In 1994, after intense study, discussion, and prayer, we issued a statement titled “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium.” In 1997, we bore common witness to “The Gift of Salvation,” underscoring God’s unmerited justification of sinners because of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, and our only hope of salvation. In our third statement, “Your Word is Truth” (2002), we affirmed a convergence in our understanding of the transmission of God’s saving Word through Holy Scripture and tradition, which is the lived experience of the community of faith under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In 2003, we addressed “The Communion of Saints,” in which we confessed that our communion with Christ means that we are in a certain, albeit imperfect, communion with one another in his body, the Church. “The Call to Holiness” in 2005 lifted up our common participation in the life-transforming love of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The statement “That They May Have Life” (2006) set forth the Christian mandate, based on biblical authority and clear reason, for the protection of innocent human life from conception to natural death.
In the present statement we turn our attention to the Virgin Mary as an example of God’s saving grace, the divinely chosen mother of our Lord and a model of discipleship. As in previous statements, we wish to emphasize that we speak from and to, not for, our several communities, and that we are determined honestly to engage differences between our communities, recognizing that the only unity pleasing to God, and therefore the only unity we may seek, is unity in the truth.
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