Monday, March 31, 2008

What the hell is this?!

I've had it with the USCCB.

This is a joint statement released by the National Council of Synagogues and the USCCB from 2002. Link

"Nonetheless, the Church does perceive that the Jewish people’s mission ad gentes (to the nations) continues. This is a mission that the Church also pursues in her own way according to her understanding of covenant. The command of the Resurrected Jesus in Matthew 28:19 to make disciples "of all nations" (Greek = ethnÄ“, the cognate of the Hebrew = goyim; i.e., the nations other than Israel) means that the Church must bear witness in the world to the Good News of Christ so as to prepare the world for the fullness of the kingdom of God. However, this evangelizing task no longer includes the wish to absorb the Jewish faith into Christianity and so end the distinctive witness of Jews to God in human history.

Thus, while the Catholic Church regards the saving act of Christ as central to the process of human salvation for all, it also acknowledges that Jews already dwell in a saving covenant with God. The Catholic Church must always evangelize and will always witness to its faith in the presence of God’s kingdom in Jesus Christ to Jews and to all other people. In so doing, the Catholic Church respects fully the principles of religious freedom and freedom of conscience, so that sincere individual converts from any tradition or people, including the Jewish people, will be welcomed and accepted."

So let me get this straight. There are two covenants presently existing concurrently? And the Great Commission doesn't apply to the jews? Since when?

Notice the Vatican II-switcheroo that's been so popular:

"The post-Nostra Aetate Catholic recognition of the permanence of the Jewish people’s covenant relationship to God has led to a new positive regard for the post-biblical or rabbinic Jewish tradition that is unprecedented in Christian history."

Let's see what Nostra Aetate really says:

"The Church, therefore, cannot forget that she received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant. "

What do we call a conclusion in a book or movie or essay?


Nostra Aetate does not say that the old covenant is perpetual. This is just more VII twisting to suit liberal ideas.

What does the deposit of faith have to say about this?

From the Counil of Florence:

It [the Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, after our Lord's coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts that they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors."

Pope Benedict XIV from Ex Quo:

"61. The first consideration is that the ceremonies of the Mosaic Law were abrogated by the coming of Christ and that they can no longer be observed without sin after the promulgation of the Gospel. "

Pope Pius XII from Mystici Corporis:

"29. And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area - He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the House of Israel [30] - the Law and the Gospel were together in force; [31] but on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees [32] fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, [33] establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race.[34] "To such an extent, then," says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, "was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom." [35]

30. On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death, [36] in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers; [37] and although He had been constituted the Head of the whole human family in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, it is by the power of the Cross that our Savior exercises fully the office itself of Head of His Church. "

Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Dr. Ludwig Ott, imprimatur from Bishop Cornelus Lucey:

"On the Cross, Christ consummated the building of the Church. The Old Covenant ceased and the New Covenant sealed with the blood of Christ began."

I don't see how this is anything but heresy. It goes on to talk about the Church's mission of evangelization, notice the double-speak:

"This latter activity of proclamation and catechesis ­ the "invitation to a commitment of faith in Jesus Christ and to entry through baptism into the community of believers which is the church"16 ­ is sometimes thought to be synonymous with "evangelization."

Uhh, how is it not the same?

"However, this is a very narrow construal and is indeed only one among many aspects of the Church’s "evangelizing mission" in the service of Gods’ kingdom. Thus, Catholics participating in interreligious dialogue, a mutually enriching sharing of gifts devoid of any intention whatsoever to invite the dialogue partner to baptism, are nonetheless witnessing to their own faith in the kingdom of God embodied in Christ. This is a form of evangelization, a way of engaging in the Church’s mission."

Ok, so why is there so much more interreligious circle-jerking than real evangelization? It seems this document is the fruit of such interreligious dialogues. The only fruit is Supposed Catholic shepherds compromising the Truth to make others happy. Has any other religion compromised their beliefs for us from these dialogues? They're more or less saying, "The Church's mission is evangelization, but not the evangelization you're thinking of."

From Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization:

"3. There is today, however, a growing confusion which leads many to leave the missionary command of the Lord unheard and ineffective (cf. Mt 28:19). Often it is maintained that any attempt to convince others on religious matters is a limitation of their freedom. From this perspective, it would only be legitimate to present one’s own ideas and to invite people to act according to their consciences, without aiming at their conversion to Christ and to the Catholic faith. It is enough, so they say, to help people to become more human or more faithful to their own religion; it is enough to build communities which strive for justice, freedom, peace and solidarity. Furthermore, some maintain that Christ should not be proclaimed to those who do not know him, nor should joining the Church be promoted, since it would also be possible to be saved without explicit knowledge of Christ and without formal incorporation in the Church.

In the face of these problems, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged it necessary to publish the present Note."

If there is no need to evangelize the jews, meaning the old covenant is still active and saving, then why did Christ bother with all that dying-on-the-cross stuff?

If the USCCB had their way, "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus" would be "reinterpretted" to "Extra Ecclesiam Et Iudaeum Nulla Salus" Outside the Church and the Jews there is no salvation.

I've had it with the USCCB.


Nick said...

