Saturday, August 16, 2008

USCCB Removes Bizarre Statement From the US Catechism

What's wrong with this statement?

"Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them."

At best, it's vague and ambiguous. At worst, it's heretical. It's also in the current Catechism published by the USCCB. That looks like it's changing, though. The article is pretty good on the rationale. How exactly is the Mosaic Covenant still valid for Jewish people? It's valid if they want to go ahead and enter the Church and take advantage of the fulfillment of that covenant. Any other interpretation is going to be heretical. Guys like King David couldn't even be saved by the Old Law (see Question 28 here). How is it supposed to help anyone these days?

I am a bit confused on what this Fr. Massa is saying, though. He seems to be taking JPII's quote about Jews being in a "real relationship with God" as equivalent to salvation. I'm trying to think of a single Father or Doctor of the Church that would make that same leap. JPII himself referred to just one covenant as eternal and irrevocable, that being the one forged on the Cross. You can check Dominicae Cenae, Redemptoris Custos, or Evangelium Vitae to see what I mean here.

Then Fr. Massa drops this line about "it is also the church's understanding that the full incorporation of Israel into the saving covenant of Christ may be the fruit of the end times, may not happen until the end of history." I really don't think that guesswork on possibilities for the End of the World should lead us into theological speculation that could potentially endanger souls. Folks read vagaries like this stuff about the validity of the Old Covenant and start to think that Jews don't need evangelization and conversion. What a horrible lack of charity, to be content with fellow man being ignorant or, even worse, outright rejecting Christ.

Anyways, this whole editing decision is a step in the right direction.

1 comment:

Aharon B said...

It is a true statement not heretical or ambiguous. It seems ambiguous to the ignorant catholics of America who seem unable and unwilling to distinguish between salvation and sanctification. The Mosaic covenant on sinai is concerned with sanctification- the Torah is a way of holiness. Orthodox Jews look forward to salvation or redemption with the coming of the Messiah they do not look to Sinai for salvation but for sanctification or as a way of holiness that is eternally valid.

The problem is that many Catholics read this statement and think it is saying there are two equally valid ways to salvation- which in the Catholic perspective is not possible. this is not what this statment is saying but i suspect the Bishop realise the ignorance of theology, Judaism and Scripture among many catholics so they are changing the statement not because it is wrong but because of the ignorance of most American Catholics and because certain modernists are also using its misinterpretation to push their dual covenant theology.