Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Relationship Between Catholics and Jews

There has been a lot of comments under the posts of the Jewish Rabbis. However, I am going to respond to only one anonymous poster who made the following comment: 

I find these conversations very interesting and curious. On one hand you have the NCW claiming that "ordinary Catholics" (you know, the ones that go to Mass) aren't really Christian, but are more pagan and that they have to be catechised and converted.

And yet, on the other hand, these same people claim that the Jews, who outright reject Jesus Christ as King, God and Savior, are somehow protected from error and are saved because of their physical genetic history! Not because of what they believe, but because of who-they-are!

This amazes me, not the least because any survey of modern people who claim Jewish ancestory, will show that the majority don't even believe in God (the Father), let alone Jesus Christ.

Yet, once again we have these NCW experts telling us how wonderful are the Jews and how we should be more like them.

Forgive me, but I think you're mad.

This is my response:  
Dear Anonymous at 12:21 pm, 

You stated "....these same people claim that the Jews, who outright reject Jesus Christ as King, God and Savior are somehow protected from error and are saved because of their physical genetic history.! Not because of what they believe, but because of who they are!"  

The Jewish people believe in God and they pray to God.  The NCW follows what the Vatican says because the NCW is Catholic, and this is what the Vatican says (the bold is mine):
Jews can secure eternal salvation without converting to Christianity, senior Catholic theologians said in a report published Thursday, in the latest refinement of their stance on a vexed theological issue. 
Addressing a question that has long blighted relations between the two faiths, the report also unequivocally stated that the Catholic Church should not actively seek to convert Jews to Christianity, and called for the church to work to eliminate anti-Semitism. 
The document, issued by the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, not only effectively affirmed that Jews can be saved independently of Jesus, but described Christianity’s relationship with Jews as a shared patrimony.
“Although Jews cannot believe in Jesus Christ as the universal redeemer, they have a part in salvation, because the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable,” the report concluded, according to a summary released to the media. 
The belief that the only way to salvation is through belief in Jesus Christ is a fundamental tenet of every strand of Christianity.
But it has also been blamed for creating an evangelical tendency responsible for some of the darkest periods in the history of religion, notably the anti-Muslim crusades of the Middle Ages and centuries of Christian anti-Semitism.  
The latest report reiterates that it is only thanks to Jesus’s death and resurrection that all people have the chance of salvation, but accepts that Jews can benefit from this without believing in him.
The authors appear to acknowledge that they are effectively squaring a theological circle. 
How Jews being saved while not believing in Christ “can be possible remains an unfathomable mystery in the salvific plan of God,” they say. 
The report noted that Christian evangelism to Jews was particularly sensitive issue because it involves the “very existence of the Jewish people.” 
“The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelization to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views,” it said.
You can read the rest of the article here.  

Now to address the first paragraph of your comment. Many of us need to be catechized because not all of us know what the Catholic Church teaches. Furthermore, there are many Catholics who see nothing wrong with homosexuality, same sex marriage, pre-marital sex, abortion, and other issues that are simply NOT Catholic.  So yes, even the ordinary Catholics who go to regular Sunday Mass and who see nothing wrong with homosexuality, same-sex marriage, pre-marital sex, abortion, etc. do need to be catechize.  Yes, the ordinary Catholics who shack up with their boyfriends and girlfriends and practice birth control methods need to be catechized.     


Pope Francis prays at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City on May 26, 2014. 


82 comments:

  1. grow up in faithMay 24, 2017 at 5:03 PM

    Dear Diana, I would like to cool off somewhat your high expectation because it is just a theologian view what you have published. The article also emphasizes that "the report does not constitute a formal change to official Catholic doctrine" and "the Church is therefore obliged to view evangelization to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner".

    It means the doctrine remains the same and evangelization of the Jews goes on, only "in a different manner". This is fundamentally wrong. The Second Coming of Christ is the time when Jews will believe in Christ and any enforcement to do this sooner is anti-Semitic. The Second Coming can be today, tomorrow, in our lifetime, 100 or even 1000 years from now. It does not matter. It will happen and then many people will be amazed because Jews will go into eternal life before them.

    We won't see any official change in church teaching because a theologian's article is not yet an official stand on catechism. That is why the Catholic Church will continue to tolerate and hide closeted anti-Semites, even in cardinal ranks, who deny salvation from the elected people of God.

    People also misunderstand that the Virgin Mother as Queen of Heaven has its root in the wisdom literature of the Jewish Bible, in particular, in the Psalms and the Proverbs. Wisdom is personified as a woman who gives you prosperity. This is an Ancient concept in Judaism. Prosperity is demonstrated in the virgin birth. This is also what the Virgin Mary accomplishes as the Queen of Heaven.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. St. Paul has never talked about the Queenship of the Virgin Mary. He talks about the new man, that is truly a metaphor. You cannot become anew without physically dying and being buried, until the worms chew out your earthly bodies leaving the bare bones only. This means the new man is coming with the resurrection.

