New Vatican document reflects on relations between Catholics, Jews

In a piece over at Catholic News Service – an important read – Cindy Wooden writes:

Catholics are called to witness to their faith in Jesus before all people, including Jews, but the Catholic Church “neither conducts nor supports” any institutional missionary initiative directed toward Jews, says a new document from a Vatican commission.”

How God will save the Jews if they do not explicitly believe in Christ is “an unfathomable divine mystery,” but one which must be affirmed since Catholics believe that God is faithful to his promises and therefore never revoked his covenant with the Jewish people, it says.

More in a moment.

Keep in mind that the apostate Roman Catholic Church (RCC) can say anything it wishes because they say that they alone have the right to interpret Scripture.  The RCC “claims to be the one true Church as established by Jesus and His apostles. However, an examination of the doctrines upheld and taught by the RCC demonstrates that it stands in contrast with – and even in opposition to – biblical Christianity. (Source)

As you will see in this piece, it matters not to the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews that the Bible makes it abundantly clear that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. The RCC conveniently ignores the Apostle Paul’s very words: “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:9, 10)  And they ignore verse 13, where Paul confirms that the Old Testament promise that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” is fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even worse, the RCC also chooses to ignore the words of Jesus in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

“No one” bears repeating.

Now, continuing where we left off:

Vatican City

In the statement, “The Gifts and the Calling of God Are Irrevocable,” the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews gives thanks for 50 years of Catholic-Jewish dialogue and looks at some of the theological questions that have arisen in the dialogue and in Catholic theology since the Second Vatican Council.

The topics covered in the document, released Dec. 10, include: the meaning of “the Word of God” in Judaism and Christianity; the relationship between the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament; the relationship between God’s covenant with Israel and the New Covenant; the meaning of the universality of salvation in Christ in view of “God’s unrevoked covenant” with the Jewish people; and what evangelization means in relation to the Jews.

The document explicitly states that it is not a “doctrinal teaching of the Catholic Church,” but a reflection based on doctrine and flowing from Vatican II’s declaration “Nostra Aetate” on Catholic relations with other religions.

Like “Nostra Aetate,” the new document condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and affirms that Christianity’s relationship with Judaism is unique in the field of interreligious dialogue because of the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. In addition to believing that the Jewish Scriptures are God’s revelation, Jesus and his disciples were practicing Jews, and many elements of Catholic liturgy developed out of formal Jewish prayer.

“One cannot understand Jesus’ teaching or that of his disciples without situating it within the Jewish horizon in the context of the living tradition of Israel,” the document says. “One would understand his teachings even less so if they were seen in opposition to this tradition.”

The Jewish roots of Christianity, it says, give the Christian faith its necessary “anchoring in salvation history,” showing how the life, death and resurrection of Jesus are part of the story of God’s saving work since the beginning of time, and that Christianity is not a system of religious belief that appeared out of the blue with the birth of Jesus.  Continue reading

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