Jews, the Church, the Messiah

A response to: What Is Not True About the Good Friday Prayer for Jews

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Do Father Remaud’s words really clarify the issue or do they rather confuse it even more?

It seems to me that the words of the prayer, “That God our Lord should illuminate their hearts, so that they will recognize Jesus Christ, the Savior of all men” mean precisely that: That Jews would recognize Jesus as the Messiah of Israel.

Does the Church not teach that “Church and Judaism cannot be seen as two parallel ways of salvation and the Church must witness to Christ as the Redeemer for all” (1985 Notes on the Correct Way to Present the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church I. 7)?

As founder and director of the organization Catholics for Israel, I share Father Remaud’s great respect and appreciation of Judaism, and I wish that Catholics were more informed about the Jewish roots of Catholicism. I also believe that Jews who come to faith in Christ and enter the Church should be encouraged to remain faithful to their Jewish heritage and traditions as Catholic Jews.

It goes without saying that the issue at hand is not about “pressuring people to try to convince them.” But it is not clear to me how obscuring the faith of the Church by playing semantic word games or stifling her missionary witness on grounds of political correctness will be helpful. Is the Gospel not “the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first” (Rom 1:16)?

Ariel Ben Ami
Catholics for Israel

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