      St. Paul misunderstood the continuity of being in your body under conversion. Conversion is a spiritual change with zero impact on the material make-up of your body. Bodily speaking, you stay the same person as before, in your flesh. The Virgin Mary had a different kind of substance that was devoid of sin. The immaculate conception created a new kind of earthly material, the sinless flesh. This is the flesh you must imitate by subjecting your will and desires to the all-encompassing power of the Queen if Heaven.

      Delete
    2. Dear Grow in faith, the Queenship of Mary is a substantial Catholic doctrine. It has nothing to do with Judaism.

      Delete
  2. "Jews cannot believe in Jesus Christ as the universal redeemer."

    This is extremely funky. It is like saying they cannot believe in truth. This in false. Everybody has capacity for the truth! This is why people are born co-equal.

    By the way, who are these "senior Catholic theologians"? I guess they are a bunch of absent-minded heretics who should have been excommunicated from the Catholic Church a long time ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous at 5:10 pm,

      That report came from the Vatican's Commission for religious relations with the Jews. There is now an official Vatican document explaining our relationship with the Jews, which is in agreement with this report. You can find that document in the following weblink:

      http://www.news.va/en/news/vatican-issues-new-document-on-christian-jewish-di

      Delete
    2. The sign of the covenant is circumcision. You cannot go to heaven in Judaism unless you are circumcised. The heaven is described as the bosom of Abraham in the Bible. This means heaven is physical reality, some segment of the universe.

      As this is not accepted by science, the only way to go to heaven is denying science. Especially that kind of science that is in contradiction with any part of the Bible. There cannot be contradiction in heaven therefore you have to accept the Bible as true.

      As St. Thomas Aquinas said, I believe in every word of the Bible because it is beyond my capability to comprehend.

      Delete
  3. Dear Diana,
    If you are going to suggest that you are following the teaching of the Church on this subject, please take care to be accurate in what you say. The report you refer to in the OP does not represent the teaching of the Church with regard to salvation for the Jewish people, but is rather a “reflection” on certain questions.

    In fact you can see this for yourself if you actually read the report, rather than simply cutting and pasting from a Jewish website. In the forward to the report you would have read this:

    “The text is not a magisterial document or doctrinal teaching of the Catholic Church, but is a reflection prepared by the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews on current theological questions that have developed since the Second Vatican Council. It is intended to be a starting point for further theological thought with a view to enriching and intensifying the theological dimension of Jewish–Catholic dialogue.”

    In other words, its some people musing on how wonderful things would be if they weren’t actually what they are! I think we are better off sticking to reality.

    The report has been roundly condemned by a great many credible Catholics, by the way.

    The problem of the “Jewish Atheist” requires an explanation too. Here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_atheism) at Wiki you can read:
    “Based on Jewish law's emphasis on matrilineal descent, even religiously conservative Orthodox Jewish authorities would accept an atheist born to a Jewish mother as fully Jewish.[1] A 2011 study found that half of all American Jews have doubts about the existence of God, compared to 10–15% of other American religious groups.”

    Or here’s another, more personal description of the same problem: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/the-jewish-thinker/.premium-1.669381

    So, then, is the atheistic non-practising Jew also able to “secure eternal salvation”, simply because they descended from a certain genetic strain some thousands of years ago? That would mean all the Pharisees had nothing to worry about as they persecuted and sought after the death of Jesus, I suppose?

    I'm sorry, but I don't buy it. It fails the Catholic smell test. Accepting this report's assertions is tantamount to a denial of the moral life, of Christ himself, his kingdom, the prophets, the patriarchs - and it makes a mockery of the Church.

    Once again - the Church does not teach what this report, and your OP suggest. If it does, please provide the actually Magisterial source material (and you will need to do better than Nostra Aetate, cos even that document doesn't come close to what your quoted report says.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The profession of faith is summarized in the Nicene Creed as we pray is during mass. If you want to know if you are a Christian, then scrutinize every statement, every line, every letter of the Nicene Creed. If there is anything in the profession that you reject then you are not a Christian and will never see Christ. It is only if you accept everything in the Nicene Creed that you may be saved.

      Delete
  4. Dear Anonymous at 5:35 pm,

    What the church says is her instruction to us because she is our mother. So when the Vatican calls on Catholics to stop trying to convert Jews, we should follow it. The Church clearly teaches that it is possible for Jews to be saved despite that they do not believe in Jesus Christ. Why? Because the gifts and calling of God to the Jewish people are irrevocable. This is clearly stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Church teaches that God did not revoke the Old Covenant, but fulfilled it. And in ways known only to God Himself, people who are ignorant of the Gospels, through no fault of their own, can find salvation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diana, Jews are not ignorant of Jesus Christ. They willingly reject Him. Even the church document you quoted says this.

      "They do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God."

      "There cannot be different paths or approaches to God’s salvation. The theory that there may be two different paths to salvation, the Jewish path without Christ and the path with the Christ, whom Christians believe is Jesus of Nazareth, would in fact endanger the foundations of Christian faith. Confessing the universal and therefore also exclusive mediation of salvation through Jesus Christ belongs to the core of Christian faith."

