Originally Posted by Pablo Rafael
Ant..., er I mean, DUMBLEDORE,
Being a recent convert to the Catholic church I have found the Catholic teachings to be an interesting and chaotic phenomenon.
There are official teachings that the church is unwilling to discard. (Can't admit to ever making an error can we?) However, what gets preached from the pulpit can be a different thing entirely. The official statements issued at the Council of Trent against the doctrine of justification by grace through faith alone have never officially been refuted, but we Catholics ignore a lot of the official teachings.
I have heard many sermons on justification by grace through faith alone in the Catholic church. This really resonates with my Lutheran upbringing. However where the Lutherans really try to distance justification from good works, the Catholics always tie the two together.
Lutherans: We are justified by grace through faith - works has nothing to do with it.
Catholic: We are justified by grace through faith - therefore works must follow.
That's how I have seen it work itself out in my church.
Tu Amigo, Pablo
Just call me DUMBIE for short. I'm not sure Lutherans or Presbyterians would say that works don't follow justification. It is just that you can't offer any righteousness of your own in justification. Once you're justified you are in union with God and that relationship transforms you (sanctification). Good works will naturally follow.
Your point is interesting because Calvin anticipated that the Roman Catholic church would say exactly what you said, "We are justified by grace through faith - works has nothing to do with it." That is why in Calvin's Institutes he deals with the topic of sanctification before he tackles justification. He is anticipating this objection to justification. Wasn't the 16th. century grand!