Sunday, May 10, 2015

Jewish Rabbis Met With NCW

In our last announcement, Father Pius told us that many Rabbis were very impressed with the Neocatechumenal Way.  They saw how strong and dedicated the family missions were in the Way.  They saw how families were able to transmit the Christian faith to their children the way it should be.  The first teachers of faith is the home.  Many of these Rabbis asked Kiko Arguello to teach them how to get their families to transmit the Jewish faith in this secular world that appears to have much hold on many youths.  Father Pius told us that a retreat with many Rabbis will be held in Israel.  That retreat or convivience (as we call it in the Way) was held for three days from May 4th to May 7th. 


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to the participants in a major interreligious gathering in Israel. Organized by the Neocatechumenal Way – a group dedicated to giving Christian formation to people who are already members of the Church – the three-day gathering brought more than a hundred Rabbis, seven Cardinals, and dozens of Bishops, together with Catechists of the Neocatechumenate from May 4-7.

The twofold purpose of the gathering was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of the Conciliar Decree Nostra aetate and to mark the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of WWII, and the Shoah.

In a written Message, Pope Francis told the participants: “United to you I pray to the Lord that He may listen to the cry of the innocents and He may heal the pain of all those who are suffer. I pray that the hearts may be opened to the invocation of the innocents all over the world.”

Below, please find the full text of the English-language press release on the event, issued by the Neocatechumenal Way

On May 4-7, 2015, in the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, as well as in the recognition of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the Shoah, we have gathered in Galilee, in the State of Israel.  120 Rabbis coming from all over the world, 7 Cardinals, 25 Bishops and 50 Priests, met with initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way, Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernandez, together with Fr. Mario Pezzi and some itinerants, to live together for three days in communion and love.

We have felt the presence of the Lord and we have been witnesses of a really impressive event that has left all the participants deeply moved.

Through this experience, we have understood that something profound is changing in the relations between Jews and Christians, and that truly, after Nostra Aetate, God is committed to open a way of communion between Judaism and the Catholic Church.

We were impressed by how, in the Neocatechumenal Way, faith is being transmitted to the children, families are being rebuilt and people are coming to know the Scriptures and the roots Christianity: from this a great respect and love for the Jewish people is born.

A Symphonic Homage and Prayer, composed by Kiko Argüello, remembering the tragedy of the Shoah, helped us to focus on the suffering of the innocents, which continues today also among Christians in some countries of Africa and the Middle East. We expressed our shared commitment to the presence of God in the world and our common desire to engage in tikkun olam, in repair of the world for all humanity, including increased concern for the suffering of the poor, for greater respect for creation and for strengthening the family.

Reflecting on Nostra Aetate and the dramatic change it promoted, great opportunities and challenges were highlighted.  However an immense change from the prejudices and divisions of the past is being born and this event foreshadows a new  relationship between Judaism and Christianity.

Pope Francis sent a personal message to the participants where he wrote: “United to you I pray to the Lord that He may listen to the cry of the innocents and He may heal the pain of all those who are suffer. I pray that the hearts may be opened to the invocation of the innocents all over the world.”


  1. Our Jewish elder brothers in faith do not acknowledge the divinity of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. But this is only a temporary misunderstanding between the two faiths. Negotiations are on the way, even in the Way, to reconcile differences. The point is that we acknowledge Shema Israel, meaning God is One! This is the teaching of our brothers from the Old Testament. If God is truly One, then all differences among the followers of the One God can be and should be reconciled.

    Catholics and Jews both worship the same One God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the common bloodline connecting us together. Jesus was a Jew as Mary was, as well. So how can someone say that Jesus and Mary did not follow the same God as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? This is more important than the theological status of the Son of Man. We feel good about who Jesus was. But this "feel good" feeling is something we do not need to overemphasize. We can make some sacrifices, just as the Popes did when talked about Shoah, regarding our need to "feel good". After all, the Jews sacrificed a lot and suffered a lot of losses during the Holocaust that we should always be respectful about.

