Catholics Reject Evangelization of Jews-Cardinal Kasper and Vatican II at Work Again


#1

Is this once again another defection of the faith-Thanks to Cardinal Kasper and Vatican II?

Catholics reject evangelization of Jews

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 8/13/2002

The Catholic Church, which spent hundreds of years trying forcibly to convert Jews to Christianity, has come to the conclusion that it is theologically unacceptable to target Jews for evangelization, according to a statement issued yesterday by organizations representing US Catholic bishops and rabbis from the country’s two largest Jewish denominations.

Citing teachings dating back to the Second Vatican Council, and statements by Pope John Paul II throughout his papacy, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops declared unequivocally that the biblical covenant between Jews and God is valid and therefore Jews do not need to be saved through faith in Jesus.

The declaration, which was negotiated by the bishops and an organization representing Conservative and Reform rabbis, demonstrates the dramatic changes in Catholic thinking about Jews and Judaism in the wake of the Holocaust. In the decades since Hitler’s attempt to exterminate Jews during World War II, **the church has rejected its longtime position that Christianity superseded Judaism and instead has embraced Judaism as a legitimate faith both before and after the life of Jesus. **

Jesus and his early followers were Jewish, but those who embraced Christianity began to turn on those who did not more than a millennium ago. Violence by Christians against Jews began with the Crusades and anti-Semitism intensified during the Middle Ages and informed the Nazi effort during the Holocaust.

Catholic teaching began to shift dramatically in the early 1960s, when the Second Vatican Council declared that ‘‘the Jews must not be presented as rejected by God.’’ Since then, Catholics have abandoned efforts to convert Jews and have emphasized in religious teachings that Jesus was Jewish.

Catholic and Jewish officials said the statement was the sharpest definition to date of the evolving relationship between Catholics and Jews. Cardinal William Keeler, the archbishop of Baltimore and the bishops’ liaison for Christian-Jewish relations, called yesterday’s declaration ‘‘a significant step forward in the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Jewish community in this country.’’

However, the declaration puts the Catholic Church at odds with evangelical Protestants, particularly the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the country. In a 1996 resolution, the Southern Baptists declared, ‘‘whereas Jesus commanded that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem … we direct our energies and resources toward the proclamation of the gospel to the Jewish people.’’

At the time, the Southern Baptists decried ‘‘an organized effort on the part of some either to deny that Jewish people need to come to their Messiah, Jesus, to be saved; or to claim, for whatever reason, that Christians have neither right nor obligation to proclaim the gospel to the Jewish people … we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.’’

The Southern Baptists’ stance has not changed since, according to spokesman John Revell. ‘‘The drive behind not just the Southern Baptists but all evangelical Christians is the conviction that Jesus Christ is the only way to have eternal life with God the Father, and anybody who seeks eternal life through any other means will fail,’’ Revell said. ‘‘There is a misconception that Southern Baptists have targeted Jews. We haven’t targeted Jews. Our focus is to get the good news of Jesus Christ to all people, including Jews.’’

Eugene J. Fisher, the director of Catholic-Jewish Relations for the bishops’ conference, said the document issued yesterday acknowledges the divide between Catholics and evangelical Protestants on the issue.

‘‘This is a free country and that principle of freedom of faith means I can’t complain about their freedom, but here there might be a theological difference as well as a pastoral difference in understanding the relation of Christ’s church to the Jewish people,’’ he said.

Fisher said Catholic efforts to convert Jews ‘‘dried up’’ after the Second Vatican Council. He cited as an example the Sisters of Zion, a religious order that once focused on trying to convert Jews, but after World War II decided on interfaith dialogue instead.

This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 8/13/2002.


#2

And you believe the Globe’s take on Catholic theology? Don’t be naive.


#3

[quote=BulldogCath]Is this once again another defection of the faith-Thanks to Cardinal Kasper and Vatican II?

This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 8/13/2002.
[/quote]

This once again?

No, this 8/13/2002.

Old story.

And I second cestusdei comment.

Since when is the secular media experts on Catholic Theology?


#4

I actually just read it believe it or not-But it is still from a Catholic site and it should, in my humble opinion be discussed and if not agreed with-why are we allowing our Church to go in this direction? Are we all not taught that we need Jesus Christ to be saved?

[quote=ByzCath]This once again?

No, this 8/13/2002.

Old story.

And I second cestusdei comment.

Since when is the secular media experts on Catholic Theology?
[/quote]


#5

[quote=BulldogCath]why are we allowing our Church to go in this direction?
[/quote]

Why are we allowing?

Our Church?

Its God’s Church and He allows and guides it.

The Church is not a demoracy.

This is the mindset that caused the Protestant Reformation and the SSPX schism.

To discuss this I think we all need a very good dose of Catholic Theology.


#6

[quote=BulldogCath]I actually just read it believe it or not-But it is still from a Catholic site and it should, in my humble opinion be discussed and if not agreed with-why are we allowing our Church to go in this direction? Are we all not taught that we need Jesus Christ to be saved?
[/quote]

As others have noted, this is old, and your entirely justified indignation can be set aside. The US bishops never approved this statement. The text was a draft prepared for the bishops’ discussion, and published without their authorization. They declined to endorse it – end of story.

Being Catholic does prevent someone from occasionally spouting nonsense.

Irenicist


#7

Dear BulldogCath:

Your concern is understandable. However, this is the tact the Catholic Church has taken/is taking.

