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Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:54 pm
Yes, I understand somewhat...
I remember reading something, I think by Abraham Joshua Heschel:
"The gravest sin for a Jew is to forget what he represents."
Would you agree with that? Is that something you could expand on a bit, in whatever way you think appropriate?
Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:33 pm
Ok, my two bits here in response to your exchange…
I can understand both your positions. I agree with Athol that Hadassah’s questions can seem a bit insensitive, however I’m also sure that she did not intend them to be. As Athol said, many Catholics still display rather arrogant attitudes regarding this subject, so perhaps Athol you have gone on the defensive a little quickly in this case where the questions were not ill-intended. Also most Catholics really don’t have a clue about these issues (neither do they understand how hard these are for Jews and for Jewish Christians), and so let’s try to extend them the extra grace and patience to freely ask questions, not assuming that there is a polemical intent or bad will until this is proven.
I know how difficult and emotional these subjects can be, so I don't expect things to always be all smiles. After all, we're trying to do a modest contribution to bridging a 1,900 year old enmity between two faiths, and this will surely have a few bumps on the road.
Now, just a few words about some specific points:
Why would someone attend a seder holding a secret inward intention when the majority of the other participants (and the expressed intention of the entire event) attest to a fundamentally opposing belief?
…I envisioned a situation in which a person outwardly seems to celebrate [the Passover] as if the Messiah had not come, but inwardly holds an opposing belief.
The main reason for the Passover is not to prepare for the coming of Christ but to celebrate the remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt. Why would the coming of the Messiah change that? It’s true that the Passover also prefigures the New Covenant, of course, but that is far from being its only role.
When I celebrate Passover, I don’t see it at all as a celebration that “attests to a fundamentally opposing belief.” Yes, it saddens me that most Jews I know don’t accept Christ. But then I try to never lose perspective as to WHY they reject Him, and I remember the anti-Judaic theology of the Church Fathers, anti-Jewish legislation passed by “Christian” nations, anti-Semitic propaganda and violence directed against Jews by Christians for centuries (the details of which it would be pointless to list here), accusations of them being “Christ killers,” the apathetic reactions of the Christian world to the Holocaust, and continued Christian preaching still saying today that Christ has rendered the Torah and everything the Jews hold dear obsolete (things that, as we recall, they received from God). Ok, there are many nuances to be made in all those points, but essentially this is how they perceive Christianity. So for me to celebrate Passover is not only tremendously enriching for my own faith, I also consider it to be an “evangelistic” action on my part, even if I don’t say a word about Christ. What do you think will make Jews more curious to know more about Jesus and be drawn to Him – to sourly underline that all that Jewish stuff has been “fulfilled” and rendered obsolete, or to joyfully celebrate the Exodus from Egypt with them as a Christian?
I do imagine myself proclaiming Christ boldly in all situations…
this is great and praiseworthy, but your situation is very, very different from that of a Jew who may have secretly accepted the Catholic faith and still has a great love for his/her Jewish heritage and does not want to sever these links – for the national bond between God and Israel still stands, as we recall.
Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:16 am
Ariel wrote:Also most Catholics really don’t have a clue about these issues...
LOL! Don't get me wrong, it's a good-natured sort of laugh! So my choice is to be either insensitive or clueless. OK, I am resigned. I think I'd choose clueless over insensitive any day :-).
The main reason for the Passover is not to prepare for the coming of Christ but to celebrate the remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt. Why would the coming of the Messiah change that? [...] When I celebrate Passover, I don’t see it at all as a celebration that “attests to a fundamentally opposing belief.”
I have actually been to Passover Seders, with Jewish and Messianic congregations as well as in Catholic parishes. So I do know a bit about the reason for the celebration and the meaning. The two quotes you cite were reactions to Athol's comments. He noted, "Many Catholic jews attend Seders run by orthodox jews especially those who are secret Catholics. Even though the orthodox Jews celebrating these Seders are doing it as if the messiah had not come
, the Catholic Jews present keep it with a New Covenant heart intention." As I said before, I don't think I understood the second sentence as he intended it and envisioned a situation in which belief and action were opposed.
What do you think will make Jews more curious to know more about Jesus and be drawn to Him – to sourly underline that all that Jewish stuff has been “fulfilled” and rendered obsolete, or to joyfully celebrate the Exodus from Egypt with them as a Christian?
Well, I hope that I don't sourly do anything. Most certainly I hope that I would not sourly, or in any other fashion, deny the significance of the Exodus for either Jews or Christians.
your situation is very, very different from that of a Jew who may have secretly accepted the Catholic faith and still has a great love for his/her Jewish heritage and does not want to sever these links – for the national bond between God and Israel still stands, as we recall.
I would admit that my situation is very different. And I have to admit that I am stuggling with the situation of a "secret Catholic". On one hand, I see the tension, the gravity, and potential loss that you and Athol both describe. I recognize, at least in some part, how painful that would be. I do not wish to minimize in any way the difficulty of such a situation.
