I have come across references to “replacement theology” on non-Catholic webpages. In a nutshell, it is the idea that the Church has “replaced” Israel. These non-Catholics maintain it is a teaching of the Catholic Church. Or, if not an official teaching, it is a prominent idea within the Church.
Just what is the status of this idea in the Church? Could someone point me to a Catholic perspective of it on the web?
Personally, I would not say that the Church “replaced” Israel. I would say the Church is Israel. Consider the following. From First Things
The very title of the book, Why the Jews Rejected Jesus, is highly problematic. Scholars generally agree that in the first century there were approximately six million Jews in the Roman Empire (for some reason, Klinghoffer says five million). That was about one tenth of the entire population. About one million were in Palestine, including today’s State of Israel, while those in the diaspora were very much part of the establishment in cities such as Alexandria and Constantinople. At one point Klinghoffer acknowledges that, during the life of Jesus, only a minuscule minority of Jews either accepted or rejected Jesus, for the simple reason that most Jews had not heard of him. Some scholars have noted that, by the fourth or fifth century, there were only a few hundred thousand, at most a million, people who identified themselves as Jews. What happened to the millions of others? The most likely answer, it is suggested, is that they became Christians. What if the great majority of Jews did not reject Jesus?
If Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel, and most Jews did indeed follow Jesus–that is, enter the Church–would not that make the Church continuous with and identifiable with Israel (the entity with whom God has made His coventant)?