Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Red Herrings

WASHINGTON -- Five key officials of the U.S. Conference of Catholics Bishops have excised a controversial passage from a public note on Catholic-Jewish dialogue issued in June by two USCCB committees.

U.S. Jewish leaders had found the passage offensive and said faithful Jews could not enter into dialogue with Catholics if those Catholics were always at least implicitly seeking their conversion.

The church officials, who included Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, USCCB president, also issued a six-point “Statement of Principles for Catholic-Jewish Dialogue” that clearly affirms that God’s covenant with the Jews has never been revoked.

“Jewish covenantal life endures till the present day as a vital witness to God’s saving will for his people Israel and for all of humanity,” it says.

So, by setting up the straw man, by becoming offended (TM) at the suggestion that the Church wants everyone to be Catholic, the professionally offended parties can pressure the Church into a bit of bowing and scraping and back-pedalling.

There's only one problem. The Catholic Church has never said that God "revoked" the covenant with the Jews. God doesn't change His mind.

He said, and out loud using a human voice speaking in a language everyone at the time understood, something quite different.

It is worth noting what the "controversial passage" said:
“Though Christian participation in interreligious dialogue would not normally include an explicit invitation to baptism and entrance into the church, the Christian dialogue partner is always giving witness to the following of Christ, to which all are implicitly invited.”

Sorry. Just can't see the problem here.

The line, however, according to the Offended Parties, “is antithetical to the very essence of Jewish-Christian dialogue as we have understood it in the post-Vatican II era.”

Well, maybe we've been doing it wrong then.

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