I've noticed that more than a few Protestants don't quite understand what the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification is all about. Well, here it is folks, "the fullness of the faith," or rather, the full process of the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Justification, "once for all delivered to the saints."
This graphical representation of Roman teaching will, I think, be very helpful to Protestants in understanding how justification (and the whole process of salvation) works in the Roman Catholic system. My hope, over time, Lord willing, is to use the various graphical portions of this chart and talk about the history of the various components of this doctrine.
Effectively, given that Rome has officially defined justification this way, by this process, you can rest assured that every portion of this is to be found, implicitly or explicitly, within the pages of the Holy ["properly interpreted"] Scriptures. Because this is the way that it works: Rome's authority right now is what assures us that this is what the church has always believed about justification. (It's just been believed in "seed form" or some other nonsense like that.)
While I may be joking about this, it is a very good picture of the official doctrine. It gives a picture of what I've called "the Sacramental Treadmill." We can go into more detail about this at a future time, but I wanted to post this now so that we can refer back to it on future occasions.
[Click on the image to bring up a larger, printable chart].
I want to point out something again:
"The Reformers' forensic understanding of justification ... the idea of an immediate divine imputation [of righteousness] renders superfluous the entire Catholic system of the priestly mediation of grace by the Church." (Bruce McCormack,What's at Stake in the Current Debates over Justification, from Husbands and Treier's Justification, pg 82.)When McCormack notes that "the entire Catholic system of the priestly mediation of grace by the Church" is rendered "superfluous" by forensic justification, it's this entire contraption that is made "superfluous".
(This is one main reason why the "infusion vs imputation" discussion is not mundane, but it is vitally important. The "infusion" keeps this alive; "imputation" gets rid of this monstrosity.)