Messianic Jews, Hebrew Catholics, Ethiopians, and the Council of Laodicea

I live down the road from a Messianic synagogue I’ve visited a few times.

They’re very nice people, and it was nice to hear Yeshua (Jesus) and Miriam (Mary) honoured in a Jewish liturgy that probably goes back to the second Temple period.

I understand there are now over 200 Messianic synagogues (where Jesus, or “Yeshua” is honoured and invoked as the Son of God) in Jerusalem, and I’m inclined to think that’s a good thing.

I’ve heard there are “Hebrew Catholics,” and I’ve read the following facts about the Coptic Church in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Christians, like some other Eastern Christians, traditionally follow dietary rules that are similar to Jewish Kashrut, specifically with regard to how an animal is slaughtered. Similarly, pork is prohibited, though unlike Rabbinical Kashrut, Ethiopian cuisine does mix dairy products with meat. Women are prohibited from entering the church during menses; they are also expected to cover their hair with a large scarf (or shash) while in church, per 1 Cor. 11. As with Orthodox synagogues, men and women are seated separately in the Ethiopian church, with men on the left and women on the right (when facing the altar).[20] (Women covering their heads and separation of the sexes in churches officially is common to some other Christian traditions; it is also the rule in some non-Christian religions, Islam and Orthodox Judaism among them). Ethiopian Orthodox worshippers remove their shoes when entering a church,[20] in accordance with Exodus 3:5 (in which Moses, while viewing the burning bush, was commanded to remove his shoes while standing on holy ground). Furthermore, both the Sabbath (Saturday) and the Lord’s Day (Sunday) are observed as holy, although more emphasis, because of the Resurrection of Christ, is laid upon Sunday.

I think Christians in Ethiopia avoid pork and keep the “little sabbath” because Ethiopians have always believed that they’re ethnic Jews.

While the Christians claim descent from King Menelik—the offspring of Solomon and Sheba in Ethiopia—the Beta Israel claim descent from first-generation Israelites from the tribe of Dan who some believe accompanied Menelik as guards of honor.

But I’m disturbed by what little I know about the councils of Laoodicea and Florence.

Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.

Laodicea, Canon 29.

Converts should be forbidden, under pain of severe penalties, to bury the dead according to the Jewish custom or to observe in any way the sabbath and other solemnities and rites of their old sect.

Florence, decree on Jews and neophytes.

Does this mean I’m to believe that Messianic Jews, Hebrew Catholics, and Ethiopian Coptic Christians are going to hell because they observe some Jewish customs (even if they dont want to force them on Gentiles, and don’t believe that they’re necessary for salvation)?

Has this been infallibly declared by the Church?

Someone who’s familiare with canon law, the doctrine of (counciliar) infallibility, and the texts of these Church councils PLEASE REPLY.

Thank you.

do you know what is anathema?

Doesn’t it mean cursed and cut off from Christ?

etymologically speaking.

it means you are no longer a member of the church.not that you are damned to hell.

You have to understand the context of why those cannons and decrees where put into place.

It’s starts in the Book of Acts… Jewish Christians wanted to force converts to become Jewish first before becoming Christian. Meaning males would have to be circumsized, etc.

This continued for sometime, where Jewish converts wanted to “Judaize” Christianity. The problem with Judaizing is that Christianity is for all peoples, not just one nation of people or ethnicity.

The Ethiopian Christians didn’t really have an issue with this, as they didn’t have the same number of different ethnicities and religions all trying to merge together.

Today, the Hebrew Catholics understand this. That’s one reason why they call themselves “Hebrew” Catholics vs “Jewish.” Their goal is to hold onto the ethnic traditions of the Jewish people, while being 100% Catholic. The organization called “Hebrew Catholics” are under the watch of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Archbishop of St Louis (also I think Cardinal Burke still keeps watch with them too). While some are asking for a Hebrew Use of the Roman Rite, they are full members of the Roman Rite. Their prayers and devotions are approved by Roman Rite Bishops.

As FYI - The Messianic Jews are a form of evangelical Protestantism

I hope this helps.

Imnsho, your each word is right. Keep it up.

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