Lutheran World Information

October 8, 1999

Plans for signing of the Joint Declaration in Augsburg 

Celebrations planned for 30 to 31 October 1999

GENEVA 8 October 1999 (LWI) - As announced earlier in the Lutheran World Information (LWI), the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Roman Catholic Church will confirm the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification on 31 October 1999 in Augsburg, Germany.

The occasion is of historic importance not only for the LWF and the Catholics but also for the worldwide ecumenical movement. It represents the significant fruition of a 30-year process of bilateral theological dialogue between the LWF and the Roman Catholic Church. Also, it is the first time ever that a declaration has been made officially and jointly by the respective communions.

For the LWF, the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification will be signed by:

  • Lutheran World Federation (LWF) President Bishop Christian Krause (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brunswick, Germany); 
  • LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe); 
  • and the [LWF] vice-presidents: 
    • Dr. Sigrun Mogedal -- LWF Treasurer (Church of Norway); 
    • Mrs Parmata Ishaya (the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria); 
    • Rev Dr. Prasanna Kumari (the Arcot Lutheran Church, India); 
    • Bishop Julius Filo (Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Slovak Republic); 
    • President Huberto Kirchheim (Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil) 
    • Bishop H. George Anderson (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) 
The two signatories for the Catholic church are the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy and the PCPCU Secretary Bishop Walter Kasper.

The celebrations will be marked for two days, Saturday, 30 October and Sunday, 31 October. Festivities on Saturday include a ceremony for special guests in the Golden Hall of the city of Augsburg. A guided tour of the city's ecclesiastical history will take place in the afternoon. Also scheduled for the afternoon is a youth event, organized by the Focolari movement. It will take place in the Lutheran section of the church of St. Ulrich and Afra. The ecumenical vesper begins at 6.00 p.m. in the Roman Catholic Basilica of Saints Ulrich and Afra.

Sunday begins with morning worship services in various churches in Augsburg. At 9.30 a.m. those wishing to participate will assemble in the Cathedral (Dom) and then move in procession towards St. Anna Church. The ceremony in the Lutheran Church of St. Anna, where the signing of the Joint Declaration will take place, will be transmitted to a big a screen in a tent next door so that those who do not have seats reserved inside will be able to follow from there. The signing of the Joint Declaration in the context of the celebration of an ecumenical service, is scheduled for 10.45 a.m. This will be followed by lunch in the Augustana house.

(The LWF is a global communion of 128 member churches in 70 countries representing 58 million of the world's 61.5 million Lutherans. Its highest decision making body is the Assembly, held every six or seven years. Between Assemblies, the LWF is governed by a 49-member Council which meets annually, and its Executive Committee. The LWF secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.)

[Lutheran World Information is the information service of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Unless specifically noted, material presented does not represent positions or opinions of the LWF or of its various units. Where the dateline of an article contains the notation (lwi), the material may be freely reproduced with acknowledgment.]

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Lutheran World Information 

Assistant Editor, English: Pauline Mumia 

E-mail: [email protected]