Judaism and the Catholic Church: before and after Vatican II

The key text of Nostra Aetate on this point is in the document’s fourth chapter:

Given this great spiritual heritage common to Christians and Jews, it is the wish of this sacred Council to foster and recommend a mutual knowledge and esteem… the Jews should not be presented as rejected by God or accursed, as though this follows from Scripture… The Church… deplores all hatred, persecution and other manifestations of anti-semitism, whatever the period and whoever was responsible.

Of course, no Catholic may favor the mistreatment of Jews or of anyone else. This is a given. What’s troubling, however, is the ambiguity contained in the phrase, “The Jews should not be presented as rejected by God or accursed, as though this follows from Scripture.”

This phrase lacks necessary distinctions.

Firstly, all of us are members of an “accursed race” – the human race. None of us are born Catholic, but enter this world stained with original sin as children of Adam and Eve. We are thus born, as Blessed Abbot Marmion explains, “enemies of God.” [5] The Psalms teach, “Indeed in guilt was I born and in sin my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 5:7) St. Paul affirms, “For we are by nature children of wrath.” (Eph. 2:3). We are all born as part of the Kingdom of Satan.

To be freed from this kingdom, we need to be “saved”. The eminent Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton explains, the process of salvation requires a transfer from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom of God, according to the age-old doctrine of the Two Kingdoms,[6] is the Catholic Church, the one and only supernatural society established by Christ in which salvation can be found.

The process of salvation, as Fenton notes, is similar to being saved from a sinking rowboat wherein the individual is sure to perish, and being transferred to a sea-worthy ocean liner. This necessary transfer from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God requires Baptism and acceptance of the Jesus Christ and his Divine Revelation. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved. He who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:6) This teaching applies to all people on earth, whether they be Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or secular humanist.

We are all thus born as part of an “accursed race.” The only way to free ourselves from this curse, the only way out of the kingdom of Satan, is to leave the devil’s empire and transfer into Christ’s one true Church, and to keep oneself in the state of grace by means of prayer and the sacraments.

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2 Comments

  1. Holy Week having just ended, that studied, post Vatican-II exercise in murkiness and ambiguity aka the prayer “For the Jewish People” in the current Good Friday liturgy is fresh–not in the good sense–in my mind. I quote it in full here, with emphases added and (editorial comments) inserted.

    “Let us pray also for the Jewish people, to whom the Lord our God spoke first (true, although inserted herein as a gratuitous and cloying suck-up), that he may grant them to advance in love of his name (i.e. “Elohim”? “Yahweh”? “**d”? Whatever: the verb “advance” clearly excludes the name of Jesus, for how can one advance in the love of a name one does not love or even recognize in the first place?), and in faithfulness to his covenant (ah, but which covenant? Again, not specified, although the context of this pathetic, would-be politically-correct liturgical exercise, clearly implies the old–i.e. fulfilled and ended 2k years ago–covenant).”

    Big irony: The prayer that immediately follows the latter is “For those who do not believe in Christ.” Hey, liturgy composers! That category includes the Jews!! Duh!!!

  2. Very Simple : You must believe in Christ Jesus and be Baptized!!!
    There is NO ANTI anybody except ANTICHRIST!!!


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