      Delete
    2. Dear Anonymous at 6:59 pm,

      They only reject Him as God, but they recognize Him as one of them...a Jewish man. They recognize that God can work miracles through humans just as He did with Moses.

      John 10:37-38 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”

      Delete
    3. Anon @ 6:59 pm
      The problem is that you are making a distinction as if there are 2 paths of salvation. We are stating that the path of the Jews is the same path as the path through Christ. You have a juridical understanding of salvation, with not tangible evidence.
      According to Lumen Gentium, the people of Israel where already the established Church of God as light of all nations. By this understanding we call ourselves the Church of Christ as he bought it with his own blood.
      This means the path to salvation for the Jews is the same as our path. The difference is we recognize that Christ has opened this path for us. Where as Jews walk through the same path without recognizing it was through Christ's merits that this path exists.

      Delete
    4. The only way to go to heaven is to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. The only exception are those who are anonymous Christians. These are living a life worthy of a Christian, even though they do not know Jesus.

      Those who are not baptized even though they know who Jesus is, are not going to heaven. Many are called but only a few are elected.

      Delete
    5. Diana, your comparison of Jesus to Moses is uncalled for. Jesus is the Savior, the only one who has ever existed of will ever exist. He is unique. Moses was a prophet whose deeds are surrounded by mythology. He was one of the prophets of the Old Testament.

      Delete
    6. Dear Anonymous at 9:38 am,

      First of all, we do not consider Moses a myth or fairytale. Moses was a real person and a prefugurement of Christ. Through Moses God saved His people Israel from slavery in Egypt. And then Moses said.....(capitalization is mine):

      Acts 3:22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet LIKE ME from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.

      This prophecy from Moses came true. Moses was a Savior who led Israel out of slavery from Egypt. Jesus was a Savior who led us from the slavery os sin and death. But when Moses said those words to the Israelites, they thought God would give them a Savior that would lead them out of slavery from the Romans. They did not realize that He would lead them out of slavery from sin. They expected a political savior.

      Delete
    7. Diana, you confuse the Savior with a political leader. Moses was not a Savior, he was a political leader, a pre-figurement of a king. He was the chieftain of a desert people who were rejected by Egypt, sojourning around in search of water. Moses himself was an Egyptian prince. Mythology is all about water. Moses strikes the rock and a fountain of spring water opens into it. Whoa. This is what is called mythology.

      Delete
    8. Dear Anonymous at 10:31 am,

      Moses was a prophet sent by God to save His people from slavery in Egypt. You are saying that the miracles performed by God is a myth?

      Delete
    9. The definition of savior:

      a person who saves someone or something (especially a country or cause) from danger, and who is regarded with the veneration of a religious figure.
      synonyms: rescuer, liberator, deliverer, emancipator;

      (in Christianity) God or Jesus Christ as the redeemer of sin and saver of souls.
      noun: Saviour; noun: Savior

      Based on this definition, Moses was a savior and prophet but not THE savior THE prophet who we acknowledge as Jesus Christ.

      Delete
    10. Moses was an Egyptian prince who was expelled for insubordination. He gathered some people around him and marched out to the desert. He was chased by the Egyptian police because of burglary and murder.

      Read in the history books about the Hyksos leaving Egypt. No annals know about any Pharao who died in the Red Sea. It would have been recorded. All Egyptian Pharaos were embalmed and buried in the Pyramid. You can still see them all there. There is no record of any kind of drowning of a king. What is more, no Egyptian army ever disappeared in the waves of the sea.

      This is exactly what cultural anthropology calls myth.

      Delete
    11. Dear Anonymous at 12:06 pm,

      The Bible is a book on the history of man's salvation. It is not to be read as a science book or a world history book.

      Delete
    12. Anon 12:06pm,

      I watched a documentary on the historical accuracy of the Exodus on Netflix recently. The claim is that the exodus did happen and it's not some myth. You should check it out. I'm not a history expert or anything, just someone who's curious about the history of man's salvation. I found it fascinating because it provided "proof" or at least some evidence to support the claim that it really did happen despite many scholars claiming and continuing to claim that it didn't.

      What about Jesus, where is the historical proof that he really was crucified? Are there primary documents from that period that prove he lived? Was he really crucified by Pontius Pilate? Ultimately where is the historical proof that Jesus is real? Can you point to documents outside of the church that prove his existence? The existence of the apostles? The existence of anyone in the bible?

      Where is the proof if you say the stories and events in the bible are a myth but claim Jesus is real?

      Do you really believe he's real? Why do you believe he's real?

      Delete
    13. Are you trying to mock me, my friend? Now, Netflix is the historical proof? Please, do not be ridiculous! The only exodus that is historically proved is the Hyksos leaving Egypt. They were actual Pharaos for a couple hundred years and then they were pushed out of Egypt. Moses could have been a Hyksos.

      Delete
    14. Anon @ 8:37 pm
      And they accuse the NCW of being a sect? You're creating a religion right here on this page. Independent of Historical accuracy as Catholics we believe in Moses as a factual historical figure and as relevant and of extreme importance to the catholic faith.