    The symphonic oratorio Suffering of the Innocent is a composition of Kiko Arguello, performed repeatedly for large Jewish audiences. This true interfaith initiative would bridge over any differences with our brothers in faith, theology and doctrine. It is time to move forward from old fashioned taboos and understand Holy Trinity as it is supposed to be: the Unity of the One God of Shema Israel!

  2. No Way....How can this be? How can this be explained?

    We need TIMOTHY ROHR; CHARLES WHITE.....quickly.....we need their divine intellect to explain why this is happening....OH MY GOD!!!!

  3. We were impressed by how, in the Neocatechumenal Way, faith is being transmitted to the children, families are being rebuilt and people are coming to know the Scriptures and the roots Christianity: from this a great respect and love for the Jewish people is born.

    a formal acknowledgement that the NCW transmits faith.


  4. I am not sure if this is right. We should reconcile with our Christian brothers first, before we go to the Holy Land to seek favor from the Jews. Anglicans, Episcopalians, perhaps Methodists, Lutherans and the Orthodox churches are closest to the Catholic faith in doctrine and liturgy. We should go and see friendship with them as a first step following the guidance of Vatican 2. Holy Trinity is the true center of Christianity. Denying the second person as God and collapsing the Holy Trinity into the single Father is not Christian. Even the muslim talk about one God.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 3:59 pm,

      When St. Paul arrived in Rome, he went to preach to the Jews first before he went to the Christian converts (See Acts 28:17). Therefore, it is okay to go to the Jews first for they are still God's chosen people. God calls them to know Christ who was also a Jew.

  5. "God calls them to know Christ who was also a Jew. "

    But they hate Christ. That's why they're Jews. If they loved him, they would be Christians, like the Jews of the first century who became the first Christians. They hate Christ, or at least believe he is not divine - which is why some, like Cardinal Dolan, always hide their pectoral crosses in their jackets when meeting with Jews, so as to not offend them!! Bizarre, but true.

    I don't see anything in the commentaries on this event that suggests that the Catholics present mentioned Jesus at all. Clearly, the sentiment appears to be along the lines of the comment by AnonymousMay 10, 2015 at 7:44 AM - which is verging on a rejection of Christianity in toto, as Christ appears to be relegated to the benches.

    1. Dear Anonymous at 10:34 am,

      They do not hate Christ. They simply do not know Him, and it is not their fault that they did not know Him because the Jewish people were deceived by their Jewish leaders in the first century. According to the Holy Bible:

      Matthew 28:11:15 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

    2. " They simply do not know Him, and it is not their fault that they did not know Him because the Jewish people were deceived by their Jewish leaders in the first century."

      Huh? How many of the Jews alive today were present when this event occurred in the first century? They have had plenty of time and opportunity to understand more than that. They do not know him because their religion tells them that he was a blasphemer and heretic; that he was not divine, nor even a great prophet. While it could be argued that it is a better thing for modern man to have some religion as opposed to no religion, it surely ultimately matters what that religion is.

      This warm and fuzzy feeling between Catholics and Jews has gone beyond a joke. If Jewish people are saved it is despite their beliefs, not because of them. These Cardinals/Bishops are failing in their obligation to teach the Catholic faith clearly and consistently with the revealed truth. They are rather swept up in the free holiday and good feeling of this event rather than the reality that each person's soul is at stake.

      Cardinal Pell, functioning within the Secretariat of the Economy, would be better advised to ask the question - how is it that a "means of Christian formation" having "no assets of its own" can pay for hundreds of people to attend the Domus castle and have a nice holiday?

    3. I notice that all the cardinals present at this meeting tucked their crosses into their pockets, so they couldn't be seen. This must be the "new evangelization" of Vatican II, huh?

    4. Dear Anonymous at 12:24 pm,

      Where do you see that? In my newest entry post is a photo of Cardinal Pell. He was one of the cardinals in attendance, and you can see his cross.

