'Justification' pact marked with eye on new divisions

An ecumenical milestone
With embraces, hymns and common prayer, Catholic, Lutheran and Methodist leaders recalled joyfully the pact made a decade ago that ended a centuries-old division over a key church doctrine. Vows were made at a Chicago service to seek greater unity—even as a Catholic archbishop noted a new challenge to unity posed by diverging views on sexuality.

The celebration of the historic agreement on justification by faith, or how individuals are brought into a right relationship with God, began October 1 with a colorful procession of robed leaders. It ended with spontaneous applause from some 300 people at Chicago’s Old St. Patrick’s Church.


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