      Delete
    15. Nobody said Moses is not historical. But he is also mythical. Moses is extremely important in Judaism.

      Delete
    16. Hi there anon @ 8:37pm, if you think I was mocking you, you are absolutely wrong. Didn't I tell you? I'm not an expert, I'm just someone who's interested in the history of the salvation of man. I was simply commenting about how I found it fascinating that the people in the bible really did exist. I have but an atom of knowledge of the catholic church, its history, its traditions, and its relationship with Judaism. So I honestly find it fascinating that evidence exists that the people in the bible were indeed real human beings like you and me. After all, at one point I really didn't believe it could be real/true. It wasn't until it hit me that the only logical deduction of the existence of the church today is that the events in the bible really did take place at some point in history and by the grace of God, the church continues to this day. So really, I wasn't mocking you. I was simply sharing my fascination at the historical reality of the bible and pointing to a documentary that attempts to provide proof of that reality. Please don't confuse my ignorance as me looking down on you. That honestly wasn't and still is not my intention.

      Thank you.

      Delete
    17. You were mocking historical inquiry. Netflix is not historically accurate. Many Bible figures are based on some historical reality. Also, several layers of myths are deposited on these figures for easier consumption.

      Moses is generally accepted as historical, even if his exploits are mainly mythical. What is for sure is that he did not write the Torah. Noah and Abraham are less historical. King David also might be pure invention.

      Delete
    18. Dear Anonymous at 8:18 am,

      King David was a real person and evidence of him can be found in archaeology. Do you believe that God exists?

      Delete
    19. Dear Diana, please refer to archaeological finding about king David! Most so-called "evidence" about King David and Haaretz Israel were produced for political reason. The existence of God vs. the historicity of King David are unrelated.

      Delete
    20. Dear Anonymous at 9:37 am,

      You can find the information in the following weblink:

      https://teldan.wordpress.com/house-of-david-inscription/

      Delete
    21. Diana, it is not a direct finding about king David. It is a reference to the "house of David". It only means that someone called David was set up as a mythical ancestor of a line of kings. King Solomon is a historical figure, who nevertheless never refers to his father as "David". Have you ever asked why?

      Delete
    22. Dear Anonymous at 10:58 am,

      The house of David is a direct line to King David, just as these secular archaeologists claimed. This is an official archaeology website, not a political one. And according to this official archaeology website:

      "This not only indicates that the family of David still sat on the throne of Jerusalem, but this inscription represents the oldest textual reference to the historical King David ever discovered!"

      Delete
    23. Diana, please, understand the distinction between direct and indirect reference.

      This reference to the house of David is indirect in that it is not a proof of existence of any particular king. It is only an proof that in the 9th century BCE the myth of a king with this ancestry has already existed.

      There is no such thing as "official archaeology".

      Please, read and try to see what the experts say.
      http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/m/mckenzie-david.html?mcubz=0

      Delete
    24. Biblical scholars use various guidelines for interpreting the Bible, just as archaeologists do for understanding artifacts. The biblical literature about David cannot be taken at face value as biographical, because it has a very complicated history of development. Also, the writer(s) who put together the final product were primarily interested in David not as a historical figure but as a religious model. The historical information contained in the Bible has to be exegeted or "drawn out" from its stories. This would remain a useful enterprise even if we were to determine that David was not a historical person.

      http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/m/mckenzie-david.html?mcubz=0

      Delete
    25. Dear Anonymous at 12:59 pm

      You stated: "It is only an proof that in the 9th century BCE the myth of a king with this ancestry has already existed."

      The same thing can be said about Christ. Christianity exists because of a man named Christ. The house of David exist because of a king named David. So, do you believe in God or not?

      Delete
    26. Diana, 1000 years in history make a whole lot of difference! You are suggesting that if I believe that Jesus is a historical person then I also have to accept the same about king David. This is not so!

      We have a wealth of written documents about Jesus not only in Christian but also in Jewish and Muslim literature. You cannot be serious claiming the same about king David who remains quite enigmatic despite all political efforts to use him as a justification of belligerent politics in the Middle East.

      Delete
    27. Dear Anonymous at 3:20 pm,

      We also have a wealth of Jewish and Christian literature of King David. I also asked you the same question twice and you have not answered. Do you believe that God exists?

      Delete
    28. Diana, it is none of your business, okay?! You are arrogant.

      I don't ask you if you believe Jesus was a sinner or not, because I know the answer. I don't ask you if you believe in transubstatiation or not, because I know the answer. I don't ask you if you believe in the Holy Sacrament of Penance as described in the catechism or not, because I know the answer. Actually, you may keep your answers to yourself, because we have a complete list of your deviations.

      Ny the way, you cannot place others under inquisition. You know, it was the Middle Ages... we are beyond those dark ages that you want to bring back. You are too much of a minuscule speck of dust for questioning other people's faith. It is my business when and to whom would I confess my God and not yours! Please, respect that. Thanks.

      Delete
    29. Diana, try to think of factual knowledge apart from myth. I know it is not easy. But courage, just give it a try, and you will see a different picture.

