Leaders of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Catholic Church signed the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” (JDDJ) on October 31, 1999, in Augsburg, Germany, after years of theological dialogue. It was affirmed in 2006 by the World Methodist Council.
On October 31, 2009, the 10th anniversary of the JDDJ and celebration of its witness of the gospel was observed at the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., with Bishop Graham and the Most Rev. Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, participating. They were joined by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. Additional details are available in an article by Mark Zimmermann, “Anniversary of Catholic and Lutheran agreement seen as reminder of need to bring Christ to world,” printed in The Catholic Standard of the Archdiocese of Washington on November 4, which graciously shared this photo with the synod.
The JDDJ declared that the LWF and the Catholic Church had reached a common understanding on justification that believers are saved by faith in Jesus Christ and not by works. Interpretations of justification caused disagreement int he church nearly 500 years earlier, which led to the Protestant Reformation. The churches declared that certain 16th century condemnations of each other no longer applied.