    5. Dear Anonymous at 12:05 pm,

      Where in any of the Jewish Torah, Talmund, and doctrines does it say that Jesus was a heretic and blasphemer? The Jews and Catholics believe in the same God. The only difference is that the Jews do not know God's nature.....that He is three persons in one God.

    6. The Tractate Sanhedrin (43a) (Babylonian Talmud) contains this passage:

      "Jesus was hanged on Passover Eve. Forty days previously the herald had cried, “He is being led out for stoning, because he has practiced sorcery and led Israel astray and enticed them into apostasy. Whosoever has anything to say in his defense, let him come and declare it.” As nothing was brought forward in his defense, he was hanged on Passover Eve."

      Jesus was born out of wedlock (Mishna Yebamoth 4,13) to His mother, Miriam, and her lover Pantera (Shabbat 104b). She is said to have been the descendant of princes and rulers, and to have played the harlot with a carpenter (Sanhedrin 106a). Jesus spent time in Egypt, from where He learned magic. He was a magician who deceived and led Israel astray. He mocked at the words of the wise, was tainted with heresy, and was thus excommunicated (Sanhedrin 107b). He called Himself God, also the Son of Man, and said that He would go up to heaven (Jerusalem Taanit 65a). He was “near to the kingdom” and had five disciples (Sanhedrin 43a). He was tried in Lydda as a deceiver and as a teacher of apostasy (Tosephta Sanhedrin X, 11: Jerusalem Sanhedrin 25c,d). He was executed in Lydda, on the eve of Passover, which was also the eve of the Sabbath, by being stoned and hung, or crucified (Tosephta Sanhedrin IX, 7). For forty days a herald proclaimed that He was to be stoned, and invited evidence in His favor, but none was given (Sanhedrin 43a). He (under the name of Balaam) was put to death by Pinchas the Robber (Pontius Pilate?) when He was thirty-three years old (Sanhedrin 106b). He was punished in Gehenna by the means of boiling filth (Gittin 56b, 57a). Finally, under the name of Balaam, He is one of those excluded from the world to come (Mishna Sanhedrin X, 2).

    7. This is scandalous. Read Galatians 3 before you go on:

      You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! 2The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? 4Did you experience so much for nothing?—if it really was for nothing. 5Well then, does God* supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?

      6 Just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’, 7so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.’ 9For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.

      15 Brothers and sisters,* I give an example from daily life: once a person’s will* has been ratified, no one adds to it or annuls it. 16Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring;* it does not say, ‘And to offsprings’,* as of many; but it says, ‘And to your offspring’,* that is, to one person, who is Christ. 17My point is this: the law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

      19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring* would come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a mediator. 20Now a mediator involves more than one party; but God is one.

      21 Is the law then opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could make alive, then righteousness would indeed come through the law. 22But the scripture has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was promised through faith in Jesus Christ* might be given to those who believe.

      23 Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. 24Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. 27As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring,* heirs according to the promise.

    8. Dear Diana at 1.24pm

      see the photo on this story:

    9. Dear Anonymous at 1:50 pm,

      And now it is up to us Catholics to set the record straight. The Jews think Mary committed adultery because Jesus was not Joseph's flesh and blood. They saw Jesus as practicing sorcery due to the miracles he performed. We cannot set the record straight by treating the Jews with indifference or with hatred.

    10. "We cannot set the record straight by treating the Jews with indifference or with hatred. "

      This is a strawman argument. Who said we should treat Jews with indifference or with hatred? Only you. We can treat the Jews with love - the best way is to witness our faith in Jesus Christ and not compromise ourselves and our faith. The attitude of the NCW, led by Kiko, was put here on this blog some months ago by "Ernie" (whom we know better by another name). This person advocates that the Jews had it right and we have to become more like them. This meeting in the Holy Land is a scandal and is contradictory to the true faith as expressed by the Apostle Paul in the letter to the Galatians.

    11. Dear Anonymous at 3:21 pm,

      Then you better write to the Pope and let him know this because the Pope praised this meeting between the Way and the Jewish people. According to Pope Francis:

      “I extend greetings to all of you participating in this meeting, and I assure you of my spiritual closeness. I hope that your encounter will be an occasion to strengthen the bonds of fraternity which you share, and to deepen your commitment to making known the cry of the innocents trough the language of music........"