I agree with your points completely and understand your reaction. It should have been the natural reaction of every Roman Catholic. However I believe your criticism of the USCCB is misplaced. The USCCB is only noted for bureaucratic mediocrity not trail blazing. The bizarre concept that there are two equal parallel paths to salvation (Jewish and Christian) was developed early on during the last pontificate in Rome, not the United States. Where have you been? Logically there was no need for the Incarnation. Because this was so well understood and taken for granted explains the recent outrage over the translations of the Good Friday prayers. Why pray for Jewish conversions when they really aren't necessary, when the idea is blasphemous? This pope has the unenviable task of back pedaling from the position of his predecessor who regrettably is responsible and from whom the USCCB unquestioningly absorbed it. I hope he finds the courage to do just that.

Nick said...

I neglected to mention that the old covenant was never technically "saving" since the coming of Jesus Christ was still necessary for all mankind, regardless of whether they lived before or after His Incarnation. The statement of our Lord that "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (Jn 14:6) does not provide for the detour around Christ that is being discussed. The Jewish people have the courage of their convictions. It is a scandal that many Roman Catholics, clergy and laity, apparently don't.

Unitas said...

I honestly don't mind the new Good Friday prayer. It's tone is softer but still prays for their acceptance of Christ as the messiah.

What I have a problem with is why it was changed. The ADL going into an uproar after Summorum Pontificum is released over the Good Friday prayer, then a fw months later the prayer is change. Coincidence? I think not.

And you'er right, it is a scandal. This statement flies in the face of Tradition. It also casts doubt on the effectiveness and purpose of these "interreligious dialogues" when the only ones compromising are the Catholics. If we have to sacrifice truth then it's not worth it.

What is "mutual understanding" worth when it was bought with lies? What good is their favor if we have to lie to them and to ourselves to get it?

Nick said...

I would not say that only Catholics are the ones compromising. The whole Ecumenical Movement is based on nothing but compromise and finding the lowest common denominator. Truth is no longer an issue and the participants all know this. The rejection of proselytism is just one minor aspect. Presumably individuals must privately stumble onto the "truth" because encouraging or aiding them would be offensive and disturb the bonhomie of these pointless, endless, ecumenical cocktail parties. Actually, conversions are embarrassing. There has emerged a whole class of professional participants in these ecumenical meetings that smack more of the diplomatic corps than honest debate. Cigars with Port anyone?. Really, what more is there to discuss? The fact that there are explicit Canons, both Apostolic and from the Ecumenical Councils, forbidding any Christians on pain of deposition and excommunication from even entering synagogs (much less praying there) or entering the places of worship of heretics (or praying with them) are completely ignored as well as the consequent penalties. Remember the circus at Assisi? These Canons weren't embraced by the Church out of anti-semitism or social discrimination but because truth can not mingle with falsehood and the mindless exposure to falsehood spiritually affects all involved negatively. It sends the wrong message. You're OK, I'm OK. How many religious, monks and nuns, dropped by the wayside after their trendy flirting with Buddhism and New Age techniques? There can be no compromise with the truth. Conversion is no longer important but only polite toleration. Why? Because "We all pray to the same God." Well, the Apostles did not believe that. The Martyrs did not believe that. Just one example: how could a pope kiss the Koran, the book "God" allegedly dictated to Mohammed, that he knew flatly denied the Crucifixion of Christ? That denied Christ's divinity? ("God has no son.") Did it matter? Are our actions important? Something has fundamentally changed. The fact must be faced that peoples' beliefs can and do change. This includes the loftiest ranks of the clergy. This includes Rome.

Fr. David Streit, SVD said...

You might study the word 'conclude' a bit more before concluding that it only means 'to end'.
It also means 'to make', 'to reach' as in:
Hebrews 8,8 "conclude a new covenant"
Joshua 10,4: "to conclude peace"
Daniel 11,17: "conclude an agreement" (New American Bible)

It's a pretty long stretch to conclude that the covenant with the Jews is over and done with just because Nostra Aetate uses the scriptural word 'conclude' together with the "Ancient Covenant". Shabby argumentation!

Nick said...

Not wishing to nit pick nor having the time for that matter to argue like the ancient Greeks, I will only say that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Messiah, came to the Jews as was prophesied. Many accepted Him but most rejected Him and like the Jews of today await a different messiah, which brings up the question of the Antichrist. One can not go to the Father except through His Son, Jesus Christ, Jesus the Messiah. Period. Jesus Christ is not optional, to be only accepted at the Last Judgment when faith will no longer be a factor. After all, the demons believe, and who will deny Christ on that terrible Day? Please note Luke 12:8-9. The Jews deny Christ as the Talmud is very specific about. Actually arguing with a Talmudic scholar might interest those who relish and rate argumentation. In any event, the pertinent canons of the Ecumenical Councils speak for themselves. The Church is the New Israel and we now are the Chosen People. I fully recognize that there are many today , even among the clergy, who have a novel understanding, one which their forebears certainly did not share. Time will tell.

Unitas said...

"It's a pretty long stretch to conclude that the covenant with the Jews is over and done with just because Nostra Aetate uses the scriptural word 'conclude' together with the "Ancient Covenant". Shabby argumentation!"

It is not only Nostra Aetate that says the Old Covenant has ceased. Many other sources from the magisterium are also referenced. So no, I'm not basing my argument on an interpretation of a single word, but many corroborating sources that this document from the USCCB obviously contradicts.

Perhaps you didn't read my post thoroughly enough to pick up on my other references. Shabby rebuttal.