How to reconcile Pope Francis and St. Paul

Hi folks,

Was just curious to see how some of you can bring clarity to the seeming contradictory ways of approaching the Jews that we in Pope Francis versus Paul. Pope Francis seems to be trying to “build bridges” and seems to blur the distinction between salvation through the Church and salvation for Jews who openly reject the gospel. Where as we read in St. Paul

Acts 13:44-52
44 The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.[j] 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy; and blaspheming, they contradicted what was spoken by Paul. 46 Then both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you reject it and judge yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life, we are now turning to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,
‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles,
so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and praised the word of the Lord; and as many as had been destined for eternal life became believers. 49 Thus the word of the Lord spread throughout the region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Why then do we see many Catholics today, include our Pope Francis, who seems to blur the line between Christians and Jews?

Jesus was a Jew. Our Blessed Mother was a Jew(ess). The Apostles were all Jews. St. Paul was a Jew.

Pope Francis was never a Jew.

Sorry - I don’t quite get your question.

Paul basically tells the Jews who didn’t accept his message that they were going to hell, whereas Pope Francis makes it seem like we all worship the same God and are in the same direction, heaven.

OK, now you gotta show us your cards. Where did Pope Francis say anything like that? Give us a quote and a source.

I never said he “said” that.

Perhaps you should allow someone else to comment. It seems as if you think I am on the offensive.

Then I apologize. Where does Pope Francis “make[s] it seem like we all worship the same God and are in the same direction, heaven?” Those are your exact words, modified (and cited) for verb tense. If he didn’t actually say that, why do you attribute this to his Holy name?

Perhaps you should allow someone else to comment. It seems as if you think I am on the offensive.

I welcome all comments, including your own. I am ONLY asking you to accurately quote the Pope whom you ambiguously quote. I don’t think this request is improper or abnormal, and I see no reason why you ought to take offense at such a routine request.

Here is a brief video of Pope Francis addressing Muslims and Jews

youtube.com/watch?v=qBUjiydjsxU

His approach is different than Paul’s. Why? And is that ok.

The problem is not what you think,
the problem is that you are unaware of the teachings of the Church.
Your argument isn’t with Pope Francis, it is with the established official teachings of the Church

The official Catechism of the Catholic Church, which pre-exists Francis, teaches thus

vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P29.HTM

The Church and non-Christians

839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ”,328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329

840 and when one considers the future, God’s People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus."

t Paul to the Romans 9:4

"They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises.

Romans 11:29
" for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.

Continued from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

"842 The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race: All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331

843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.“332”]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding Muslims

841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day."330

842 The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331

Therefore when you think Pope Francis is contradicting St Paul you need to understand that Pope Francis didn’t write the Catechism.
He is only saying what the Church actually teaches in her official Catechism.

God bless you
Kind wishes, Trishie

Simple. Things aren’t always as they seem. Pope Francis has stated clearly that he is “a son of the Church.” As Trishie has posted those applicable sections of the catechism, any gap exists only in our failure to know the catechism. I, for one, am thankful that you asked this question, as it helps me to understand the attitude of God, via His Church, toward those who are seeking the truth.

One thing that is perhaps not well known or understood is that Christianity is a Jewish religion. We, the Gentiles, have been graciously adopted into this faith, but its roots, its infancy and its intended adherents are clearly and purely Jewish. Read Romans 11 for more on this.

Oh, and Pope Francis is not like Paul simply because they are two different men. Paul was in sales while Pope Francis is in management. Like a hand and a foot, two parts of the same body, but with different functions.

Because the jews in your video are different (friendly), and that’s ok.

Trishie,

I appreciate you taking the time to put forward that information. However, I am very familiar with those texts. In fact, I would advise you to extend enough courtesy to use different language than “the problem is that you are unaware”. It would have been more charitable and polite to offer help instead of making a description about the amount of knowledge I have about the issue.

Thanks anyway:)

But in this case PNEUMA gave the most satisfying answer. There does seem to be a difference in the way the Jews were acting in Acts 13 and the Jews who are friendly with the Catholic Church. Therein lies the solution to the original problem.

The issue is not resolved by the official teaching of the Church because the original question was concerning a section of Scripture describing how St. Paul addressed the Jews in his day who rejected the gospel. It is not a question of magesterial teaching, and so to re-iterate magesterial teaching does not actually interact with the original question.

The closeness between Christians and Jews is emphasized in the encyclical Nostra Aetate proclaimed by Pope Paul VI

It is not an understanding startling new with Pope Francis

In NOSTRA AETATE, Pope Paul VI wrote

"4. As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham’s stock.

Thus the Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to God’s saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets. She professes that all who believe in Christ-Abraham’s sons according to faith (6)-are included in the same Patriarch’s call, and likewise that the salvation of the Church is mysteriously foreshadowed by the chosen people’s exodus from the land of bondage. The Church, therefore, cannot forget that she received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant. Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild shoots, the Gentiles.(7) Indeed, the Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles. making both one in Himself.(8)

The Church keeps ever in mind the words of the Apostle about his kinsmen: “theirs is the sonship and the glory and the covenants and the law and the worship and the promises; theirs are the fathers and from them is the Christ according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:4-5), the Son of the Virgin Mary. She also recalls that the Apostles, the Church’s main-stay and pillars, as well as most of the early disciples who proclaimed Christ’s Gospel to the world, sprang from the Jewish people.

As Holy Scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize the time of her visitation,(9) nor did the Jews in large number, accept the Gospel; indeed not a few opposed its spreading.(10) Nevertheless, God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle.(11) In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and “serve him shoulder to shoulder” (Soph. 3:9).(12)"

vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html

Kind wishes,

Trishie

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