    12. Nothing further to say about the hidden pectoral crosses Diana? What do you make of that photo?

    13. So lets have a close look at what Pope Francis actually wrote:

      "I extend greetings to all of you participating in this meeting"

      Well that's being polite - I'm sure he would say the same to any gathering of any people loosely assocatied with the interests of the Church. Its a standard opening greeting.

      "I assure you of my spiritual closeness"

      Again a standard line from the pope, meaning that he extends his good will and wishes to accompany people spiritually. Nothing unusual or noteworthy here.

      " I hope that your encounter will be an occasion to strengthen the bonds of fraternity which you share"

      Self-explanatory. He hopes they treats each other nicely.

      "and to deepen your commitment to making known the cry of the innocents through the language of music"

      Does the pope think the entire gathering was to listen to the "symphony"? Nothing said about the actual discussion, or the theology behind it. Nothing said about the Neocatechumenal Way. I wonder if he thinks this is another example of Kiko "buying" influence?

    14. Diana, the Pope praises this meeting not because he approves the Jews when they reject the divinity of Christ! Not by any mens. Jesus is the Son of Man and the Son of God and there is no and never can be any compromise on this! On the contrary, he praises the meeting because it is part of an interfaith dialogue. It is a two-way street though. Catholics have to cease being antisemites, especially after the tragedy of Shoah, while Jews have to abandon the degrading and antagonistic views about Jesus expounded upon in their Mishna, Talmud and other post-Biblical religious writings.

    15. Anon 3:21, that is precisely what Kiko did. He gave his experience about his encounter with Jesus Christ savior and then announced the Kerygma to the Jews. There was no compromise. There was dialogue: the christians said, "we know you and love you, this is who we are, can you love us?" and the result was communion and joy. Can God be present even among non-Catholics??? Or do you believe that God only listens and helps Catholics because they fulfill proper rites?

    16. Dear Anonymous at 8:53 pm,

      I say that I am glad to associate myself with such humble people who prefer not to discriminate nor show disrespect, but to humble themselves in the House of Israel. And when the Rabbis come into the Home of Rome, I would hope that they would show the same kind of humility.

    17. Dear Anonymous at 8:58 pm,

      The Pope knows that it was the Rabbis who personally asked Kiko to help them teach their Jewish families how to transmit the faith. Remember, I mentioned this months ago. The Jews were so impressed with the families of the Neocatechumenal Way that they asked Kiko to help them because the Jewish families and youths are caught up in the secular world just like many Catholics. The Pope is well aware that this 3 day retreat is a historic event between Jews and Catholics. Me suspects jealousy.........:-)

    18. Dear Anonymous at 8:58 PM,

      The message of Pope Francis is simple and appropriate for the meeting - being polite,extending his goodwill and an expectation to "treat each other nicely". So what do you expect Pope Francis to say? I wrote just to put you in the right perspective of reading the message of the Pope.

    19. Diana, it is no wonder that secularism, obstination and pertinacity are destroying the faith of people. The Jewish Rabbis face the same experience with their pupils as it is just an overwhelming problem of faith transmission in an artificially modernized, secular world. Who would go out to the nature, bend down to watch a little flower growing from the soil when it can be watched without effort at home in all colors and enlarged 10 times on your smart phone?!

      It is the same with faith. People can read and watch and experience so much secular seduction of artificial nature that they don't even notice or care about true faith and the true nature of God. This is the common struggle of both the Jewish rabbi and the Christian clergy in our 21st century. We got a distorted idea of true religion coming from the big screen and we give up resistance to it. We reject the Lord little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism. This is the obstinate nature of sinful man. This is the pertinent disregard for holiness we are entrapped today. This drives us to drugs, alcohol, even porn, gambling and crime, destroying our families and dispersing our communities. The pain we all have to share is the same, it does not matter which religion we belong to.

