Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bishops draw from CCC to alleviate confusion in US Adult Catechism

The US Bishops have asked Rome to affirm their decision to change a reference to the Jewish Covenant in the current edition of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA) by pulling the following paragraph from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or CCC:

"Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People.

When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, "the first to hear the Word of God." The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ", "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."

Paragraph 839, Catechism of the Catholic Church

The basic principle which it is necessary to preserve in any discussion of the Old Testament Covenant, which the Church believes God has not withdrawn, is the role of Jesus Christ as "sole Savior" of the world. Though the Old Covenant is "fulfilled" in the New Covenant and all are called to salvation in Jesus Christ we also believe, at the same time, that God does not withdraw His promises. Thus, though called to salvation in Christ as are all, the Jewish people continue to benefit from all the promises of God bestowed in the Old Covenant. The Jewish people are our "elder brothers in the Faith" and all Catholics have wisely been called "spiritual Semites".

Nothing in the Catholic Faith ever can condone anything less than full esteem and love for the Jewish people: "You must love your neighbor as yourself".

(Photo: Moses, Michelangelo, 1515. Marble, height 235 cm. Rome, Church of San Pietro in Vincoli.)

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