On the other hand, I am constantly reminded of our call to follow and proclaim Christ boldly despite great difficulty and, I think, even with the understanding that the national bond between God and Israel still stands. Interestingly, I opened the Catechism on Sunday to read about the theological virtues and was confronted with paragraph 1816
). So this is something I need to ponder more deeply...
Thanks for your comments, Ariel! I appreciate the feedback and will truly try to be more mindful of what I write and how it might be interpreted. As always, anything that you can offer which helps deepen our understanding and appreciation of the issue is welcome.
Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:45 pm
no problem Hadassah, tough questions are ok too. We learn to have a tough skin in Israel!
the infallible and unchangeable teaching of the Church
Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:17 pm
I am sorry to inform you Athol that you are 100% wrong. The infallible Council of Florence has spoken and the First Vatican Council defined the duty of Catholics to obey ALL Catholic teaching.
First Vatican Council: “§1792 Further, by divine and Catholic faith, ALL those things must be believed at which are contained in the written Word of God and in tradition, and those which are proposed by the church, either in a solemn pronouncement [ex cathedra extra ordinary Magisterium ], or in her ordinary and universal teaching power [a.v., “what has always been taught,” ordinary Magisterium ], to be believed as a divinely revealed.” Vatican Council, Session III Dogmatic Constitution Concerning the Catholic Faith (April 24, 1870) in Denziger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, §1792
Council of Florence: “§ 712 It [the Holy 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 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 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 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....
“§714 The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, and heretics, and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire 'which was prepared for the devil, and his angels,' (Matthew 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this Ecclesiastical Body, that only those remaining within this unity can profit from the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and that they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, alms deeds, and other works of Christian piety and duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” ---Cantate Domino, from the infallible ecumenical Council of Florence under His Holiness Pope Eugene IV defining the Solemn Doctrine: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, promulgated by papal bull, February 4, 1444 [Florentine calendar] in Denziger Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, § 712-714
Council of Trent: “but not even the Jews by the very letter of the law of Moses were able to be liberated or to rise therefrom.”
Re: the infallible and unchangeable teaching of the Church
Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:20 am
Hammer wrote:I am sorry to inform you Athol that you are 100% wrong. The infallible Council of Florence has spoken and the First Vatican Council defined the duty of Catholics to obey ALL Catholic teaching.
Please excuse my ignorance here....Ive read this thread a few times now & probably missing something so obvious - but im not sure as to where Athol is 100% wrong???
Can someone enlighten me please? Curious minds....
Note to all
Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:24 am
An important note regarding Hammer's note above:
I have banned ''Hammer" from the forum because he was just here to cause trouble and did not show any signs of being open to a respectful discussion. However I have not deleted his post above, because these are things that have in fact been decreed by Church councils, and a serious discussion about observance of Jewish customs within the Catholic Church cannot ignore what was said in the past - even if we don't like it.
The Church has already clarified her teaching on "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus."
As for the harsh prohibition to observe any of the Jewish mitzvot, my simple and short answer would be that this is a disciplinary ruling that may have had its reason in its time (15th century) but as we know disciplines of the Church are not infallible and can certainly change over time. But certainly a deeper discussion on the topic might bring out some new insights.
Posted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:24 am
What do you really expect the reaction to be? For a Jew to become a Catholic, he is essentially becoming part of a community that is going to turn him into a gentile, for all practical purposes.
Come on, I hung out in the Hebrew Catholic forum long enough to know that there was exactly two Jews that made any effort to observe their covenant. There really isn't a Hebrew-Catholic movement of any size or substance. Those that become Catholic are lost to Israel.
Posted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:34 pm
well Gerat Zedek, that is one of the reasons why Catholics for Israel exists: to try to encourage, facilitate, form, and strengthen a community of Jewish Catholics who hold it important to retain their Jewishness by observance of the mitzvoth, without compromising on the Catholic faith.
Re: Are passover Seders sinful
Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:12 am
Ah the Council of Florence again. They love to bring that one up quoting only those things that suit them. One needs to carefully study the Bull that came out of this Council carefully as it is easy to read it wrong by not seeing that everything is stated is in the context of those keeping Jewish rites as a neccessity for salvation or as neccessary for membership in the church. There are many other statements in this Bull that on a superficial reading seem to be contrary to the Catholic teachings of today. This Bull must be interpreted in the light of the whole of Catholic teaching. for example the church is concerned to preserve and protect the teaching that we are saved by Grace alone and thus in order to protect that infallible teaching certain pastoral policy may be applied or recommended for certain times and places. For example the Council of Florence is dealing with those separated brethern such as the Copts of Egypt who have reunited with the Catholic Church. the Gentile copts of that time had made circumcision and some other Jewish observances a requirement for entering the Church and those reuniting with the Catholic church needed to drop those requirements as they could lead people to think that they were necessary for salvation. this was a pastoral policy (which can change) given in order to protect an infallible teaching.