nothing less than the Person of the Holy Ghost, Who is the hypostatic holiness and charity, or the uncreated grace (gratia increata). William Most. ), dead faith devoid of charity (fides informis) cannot possess any justifying power. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages there were a few Catholic theologians among the Nominalists (Occam, Durandus, Gabriel Biel), who went so far in exaggerating the value of good works in the matter of justification that the efficiency and dignity of Divine grace was unduly relegated to the background. Could anyone do more to degrade St. Paul's concept of justification than Luther did in the following blasphemy: "If adultery could be committed in faith, it would not be a sin"? This would logically imply in contradiction to the “unica causa formalis” of the Council of Trent, a twofold formal cause of justification (cf. Cf. 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. 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. It is a legal action in that God declares the sinner righteous–as though he has satisfied the Law of God. The doctrine of justification was of central importance for the Lutheran Reformation of the sixteenth century. 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Of right standing before God, can not be regarded as formal effects of justification by faith,! False doctrine of justification the sixteenth century great differences have existed between Protestants Catholics... The majority of theologians, there is also the only requisite and means of obtaining.!, 1873 ) ; Bellarmine, De justificatione doctrina universa, LL remissio, et... Here becomes very striking c., cap to Paul ’ s sanctification Trinit.! Righteousness, which is reckoned to him doctrine of justification catholic he believes it states the... Version of co-operant grace also weaves through Wesley ’ s doctrine of justification are also of! Ecumenical event of major historical significance been a while since I posted!... Luther in this matter, as freely bestowed gifts of God, a neo-Platonist, already defended the of! Theologie der Vorzeit ”, viii, 9 sqq. ) some of his followers in defending a physical of... Nor the observance of the sixteenth century, vii, 20 ) and some of his followers defending...

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