      Delete
    30. Dear Anonymous at 6:04 pm,

      The only reason I asked you that question is because I want to know if it is a Christian or an atheist whom I am speaking to. If you are an atheist, then I understand why you say that King David and the events surrounding Moses is a myth.

      Delete
    31. Anon 8:18am: I'm sorry I mocked historical inquiry. You are right. Netflix really isn't a good place to look for historically accurate facts. But truly, I am interested in God.

      And you are right. Moses didn't write the Torah. ☝😊 God did.

      Delete
    32. Also anon @ 8:18am, I realize my mistake in mocking historical inquiry. Thank you for correcting me.

      Delete
    33. Please, read Jewish authors about the origin of the Bible. I recommend that you start by Richard Elliott Friedman.

      https://www.amazon.com/Wrote-Bible-Richard-Elliott-Friedman/dp/0060630353

      https://culturalstudies101.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/friedman_who-wrote-the-bible.pdf

      He is guaranteed authentic Jewish source. Also one of the best!

      Delete
    34. “Gen 22:11–16a The story of the near-sacrifice of Isaac is traced to E. It refers to the deity as Elohim in vv. 1,3,8, and 9. But, just as Abraham’s hand is raised with the knife to sacrifice Isaac, the text says that the angel of Yahweh stops him (v. 11). The verses in which Isaac is spared refer to the deity as Yahweh (vv. 11–14). These verses are followed by a report that the angel speaks a second time and says, “… because you did not withhold your son from me….” Thus the four verses which report that Isaac was not sacrificed involve both a contradiction and a change of the name of the deity. As extraordinary as it may seem, it has been suggested that in the original version of this story Isaac was actually sacrificed, and that the intervening four verses were added subsequently, when the notion of human sacrifice was rejected (perhaps by the person who combined J and E). Of course, the words “you did not withhold your son” might mean only that Abraham had been willing to sacrifice his son. But still it must be noted that the text concludes (v. 19), “And Abraham returned to his servants.” Isaac is not mentioned. Moreover, Isaac never again appears as a character in E. Interestingly, a later midrashic tradition developed this notion, that Isaac actually had been sacrificed. This tradition is discussed in S. Spiegel’s The Last Trial (New York: Schocken, 1969; Hebrew edition 1950).”
      ― Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible?

      https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/242828.Richard_Elliott_Friedman

      Delete
    35. Richard Freedman is a liberal Jewish scholar. His view is that the Torah was not written by God. This shows you folks that you have to believe in the Scripture of the Holy God. If you don't believe in God then you start doubting. The devil finds a way to exploit your doubt and push you down a road of denial.

      Doubting Thomas started to doubt and ended up humiliated when the Lord told him, come and touch my wounds.

      When you reject the authorship of God then you also reject creation. You say this was or that way, trying to avoid God's way. We read here about J and E and combination of the two and whatnot. This is the viewpoint of unbelief. The Word of God was written by God and given to Moses who proclaimed it to the Jews. Those who rejected made the golden calf. So Moses had to punish them.

      Those who doubt and reject the Word of God will be punished by those who accept, live and proclaim the same one Holy Word of God.

      Delete
    36. Whoa. That's kind of scary...but it doesn't mean that just because we can't "prove" that abraham and isaac existed or that king David existed that God doesn't exist.

      By the way, I found an interesting interview about Mr. Friedman on beliefnet: http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/2004/02/The-Editorial-Team-Behind-The-Bible.aspx.

      There is also this from Catholic Bishop Robert Baron:
      https://youtu.be/qj0V7JhMJ3w

      Delete
    37. Elliott Friedman is a leading Jewish Biblical scholar.

      Richard Elliott Friedman (born May 5, 1946) is a biblical scholar and the Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia.

      Friedman was born in Rochester, New York. He attended the University of Miami (BA, 1968), the Jewish Theological Seminary (MHL, 1971), and Harvard University (ThM in Hebrew Bible, 1974; ThD in Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, 1978). He was the Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization: Hebrew Bible; Near Eastern Languages and Literature at the University of California, San Diego, from 1984 until 2006, whereupon he joined the faculty of the University of Georgia Religion Department.

      He is a winner of numerous awards and honors, including American Council of Learned Societies Fellow. He was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford; and a Senior Fellow of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. He participated in the City of David Project archaeological excavations of biblical Jerusalem. He is probably most famous for his work Who Wrote the Bible?

      Delete
    38. Anon, do you say doubters will be punished the same way Moses punished those who made the golden calf? Who are these people "who accept, live and proclaim the same one Holy Word of God" who will be authorized to carry out the punishment?