      I am just amazed how Pope Pius 11 was able to predict the many ills of our modern time! Now, turning to Jesus Christ is the only way out of this quagmire. Why? Because He is the Lord! He is the way, the truth and the life. I am so happy for our Jewish brethren in Israel that they made this move to call a Catholic preacher to preach them about Jesus Christ and his innocent suffering in the symphony of music. Contemplating on the wounds of our Lord makes our hearts pure, so that we might become worthy to enter under His roof. Heal our souls, oh Lord, we need you badly, every day!

    20. Dear Anon at 8.06am. What has given you the impression that this meeting involved anything like "a Catholic preacher to preach them about Jesus Christ and his innocent suffering"? Or that it involved "Contemplating on the wounds of our Lord "

      For goodness sake, the Cardinals who were present were so ashamed of Our Lord, they hid their pectoral crosses inside their jackets, so a to not offend the Jews. Let that sink in a bit.

      Also, Pope Pius was speaking against gatherings exactly like this one you are extolling. How can you take the pope's words and distort his meaning, and still keep a clear conscience?

    21. Dear Diana at 6.40am. Why would I be jealous of the pope? No, he can keep the job thanks. I have no desire to have those responsibilities. I would have thought that if the pope believed and understood what you have suggested, he might have actually referred to some of it in his "greeting". However, all that he said was standard, and the only specific subject was the so-called "symphony".

    22. Dear Anonymous at 10:57 am,

      When you are in someone's home (country), you respect their rules even if you disagree with it because it is their country. And when they come to your home (country) do you expect them to follow your rules or do you allow them to do whatever they please in your house?

      How can you say the Cardinals were ashamed of our Lord? Can you see into their hearts? Do you not know the Holy Bible? St. Paul preached that circumcision was not necessary; yet, he had Timothy circumcised only to avoid a conflict with the Jews.

    23. Dear Anonymous at 11:04 am,

      I do not think you are jealous of the Pope. I think you are jealous of the Way. A historic event took place showing that Catholics and Jews can come together in a bond of friendship. It is possible that from this friendship, the Jews may come to know who Jesus Christ really is and who knows......may even convert some of them.

    24. Ho ho, I can assure you I am not jealous of the "Way". I am a Catholic so have not need for poor substitutes. And I think you better check with your catechist - I'm pretty sure "converting" Jews is off the agenda for you and your precious "Way".

    25. Dear Anonymous at 12:36 pm,

      We are not the ones to convert the Jews. Jesus is the one to do that all. All we do is spread the Gospel like He instructed His Apostles to do.

    26. "When you are in someone's home (country), you respect their rules even if you disagree with it because it is their country. "

      Is this meant to justify hiding the cross? Isn't the Domus a Catholic house? Are you suggesting that because Israel is predominantly Jewish, that all crosses and crucifix should be banned or at least hidden from view. That's rather extreme if you ask me. I wonder what the other Christians of Israel would make of that?

    27. Dear Anonymous at 1:00 pm,

      Where in my comments did I say that crosses and crucifix should be banned???????? I said that if you are in someone's home, you should respect their rules even if you disagree with it. In other words, when you come to my house, and the rules in my house is to take off your shoes before you enter, then I hope that you would abide by my house rules even if you like to keep your shoes on.

      I would hope that the Christians in Israel would also abide by the same rules should they enter the Jewish synagogues or visit the Jewish wailing wall. I'm sure Israel is democratic enough to allow the Israeli-Christians to wear their crosses and crucifixes in their Christian churches.

    28. I see. Wearing a cross is like wearing shoes. Ok

      If your explanation is correct then the Jewish visitors to the Domus should have adapted their behavior, not the Catholics hiding their cross. I suppose the Domus is essentially Jewish/Masonic anyway though. Fair enough then.

    29. Dear Anonymous at 1:27 pm,

      I will write an opinion on this in an entry post.

    30. Can't wait.

    31. Dear Anonymous at 1:49 pm,

      You do not have to wait long. My entry post is found in the following weblink: