Sunday, May 20, 2007

Highlights From Itinerary For 2008 Synod

From the English translation of the lineamenta for the 2008 Synod at the Vatican website:

This Synod ... intends to encourage ecumenical dialogue, which is closely linked to listening to the Word of God and to promote an encounter and dialogue of not only Christians and Jews(9) but also those engaged in interreligious and inter-cultural dialogue.

... Special attention is given to the Jewish people. Christ and the Jews are Sons of Abraham, grounded in the same Covenant, because God, who is always faithful to his promises, has not revoked the first covenant (cf. Rm 9-11). Pope John Paul II maintains: “This people was gathered together and led by God, the Creator of heaven and earth. Thus, its existence is not a mere fact of nature or culture, in the sense that through culture man displays the resources of his own nature. It is a supernatural fact. This people perseveres in spite of everything, because they are the people of the Covenant, and despite human infidelities, the Lord is faithful to his Covenant.”(125) They share a great part of the canonical books of the Bible, called the Old Testament by Christians. In this matter, the Pontifical Biblical Commission’s document, The Jewish People and Its Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible,(126) provides a reflection on the close association of the two in faith, which is equally mentioned in Dei Verbum.(127) In this regard, two aspects deserve special consideration: the original character of the Jewish understanding of the Bible and an effort to overcome every form of anti-Semitism.

... Is priority given to dialogue with the Jewish people? What points of encounter on the Bible might prove beneficial? Are biblical texts used to ferment attitudes of anti-Semitism?


(9)Cf. Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible (24 May 2001); Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City, 2001.

(125) Ioannes Paulus II, To Participants at the Symposium, The Roots of Anti-Judaism in the Christian Milleu (31 October 1997), in L’Osservator Romano: Weekly Edition in English, 5 November 1997, p. 1.

(126) Pontificical Biblical Commission, The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible (24 May 2001), Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City, 2001.

(127) Cf. Conc. Œum. Vat. II, Const. dogmatica de Divina Revelatione Dei Verbum, 14-16.




http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20070427_lineamenta-xii-assembly_en.html


The notion that God is bound to a covenant with Jews after the Old Covenant was fulfilled in Jesus Christ was put to rest 2000 years ago by St. Paul:

Now in saying a new, he hath made the former old. And that which decayeth and groweth old, is near its end. (Hebrews 8;13)

In response to JPII's racist theory on the perseverance of "The Jews" who deny Christ being due to a blessing from God, I answer with St. Paul 1 Thess 2:16, "the wrath of God is come upon them to the end." Nothing from Nostra Aetate, JPII, or the bishops of the 2008 synod can change this.

But this is beside the fact that the people addressed as "Jews" here are not descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David. Their claim to the title "Jew" is based solely upon their adherence (or their forebears' adherence) to the tradition of rabbinic Judaism which teaches that Christ got what He deserved at Calvary. I'm afraid that there isn't a thing that the synod of bishops can do or say that would cover up the absurdity and blasphemy of the claim that God blesses adherents of this belief or their progeny regardless of their ethnicity.

However, it is this statement which I believe says the most about what we can expect from the synod:

"In this regard, two aspects deserve special consideration: the original character of the Jewish understanding of the Bible and an effort to overcome every form of anti-Semitism."

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