The specific question I was asking was regarding someone who did in fact have access to the Gospel. As most Americans do. So the ignorance argument doers not really apply.
Plus, where was this priests concern for the soul of this Jewish friend. Jesus and the Apostles made converting Jews a priority. This disconnect is alarming. I mean it takes the very teeth out of Christianity. I cannot believe that this is the traditional Catholic view. It cannot be reconciled with the most basis reading of the New Testament.
Frankly, what he said smacks of Universalism.
Let’s remember that Jews who “hear” about Christ do so with a cultural and religious filter that may not allow them to “hear” with their hearts. They have 2000 years of animosity and suspicion, and of course the Holocaust, as a wall between them and the truth. Same with Muslims raised as devout followers of Islam. They have cultural and religious prejudices that may not allow them to “hear” the truth even though they’ve “heard” of Jesus.
With your religious and cultural upbringing, would YOU convert to Judaism or Islam or Mormon? You reject it out-of-hand. You probably never have given SERIOUS consideration to their claims to have the one true religion. You dismiss it as impossible b/c you are confident you KNOW the truth. You’ve “heard” of Joseph Smith is a prophet that has restored the true religion, you’ve “heard” of Mohammed is a prophet who has restored the true religion, and you’ve “heard” that Jews believe Trinity is blasphemy to the One True God. Yet you choose to believe in Jesus, the prophet who restored the one true religion.
So, the Rabbi’s position seems quite reasonable in light of culture and religious upbringing. Invincible ignorance is a real thing in this world. It’s very hard to break through the cultural and religious filters that many people have. Not impossible, but more difficult than you probably realize.
I didn’t see Fr. Groeschel’s program, but I do know what the church teaches and doesn’t. It does not teach Universalism. And, neither does Fr. Groeschel.