In his recent Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis cited the erroneous passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (shown below, in its’ entirety) which incorrectly and improperly conflates the Old Testament of the Holy Bible with the now undoubtedly revoked and no longer valid Old (Mosaic) Covenant of the Jews.
Here’s the erroneous and problematic segment from the Catholic Catechism:
The Old Testament
121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value,92 for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.
ERROR: Here, the term “COVENANT” is used interchangeably with the term “TESTAMENT” – BUT in this particular context, the meaning of the two is entirely different.
The term “Testament” refers to the Old Testament of the written Word of God – the Holy Bible – while the term “Covenant” refers to the Mosaic Law of the Jews and the TEMPORARY/NON SALVIFIC covenant God made with Moses on Mount Sinai.
The two are not the same!
Now we are treated to a bit of Catholic truth –
122 Indeed, “the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately so oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men.”93 “Even though they contain matters imperfect and provisional,”94 the books of the Old Testament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God’s saving love: these writings “are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way.”95
And now – more ERROR – as once again,the post-Vatican II style of imprecise (intentionally misleading?) language erroneously conflates the Old Testament of the Holy Bible with the now undoubtedly revoked and replaced Old (Mosaic) Covenant of the Jews:
123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. “The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void (Marcionism).”
This above statement is absolutely true in terms of the Old Testament of the Holy Bible – yet it proves to be absolutely false when applied to the Old Mosaic Covenant of the Jews.
The Holy Spirit inspired, totally inerrant,
written Word of God –
The OLD Testament of the Bible –
along with the NEW Testament –
has never been revoked!
The status of the Jew’s OLD Mosaic COVENANT however,
is a totally different matter.
There is no doubt that Jesus gave us ALL
a NEW and better COVENANT.
Jesus perfectly fulfilled and respectfully set aside
the OLD COVENANT,
which IS NO LONGER VALID for ANYONE
when he have us the New Covenant in his blood,
at The Last Supper.
The reason for this is simple:
The Old Covenant was never able to save a soul.
Absent Christ’s saving work on the cross,
everyone who ever attempted to live by the Old Covenant alone
would likely have suffered eternal death, as a result.
Only by the merciful and timely application
of the grace of Jesus Christ is salvation possible.
NOT by the “keeping” of ANY LAW.
Several popes (including Pope Francis) seem to be comfortable repeating the scandalous, vaguely written and erroneous passage from the Catholic Catechism, which mistakenly gives the impression that the Old Covenant might still somehow be valid for the Jews, when it most certainly is not.
To make this state of affairs even more scandalous, even the Muslims seem to know the truth, and they are able to prove it, by correctly citing both chapter and verse from the Holy Bible.
From the reader comments on the linked article – apparently written by a Muslim:
Jesus (PBUH) accused the Pharisees and Scribes of being “blind leaders of the blind”. The Pope (at the very least, this one) and other leaders in the Roman Catholic Church are the “Christian” version of those Jewish blind leaders whose followers are also blind.
From a Christian point of view, what is the “new covenant” all about if the “old covenant” still abides? Practically the whole of the “New Testament” writings declare that the “Old Testament/Covenant” has PASSED AWAY with the bringing in of the New Testament/Covenant in which there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. Particularly the whole letter called “Hebrews” deals with the contrast between the two covenants, the new REPLACING the old. Consider a few verses from this letter to the Hebrews (New King James Version):
7:18 and 19 – “For on the one hand there is an ANNULLING of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”
8:13 – “In that He says, ‘A new covenant’, He has made the first OBSOLETE. Now what is obsolete and growing old IS READY TO VANISH AWAY.” [This was written shortly before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple, thus actually causing the old to “vanish away”.]
9:8 – “the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All WAS NOT YET MADE MANIFEST WHILE THE FIRST TABERNACLE WAS STILL STANDING.” [The “first tabernacle” no longer stands though, nor does the ‘covenant’ associated with that “first tabernacle”.]
Jesus Christ himself (peace to him) could not have been clearer than in the parable he told about a landowner “…who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he lease it to vinedressers and went into a far country” (Matthew 21:33) When the landowner sent servants to collect the fruit of the vineyard, the vinedressers/tenants beat up and killed the servants, finally killing the son of the landowner. ” ‘Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?’ They said to him, ‘HE will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Did you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’S doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes”? Therefore I say to you,
” ‘Therefore I say to you, THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE TAKEN FROM YOU AND GIVEN TO A NATION BEARING THE FRUITS OF IT’ “.
It doesn’t matter whether the new nation to whom the kingdom is given is ‘the Church’ or the Arab “Ishmaelite” nation. The point here is that the the Jewish nation is REJECTED from the kingdom while another nation takes their place. Certainly there are “Jews according to the flesh” who enter into the kingdom of God; but it is not through that “old covenant” which has been annulled. They enter on the same footing as everyone else who enters it.
That at least is the teaching of Jesus Christ and his apostles (peace to them all). The Pope claims to be the earthly representative of Jesus Christ, yet he repudiates the teaching of Jesus and his apostles. Surely he is among those who will be shocked to hear Jesus Christ say to him: “Depart from me, you wicked ones; because I never knew you”.
Editor’s note: We have apparently come to a point in history where we have Catholic popes preaching fallacy – and we have Muslims correcting them on significant matters of Catholic doctrine. What a sad state of affairs! – Ed.)