In recent Roman apologetics, there has been an attempt to claim that justification is a process, a continual procession in time where one is made 'more righteous' with God. This goes against the Reformational doctrine of justification as a single event. We can find many Anglican divines teaching justification as an 'event' rather than as a 'process', as well as taught in the Articles of Religion. The Roman doctrine of justification as a 'process' has scored a lot of conversions in recent years; literally, people packing up and swimming the Tiber, because of this one doctrine. Here is a video from Jordan B. Cooper that attests to the misery caused by recent Lutheran theologians who left Lutheranism for Rome in part because of this very question: https://youtu.be/e_F2VLa0210 Why has it been so successful for them? Because (and this is a truth), for many years the Protestants caricatured and misunderstood the full Roman doctrine as pelagian. But when they are exposed to the actual doctrine, such as in the Council of Trent, it seems incredibly persuasive and the rest falls in due course. To summarize the Roman doctrine briefly, justification is not a one-time event, but a continual process. In the initial stage it is entirely by faith (sola fide!). that's called Initial Justification, and there are no works at all. It is entirely gratuitous, 'by grace through faith', it might as well be protestant. But continuing, after that initial time God will continue to perfect and make the person more righteous, through works, so that at the end of this life-long process, at the Final Justification, man will be judged by his works as well as faith. Here is the text of the VI session of Trent, from 1547, which covers Justification: https://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct06.html Now this has proven irresistible to recent Protestants who were taught to believe that Rome does not teach sola fide. Once they encounter a competent Romanist theologian who will affirm for them that yes, justification (the initial part of it), is entirely sola fide, and only the latter stages of it have works come into the picture, they have no answer. Worse, it seems to better accommodate the Scriptural data, incorporating the justification "by faith" in St. Paul with justification "by works" in St. James. (I've already written about justification in Paul and James in a previous thread.) -- Now, here is one way I suggest we look at this question of 'event' vs 'process', when looking through church history, or the Sacred Scriptures. It's not enough to find a church father or scripture speak about justification by faith (they already all say that, which is why Rome had to scramble to invent this new theory). We also have to ask: did this father or scripture see a time in a person's life AFTER his justification? That's the condition that would disqualify the Roman view (because to them there is no 'after', and justification proceeds until the time of death). So now, with that extra filter, I've already found statements in St. Augustine where he would say things like, "After one's justification,..." and so on, continuing his thought. At first I wanted this thread to contrast Trent to the Fathers, in this fashion. But then I wanted to find out, how late can we go into history before this clean understanding becomes corrupted? (We already know it is corrupted by the time of Trent in 1547.) So I looked at Thomas Aquinas. And before any more adieu, I present to you a study of Aquinas' doctrine of justification, from Theophilogue, https://theophilogue.com/pdf-catalogue/: The full PDF is attached, if anyone wants the complete reference. Cheers everyone, Stalwart out.