For a clearer understanding of the situation, I refer you to the activities of the *Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews * , which is under the PCPCU presided by Cardinal Kasper, and the resulting agreements/documents:

vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/sub-index/index_relations-jews.htm


#8

I** went to the Vatican site you recommended-what is this supposed to mean?> I never heard such hogwash-the New Testament was hidden in the Old Testament-So does that make Jews Christians then?**

III. TEACHING AND EDUCATION

[left]Although there is still a great deal of work to be done, a better understanding of Judaism itself and its relationship to Christianity has been achieved in recent years thanks to the teaching of the Church, the study and research of scholars, as also to the beginning of dialogue.

In this respect, the following facts deserve to be recalled.

  • It is the same God, “inspirer and author of the books of both Testaments”, (*Dei Verbum, *16), who speaks both in the old and new Covenants.

  • Judaism in the time of Christ and the Apostles was a complex reality, embracing many different trends, many spiritual, religious, social and cultural values.

  • The Old Testament and the Jewish tradition founded upon it must not be set against the New Testament in such a way that the former seems to constitute a religion of only justice, fear and legalism, with no appeal to the love of God and neighbour (cf. *Deut *6:5, *Lev *19:18, *Matt *22:34-40).

- Jesus was born of the Jewish people, as were his Apostles and a large number of his first disciples. When he revealed himself as the Messiah and Son of God (cf. Matt 16:16), the bearer of the new Gospel message, he did so as the fulfilment and perfection of the earlier Revelation. And, although his teaching had a profoundly new character, Christ, nevertheless, in many instances, took his stand on the teaching of the Old Testament. The New Testament is profoundly marked by its relation to the Old. **As the Second Vatican Council declared: “God, the inspirer and author of the books of both Testaments, wisely arranged that the New Testament be hidden in the Old and the Old be made manifest in the New” (Dei Verbum, 16). Jesus also used teaching methods similar to those employed by the rabbis of his time.

  • With regard to the trial and death of Jesus, the Council recalled that “what happened in his passion cannot be blamed upon all the Jews then living, without distinction, nor upon the Jews of today” (Nostra Aetate, 4).

*- *The history of Judaism did not end with the destruction of Jerusalem, but rather went on to develop a religious tradition. And, although we believe that the importance and meaning of that tradition were deeply affected by the coming of Christ, it is still nonetheless rich in religious values.

  • With the prophets and the apostle Paul, "the Church awaits the day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and "serve him with one accords (*Soph 3:9)" (Nostra Aetate, *4).

Information concerning these questions is important at all levels of Christian instruction and education. Among sources of information, special attention should be paid to the following:

  • catechisms and religious textbooks;

  • history books;

  • the mass-media (press, radio, cinema, television).

The effective use of these means presupposes the thorough formation of instructors and educators in training schools, seminaries and universities.

Research into the problems bearing on Judaism and Jewish-Christian relations will be encouraged among specialists, particularly in the fields of exegesis, theology, history and sociology. Higher institutions of Catholic research, in association if possible with other similar Christian institutions and experts, are invited to contribute to the solution of such problems. Wherever possible, chairs of Jewish studies will be created, and collaboration with Jewish scholars encouraged.
[/left]

[quote=Amadeus]Dear BulldogCath:

Your concern is understandable. However, this is the tact the Catholic Church has taken/is taking.

For a clearer understanding of the situation, I refer you to the activities of the *Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews *, which is under the PCPCU presided by Cardinal Kasper, and the resulting agreements/documents:

vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/sub-index/index_relations-jews.htm
[/quote]


#9

[quote=BulldogCath]I actually just read it believe it or not-But it is still from a Catholic site
[/quote]

Then you won’t mind providing the lurl ink?


#10

[quote=BulldogCath]I** went to the Vatican site you recommended-what is this supposed to mean?> I never heard such hogwash-the New Testament was hidden in the Old Testament-So does that make Jews Christians then?**

[/quote]

Nothing on the site even remotely suggests Jews should not be evangelized.

The idea that the New Testament is prefigured in the Old is as old as the New Testament itself. The point of the observation is that the two fulfill each other and that it is pointless to read them in opposition to each other.

God’s promise to the Jews remains as valid now as it was in Moses’ time. The new covenant (available to both Jew and Gentile) offers us more. It doesn’t invalidate the old.

Irenicist


#11

:wave: Please stop trying to convert Jews to Christianity. We just want to be left alone to live our lives as Jews. If you are satisfied being a Catholic Christian, fine. I and millions of other Jews are satisfied being Jews. Can’t you accept that fact? I don’t need Jesus to feel ‘complete’. Judaism is a complete faith. Christianity can add nothing or take it away. Besides, you had to borrow from us.

Before you say that I don’t have a clue, I was a Catholic Christian who converted to Judaism. I have no regrets.

Bat-Ami


#12

Dear BulldogCath:

By referring you to the Vatican website, I had hoped that you consider the subject at hand starting from the official documents of the Catholic Church. This is the highest we can go.

Now, as to the official stance of the USCCB, which generated the article you cited, please read the source:

bc.edu/bc_org/research/cjl/Documents/ncs_usccb120802.htm

I am just trying to put our discussion in perspective.


#13

Come, come. I think the fact that this appeared in the Boston Globe says everything.


#14

This thread is closed.

God Bless,


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