By Bro. Michael Dimond, O.S.B.
Read more of Benedict XVI’s Recent Heresies
Benedict XVI, Address to Methodists, Dec. 9, 2005: “I have been encouraged by the initiative which would bring the member churches of the World Methodist Council into association with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, signed by the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999. Should the World Methodist Council express its intent to associate itself with the Joint Declaration, it would assist in contributing to the healing and reconciliation we ardently desire, and would be a significant step towards the stated goal of full visible unity in faith… I invoke God’s abundant Blessings upon all of you and on Methodists throughout the world.” (L’Osservatore Romano, Dec. 21/28, p. 5.)
First, Benedict XVI asserts that the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans on Justification was signed by “the Catholic Church.” This shows us again that the Joint Declaration is officially accepted by the Vatican II sect. Therefore, if you are in communion with Benedict XVI, your sect accepts the Joint Declaration with the Lutherans, and is therefore non-Catholic.
Second, notice that Benedict XVI says nothing about how the Methodists need to accept the Council of Trent’s teaching on Justification. No, that’s not even a consideration for the non-Catholic Benedict XVI, even though Trent defined as a dogma that all must accept its teaching.
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session 6, Chap. 16, ex cathedra:
“After this Catholic doctrine of justification [defined by Trent] – which, unless he faithfully and firmly accepts, no one can be justified – it seemed good to the holy Synod to add these canons, so that all may know, not only what they must hold and follow, but also what they ought to shun and avoid.”
All of this illustrates for us again what a bad joke it is to claim that this man is the Pope of the Catholic Church. I will not quote here all of the heretical portions of the Joint Declaration on Justification, since it covered in many articles on our website. I will give a few pertinent quotes, however:
Joint Declaration With the Lutherans on Justification: “41. Thus the doctrinal condemnations of the 16th century [i.e., the Council of Trent], in so far as they are related to the doctrine of justification, appear in a new light: The teaching of the Lutheran churches presented in this Declaration does not fall under the condemnations from the Council of Trent.“
This means that none of the teaching of the Lutherans in the JD (Joint Declaration) is condemned by the Council of Trent! But in the JD, besides the other heresies taught by the Lutherans, the Lutheran churches teach the heresy of Justification by “faith alone,” which was condemned by the Council of Trent approximately 13 times.
Joint Declaration With the Lutherans on Justification: “26. According to Lutheran understanding, God justifies sinners in faith alone (sola fide).”
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session 6, Chap. 10, ex cathedra :
“‘You see, that by works a man is justified and not by faith alone’ (Jas. 2:24).”
Thus, the statement in #41 of the JD means that the “Catholic” side agrees that all the dogmatic canons and decrees in Trent condemning faith alone are overturned, and that faith alone is no longer contrary to or condemned by Trent. It is not possible for heresy to be any more formal than this.
Joint Declaration With the Lutherans on Justification: “# 13. IN LIGHT OF THIS CONSENSUS, THE CORRESPONDING DOCTRINAL CONDEMNATIONS OF THE 16TH CENTURY [the Council of Trent] DO NOT APPLY TO TODAY’S PARTNER.”
Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Sess. 6, On Justification, Introduction, ex cathedra:”…the holy ecumenical and general synod of Trent lawfully assembled in the Holy Spirit… purpose to expound to all the faithful of Christ the true and salutary doctrine of justification… strictly forbidding that anyone henceforth may presume to believe, preach or teach, otherwise than is defined and declared by this present decree.”