VATICAN CITY—The Vatican released a doc Thursday stating with unprecedented clarity that the Catholic Church doesn’t seek the conversion of the Jews, addressing what has traditionally been a single of the biggest details of stress between the two communities.
“The Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed in the direction of the Jews,” said the document, written by a panel of Catholic theologians specializing in Jewish-Catholic dialogue.
Even although Christians think that salvation comes through Christ on your own, “it does not in any way follow that the Jews are excluded from God’s salvation simply because they do not feel in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God,” the document mentioned.
The Vatican released the theologians’ statement to mark the fiftieth anniversary of “Nostra Aetate,” a declaration of the Second Vatican Council which identified Christianity’s Jewish roots, exonerated Jews of any collective guilt for the demise of Jesus and affirmed that God’s covenant with them experienced in no way been abrogated.
That doc ushered in a 50 percent century of ever closer relations between Catholics and Jews. The two Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI compensated visits to Rome’s principal synagogue, in the city’s previous Jewish ghetto, and Pope Francis is scheduled to follow suit up coming thirty day period.
In 2008, making an attempt to reflect the church’s new knowing of relations among the two faiths, Pope Benedict revised a Excellent Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews in the aged Latin liturgy, which experienced fallen mostly out of use after Vatican II.
Pope Benedict taken off the prayer’s reference to Jews’ “blindness” and a request that God “take the veil from their hearts,” in favor of a request that God “enlighten (Jews’) hearts so that they could admit Jesus Christ, the savior of all men.” A lot of Jewish leaders rejected the revised language, and Italy’s rabbis boycotted an interreligious occasion with Catholics the following calendar year.
According to Joseph Sievers, a professor at Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute and a member of the commission that created the new document, it goes farther than Vatican II in renouncing any attempts to flip Jews into Christians.
“’Nostra Aetate experienced removed any language referring to hope for a conversion,” he mentioned, “but it did not explicitly say ‘we do not want to transform Jews.’ This document wants to make that obvious.”
Mr. Sievers mentioned in his check out, the new doc must be read not only as a disavowal of institutional missionary initiatives directed at Jews, but also as an exhortation to specific Christians not to look for Jews’ conversion.
Rabbi David Rosen, intercontinental director for interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, mentioned what is new about the document is that it sums up in an formal statement a 50 percent century of changes in the church’s method to Jews, which includes the repudiation of efforts at conversion.
“That it is categorically very clear that Jews are in a salvific state in relation to God—to the ideal of my knowledge that does not appear in any doc,” explained Rabbi Rosen, who took part in the Vatican’s official presentation of the doc Thursday. “You could deduce it from ‘Nostra Aetate,’ you could deduce it from subsequent responses, but I really don’t believe it is ever been written down explicitly this way.”
The doc states that “Christians are even so called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews, although they need to do so in a humble and sensitive fashion,” with particular regard to the “great tragedy” of the Holocaust.
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