Journal of Ecumenical Studies vol:45 issue:4 pages:591-591
Societas Oecumenica location:Katholieke Universiteit Leuven date:August 21-27, 2008
The teaching that a believer is simultaneously righteous and a sinner, that is, simul iustus et peccator is highly valued in the Lutheran confession. The Roman Catholic tradition, however, considers it unacceptable. In recent years, in ecumenical circles, ecumenists have made efforts, without avail, to overcome the differences on this issue. Therefore, this paper seeks to contribute to the simul debate in order to overcome the ecumenical impasse on this issue.
The question that lurks in the background of this paper is: how can Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches interpret the simul doctrine in such a way that no longer divides the churches? In this regard, we argue that it is possible for both traditions to overcome the differences on the simul, if both parties consider this teaching as a theologoumenon. This means that both churches could accept the concerns inherent in the simul teaching, albeit, each of them might consider the content of such formula differently. Viewed from this hermeneutical perspective, the simul teaching no longer possesses the church-divisive power.