      Delete
  5. The problem with the highlighted red text is that it bias portrays the stance of the way. The NCW only reiterates what the popes have said. That the church has to be re-catechized, that the catechumenate is essential for adult christian formation.
    The NCW does not claim that so called "regular catholics are condemned". Christ AGAIN shed his blood for all. It simply makes a distinction that to follow Christ is more than just going to mass, but an existential change of lifestyle and closer imitation to the life of Christ. This is not something new invented by the NCW. All the saints have had this change of life and dedication to imitate the life of Christ. There are books written about it. Kempis "the Imitation of Christ".
    Again this is not needed to go to heaven. Being Christian is a call to be a beacon so that others may come to know God by seeing someone who imitates Christ.
    As the Rabbi in one of the articles said, he was impressed by the humility by which some of the members received the Jewish people with love and how they served their own communities. It is a call to recognize God. Again this is a service, it is not some kind of distinction made between saved and not saved. The mission of the Church is to save souls, it is not an absolute that one must become Christian in order to go to heaven.
    In a more concrete way. There are innumerable Catholics who live chaotic unchristian lifestyles. Having remarried multiple times, hidden adulteries, hidden sins, addictions to different vices, an extreme love for this world and money etc. This doesn't make them less catholic or less saved. Christ died for the sins of all. However they are not light as the document Lumen Gentium points out. Since they might say they believe one thing but their lifestyle shows another thing.
    Some are called to the service of being light others need to see light to be saved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being content with your sinfulness is not being in light but being in darkness. You cannot dwell in that state of mind, poisoned by sin. The devil will deceive you that you are just fine being a sinner. No, you are not! You have to overcome sinfulness by coming to the Lord Jesus with a humble heart asking His forgiveness.

      Delete
    2. well you should at this verse he Joh 10:17 The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
      Joh 10:18 No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my own free will, and as I have power to lay it down, so I
      have power to take it up again; and this is the command I have received from my Father.
      jesus didn't say come to me to ask forgiveness he came down to do gods work to show that he loves us with hour sins witch is to die and be raised to show that the ticket to hell is cancelled and that god loves us in the sins that we have

      Delete
    3. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,

      “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
      ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
      make his paths straight.’”

      (Matt 3:2-3)

      Delete
    4. Anon @ 9:55 am
      Maybe you do not understand the Catholic faith? The apostles call for conversion and repentance as Anon 11:58pm has stated. However conversion and to stop sinning are 2 different things. Conversion is to repent of your sins and turn to the mercy of God. To stop sinning you need both repentance and grace from God.
      St. Paul himself could not remove a specific weakness he begged God to remove and God did not. "It is in my weakness where God is glorified". Many scholars say this weakness was that St. Paul was prone to irate outbursts.
      St. Paul also speak of the men of the flesh as a slave because of the fear of death. This means men is a slave to selfishness and sin because of the fear of death. This is why we need Christ to save us. A slave cannot free himself only the master can free the slave.
      It means Christ can give the grace to stop sinning or not, a person does not have the strength in himself to stop sinning. The devil takes occasion of the law to tell men that God is not love because you die. To discover the love of Christ allows for graces to stop sinning if Christ allows it.
      In other words conversion means to recognize that you lead a life of sin and turn to God for mercy and the grace to stop.
      As for why it is announced through Christ. With Christ comes the Kingdom and eternal life here and now. With this experience death is conquered within the person. As death looses its power of the person sin also looses its power over the person and so Christ comes to free us from that grip.

      Delete
    5. Dear Anonymous at 10:21 pm,

      Conversion means to change your heart, to become a new person in Christ. The Apostle Paul persecuted Christians. After his conversion, he stopped persecuting Christians.

      Delete
    6. CCC on the Sacrament of Penance

      Contrition

      1451 Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."

      The confession of sins

      1456 Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: "All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly."

      When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, "for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know."

      1457 According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year." Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.

      1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful:

      Whoever confesses his sins . . . is already working with God. God indicts your sins; if you also indict them, you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when you hear "man" - this is what God has made; when you hear "sinner" - this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made. . . . When you begin to abhor what you have made, it is then that your good works are beginning, since you are accusing yourself of your evil works. The beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light.

      THE EFFECTS OF THIS SACRAMENT

      1468 "The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God's grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship." Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation "is usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation." Indeed the sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about a true "spiritual resurrection," restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.

      Delete
    7. Anon at 10:21pm was talking about the sacrament of penance, also called the sacrament of conversion as mentioned in the catechism of the catholic church:

      1422 "Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."

      1423 It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin.

      Delete
    8. The place of receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the privacy of the confessional. Nobody has a right to hear your confession, but your confessor. Violating the privacy of confession is a mortal sin. Even the priest is not absolving you by his own authority but by the power of Jesus Christ.

      When you come to confession you come to God with a humble heart asking His forgiveness. You are begging to the Lord Jesus to take away your sin! You resolve firmly to sin more. If you continue sinning in your heart even during confession, they your absolution is invalid. If you accept dwelling in sin, then you are doomed. If you make peace with your sinfulness then you won't enter heaven ever.

      That is why you have to walk away from your sinful nature, never accepting that you are a "sinner", but striving for holiness in the Lord Jesus. Only then you become capable of overcoming your sin.

      Delete
    9. You need confession only if you sin. Sin separates you form God but confession makes you eligible to pursue the path of salvation. God's gift is irrevocable to those elected before the time began to be. These are the people of God, the Jews, who cannot be separated from God. The bond is the covenant that is irrevocable.

