In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, Lutherans and Roman Catholics met for the first time to explore the possibilities of dialogue on an international level right here in Strasbourg at the Institute in 1965. Since then it has been one of the most productive and far-reaching of bilateral dialogues, releasing a great many joint statements. The staff of the Institute were closely involved with the development of “unity in reconciled diversity” or “differentiated consensus,” a hermeneutical theory that proposed the possibility of common content behind and beneath varieties of expression. On this basis, Lutherans and Roman Catholics were able to sign together the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999.

The Centro Pro Unione in Rome provides a detailed list of meetings and reports of the Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity. A few of the most important are directly linked below.

The Gospel and the Church (“The Malta Report), 1972

All Under One Christ (on the 450th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession), 1980

Martin Luther: Witness to Jesus Christ, 1983

Facing Unity, 1984

Church and Justification, 1993

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, 1999

The Apostolicity of the Church, 2005

From Conflict to Communion, 2013

Another seminal text in this dialogue available in book form is The Condemnations of the Reformation Era: Do They Still Divide? eds. Karl Lehmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990).

Further Texts by Staff Members of the Institute