      Only we are the sinners who were not elected at the beginning of time by God. We are vulnerable to sin. So we have Christ to believe in. By election, the Jews are not sinners because the promise is irrevocable. God would never forfeit His people. So a little humbleness is due brothers, because the love of God separates the sheep from the goat.

      Delete
    10. 12:19pm: What about the Pharisees who crucified the Word made flesh?

      Delete
    11. Dear Anonymous at 2:01 pm,

      The Catholic Church teaches that it was all ours sins that crucified Christ. We were all guilty in putting Him on the cross.

      Delete
    12. 12:19pm: The Jews are not sinners, meaning they are without sin? Wow, that's interesting. Where is that mentioned in the magisterium?

      Are you saying original sin never existed? That Adam and Eve who gave birth to civilization didn't give birth to the Jews?

      Isn't Genesis read by both Jews and Christians? How is it possible for Jews to be sinless and us sinners if both originate from the first man and first woman who were both stained by original sin?

      Delete
    13. Dear 2:01 you don't seem to understand why the Pharisees opposed Jesus. They did not oppose Jesus because they thought Jesus was not good Jew. On the contrary, they knew Jesus as a Galilean Jew, Yeshu ben Pantera.

      First of all, Pharisees did not kill Jesus. Jesus was crucified by Roman soldiers on the command of Pilate. Second of all, Jesus preached great tides of joy to the sinners. Pharisees understood the election of Israel by God as being the covenant people, the people of God. The sinners were different in the sense that their sin came from the fact that they were not elected. Jesus did not make it clear enough that His teaching is for the sinners and not for the elect. So the Pharisees tried to fend off a Roman backlash by emphasizing that Jesus was a prophet of the sinners. Caiaphas makes the point about Roman power at the court of Pilate.

      You see this is the story of the Prodigal Son, where the sinner returns and is celebrated. However, the father tells the other son everything I have is yours. When the sinner repents it has to be acknowledged. But the righteous son owns the heritage. This is why the promise is irrevocable.

      Third of all, St. Paul himself was a Pharisee predisposing him to be a skillful evangelizer. St. Paul voiced it powerfully, so that everyone could hear, that the evangelizing efforts of the early church must turn toward the Gentiles! We have the same message today. You should not force the righteous to listen to your preaching, rather leave the people of God alone on their own path leading to their predisposed heavenly banquet at the table of God held for the elected from the beginning of time.

      Delete
    14. It is not original sin, but how you respond to temptation. You may succumb to temptation, jump on the fruit with your whole being, corrupting yourself and then live in sin forever afterward.

      Or you may reject temptation by knowing that you are safe being elected. In this latter case you may even enjoy the fruit without sinning, by reducing it into vanity, because it cannot truly harm you.

      Adam and Eve had both options in their response to temptation. Their posterity inherited this dichotomy between sinner and elect. A sinner cannot make any other choice but to sin because of inherited sinfulness. The same way, the elect cannot undo election because it was made at the beginning of time by God.

      Delete
    15. 4:22, they are not sinners in the same way as you and I. Because the mercy of God will soften the judgment of the elect. You see, sin can harm you so long as it kills your soul. You have no excuse, God has told you many times that the price of sin is death.

      Sin cannot harm the elect, because God made an irrevocable covenant with His people. This is the truth. The same sin that kills your soul is like rebounding from the iron vest of election. You may also think of the bulletproof vestment that will shield you.

      It is the mercy of God through the death and resurrection of Christ that the elect cannot be harmed. God is pure love, the purest you have ever known! How could you think He would not show His love to His own elect?

      So do not judge a book by the cover. The same sin that kills the sinner will lift up the elect to unfathomable heights, the height of God's infinite and intimate mercy towards His own. When you understand and fully dissolve your own will into that love, that is the real conversion, the conversion of your heart.

      Delete
    16. Anonymous @4:55pm, you are right. I apologize. I didn't really understand who the Pharisees were. Also this is really a lot to take in at once, but thank you for explaining.

      Delete
  6. Diana good news because the pilgrims that went to loreto was part of the papal audience for Wednesday and the pope announced our name

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Diana, in your OP you state that :

    "So yes, even the ordinary Catholics who go to regular Sunday Mass and who see nothing wrong with homosexuality, same-sex marriage, pre-marital sex, abortion, etc. do need to be catechize. Yes, the ordinary Catholics who shack up with their boyfriends and girlfriends and practice birth control methods need to be catechized."

    Can you please tell us, then, do Jewish people who see nothing wrong with homosexuality, same-sex marriage, pre-marital sex, abortion, etc; or who shack up with their boyfriends and girlfriends and practice birth control methods - do they need to be catechized too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point!

      Delete
    2. Dear Anonymous at 4:49 pm,

      It is not the place or role of the Catholic Church to tell another religion what they should practice or not practice in their religion. We can dialogue with another religion. And if a person decides that he/she wants to become a Catholic, that is fine. He/She can then properly be catechized.

      Delete
    3. That is right Diana. We must be aware of the demarcation lines between distinct religions.

      Delete
    4. Diana,

      It may not be the role of the Catholic Church to tell another religion what they should or should not practice, but considering that what we believe is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, don't we share the same fundamental, base position on these issues? So why can't there be a catechesis on this?

      Delete
    5. Dear Anonymous at 6:20 pm,

      People are turned off if you go around telling them that our religion is right and theirs is wrong. That is not evangelization. You gain more converts when you preach with charity and patience.

      Delete
    6. Dear Anonymous at 6:06 pm,

      I am much more aware that the Founder of Christianity (Jesus Christ) was a Jew and practiced Jewish mandates. In other words, he was circumcised in the temple (Jewish) and baptized in the Jordan River(Christian). He celebrated the Passover (Jewish) with His Apostles and instituted the Eucharist (Christian).

      Delete
    7. Diana, there was no Christianity at the time of Jesus. He had to die and be risen first. Then at Pentecost He was proclaimed and the church was born.

      Delete
    8. Dear Anonymous at 12:03 pm,

      The founder of Christianity is Christ. Christianity came from Judaism. You cannot understand Christianity unless you understand Judaism. Scott Hauhn once said this. You cannot understand Christianity without knowing our Jewish Founder.

      Delete
    9. Jesus was not a meek-and-mild person. He scourged the merchants from the Temple court! He showed a passion in restoring order that is exemplary in the Catholic Church. Every hit he launched on the faces of the horde of Mammon is also a hit on the faces of those who sell out the Catholic Church for money and influence. Every strike He made by scourge is also a strike on heresy and distortion of His genuine teaching.

      The false image of a meek-and-mild Jesus is expressed in the NCW's doctrine of nonresistance to evil. It is not a teaching of Jesus. You have to resist evil and build a world that eliminates evil. When you don't resist evil, you become a servant of the devil.

      The correct doctrine is different, it is nonresistance to Jesus! He is the only one who can be trusted 100% so that you may abandon your resistance to His humanly divine and divinely human person. If you are a true light, then you don't proclaim darkness, you proclaim Jesus!

      Please, never cease proclaiming the nonresistance to Jesus, the Son of God, who died for us, who was risen and who is, therefore, our only Lord and Savior!

      Delete
    10. "It is not the place or role of the Catholic Church to tell another religion what they should practice or not practice in their religion."

      And yet, the report you quote in your OP, was produced by a commission within the Church - and this report says that Jews are not to be evnagelized, and that Jews, simply by being Jews, are saved, regardless of their rejection of Christ.

      Seem to me that the Church is, in fact, making a judgment on another religion. Which, by the way, it has been doing since the beginning.

      So, are we to take your response as a negative, then? That Jews, who see nothing wrong with homosexuality, same-sex marriage, pre-marital sex, abortion, etc; or who shack up with their boyfriends and girlfriends and practice birth control methods - do not need to be converted?

      Delete
    11. Dear Anonymous at 6:50 pm,

      Where in my OP did I say that the Jews are saved simply because they are Jews????

      Delete
    12. Seriously. Thats the whole point of the article you quoted. Let me assist you by quoting anon at 12.12pm below:

      "Christ gave us a second chance, if we weren't born Jews, to acquire the same heavenly status."

      This person bviously believces that Christ is only for those who are not "born Jews". IN other words, this person believes that being born a Jew is all that is needed for salvation because, havng been "elected" and "circumsized", they are bound for heaven!

      What is your reposnse to that, Diana? Do you agree?

      Delete
    13. Dear Anonymous at 3:41 pm,

      My response is found in the following weblink:

      http://neocatechemunal.blogspot.com/2017/05/clarifications.html?m=1

      Delete
  8. Well put Diana!
    It's also worthy to note that the Jewish community itself is also divided among orthodox Jews and more liberal Jews, and even messianic jews who recognize Christ. In that sense they face an issue, since their own youth is being secularized just as in the Catholic Church. Just as in the Catholic Church some people hold more liberal views that are not in line with the teachings of Catholicism yet are accepted out of love not because the views themselves are accepted but because it is greater to accept them in the hope that God can reveal himself to them then to shun them and create hate in them towards the Catholic church. Then they would have no hope to learn the truth of the Gospel and Catholicism.
    We must also hold those same standards towards Jews who might never listen to the good news of Christ if you force it down their throat as law. The fundamental law in Christianity is love and charity. It is more important than all other doctrine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God's election of His people is symbolized by circumcision. You cannot eject anyone from heaven who had been elected by God. Only if you have not been elected (yet) and circumcised then you have to have faith through Christ who is the love of God. Then there is no other way for you but confessing Christ.

      Christ gave us a second chance, if we weren't born Jews, to acquire the same heavenly status. It is a potential for us that the door to heaven was opened to the sinners who are are the Gentiles. This is how the Greeks and the Gentiles all became Christian believers under St Paul's teaching.

      Delete
    2. Anon, are you saying all Jews go to heaven without confessing Jesus? Does it mean circumcision is a shortcut to heaven? How is t possible?

      Delete