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Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Guest on Wed May 18, 2011 7:38 pm

RashaLampa wrote:
Could it get any worse?
God forbid!

... this is why Our Lady of Fatima said to pray the Rosary daily. Yes, of course we pray for peace, etc.-- but ultimately it's the only way we're going to keep our sanity.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Lourdes on Thu May 19, 2011 2:02 pm

Here I am. Up to page 188. I had to stop reading last night because my eyes were crossing.

Let's start with the positive.

He writes at times very touchingly (I was going to write "beautiful" but that is not the word I am looking for).

On page 153:

Across the centuries, it is the drowsiness of the disciples that opens up possibilities for the power of the Evil One. Such drowsiness deadens the soul, so that it remains undisturbed by the power of the Evil One at work in the world and by all the injustice and suffering ravaging the earth. In its state of numbness, the soul prefers not to see all this; it is easily persuaded that things cannot be so bad, so as to continue in the self satisfaction of its own comfortable existence. Yet this deadening of souls, this lack of vigilance regarding both God's closeness and the looming forces of darkness, is what gives the Evil One power in the world.

And this on page 155:

Because he is the Son, he sees with total clarity the whole foul flood of evil, all the power of lies and pride, all the wiles and cruelty of the evil that masks itself as life yet constantly serves to destroy, debase and crush life.

I'll be back - got to find my notes and further collect my thoughts...

Before I go though, I want to get out of the way the very one thing he wrote that I did not like. The part about "His blood be upon us..." - I don't like what he did there. He knows darn well that that is not what the Jews meant - they called Our Lord's blood upon them as a curse, not to purify and save. He knows that.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Lourdes on Thu May 19, 2011 2:03 pm

I should tell you that my husband (a/k/a Mr. Fix-it), has been messing with the computer. If I don't show back up today, that means that I was unable to get the computer working again. Smile

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Lourdes on Thu May 19, 2011 2:52 pm

On pages 135-6, he gives a definition of "for many" and "for all" that does not add up to that in the Catechism of the Council of Trent. I do not have the Catechism so I cannot check, but if my memory is functioning reliably, Benedict's definitions bear no resemblance to Trent's.

I have noticed that he makes more than a few jibes at the theology that was prevalent in seminaries in the sixties and seventies. To this day, we have to suffer through on Palm Sunday being told that Our Lord was crucified between "two revolutionaries". Pope Benedict seems to have little to no patience with that nonsense.

I wonder, too, if he had the Vatican II popes in mind when he wrote on pages 147/8 that Our Lord's thinking was a combination "of fidelity and utter novelty...Jesus is observant....yet at the same time his whole outlook is new."

That's it for now. Back to study !

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  DeSelby on Thu May 19, 2011 5:05 pm

Lourdes wrote:On pages 135-6, he gives a definition of "for many" and "for all" that does not add up to that in the Catechism of the Council of Trent. I do not have the Catechism so I cannot check, but if my memory is functioning reliably, Benedict's definitions bear no resemblance to Trent's.


Here's the part from the Trent Catechism:

"The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race. When therefore (our Lord) said: For you, He meant either those who were present, or those chosen from among the Jewish people, such as were, with the exception of Judas, the disciples with whom He was speaking. When He added, And for many, He wished to be understood to mean the remainder of the elect from among the Jews or Gentiles.

With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation. And this is the purport of the Apostle when he says: 'Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; and also of the words of our Lord in John: I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me, because they are thine.'"

http://www.catecheticsonline.com/Trent2.php

Maybe if the Catechism of Council of Trent was written by a Lutheran, or found in the caves of Quamran. . . Rolling Eyes

here's a short article on this :
http://www.traditioninaction.org/bkreviews/A_034br_Nazareth2.htm
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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Lourdes on Thu May 19, 2011 5:44 pm

DeSelby, that was very kind of you to post the part from the Catechism of the Council of Trent.

I will let Marion comment on this part of the book. What I gathered from what I read, Benedict himself seems not to know what to really make of the words, whether they actually apply to Jesus' crucifixion and death, or just to the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist - only "many" receive it, not "all".

Marion, I have read this part three times and am not sure what he is saying. Maybe it is because he is not sure himself. And that puzzles me - how can the Vicar of Christ not know this?


Last edited by Lourdes on Thu May 19, 2011 5:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Lourdes on Thu May 19, 2011 5:48 pm

DeSelby, I read what you so graciously provided a link to. That's it in a nutshell.

Have you read the book, DeSelby? If so, feel free to chime in here. What I am doing is making sure that I am not reading him wrong. So far, I have not, and that is troubling to me.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Lourdes on Thu May 19, 2011 7:02 pm

Last quote for the day (p. 208):

Are we not blind precisely as people with knowledge? Is it not on account of our knowledge that we are incapable of recognizing Truth itself, which tries to reach us through what we know? Do we not recoil from the pain of that heartrending Truth of which Peter spoke on his Pentecost sermon? Ignorance diminishes guilt, and it leaves open the path to conversion. But it does not simply excuse, because at the same time it reveals a deadening of the heart that resists the call of Truth.

With all due respect to His Holiness, and I sincerely mean that, doesn't he recognize a bit of himself here?


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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Guest on Thu May 19, 2011 8:47 pm

Lourdes, it may be a few days before I can get back to you... I have a long day of work ahead of me tomorrow and a busy Saturday. Maybe it will give you time to finish the book. study

In general, I find the problem (I find) with the book is the extensive quoting of others, especially those whose opinion the Holy Father doesn't share. It becomes a bit tedious constantly questioning whether this quote by this theologian is one in support of his position, or an explanation of the opposing view. It's too much back and forth, especially for novice theology readers. It would've been better if he'd just written a straightforward meditation of sorts without trying to always mention opposing ideas. I think, especially in light of his office, it was a mistake to write a work of theology as it can easily give rise to scandal and misinterpretation.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Lourdes on Fri May 20, 2011 1:49 pm

MarianLibrarian wrote:Lourdes, it may be a few days before I can get back to you... I have a long day of work ahead of me tomorrow and a busy Saturday. Maybe it will give you time to finish the book. study

In general, I find the problem (I find) with the book is the extensive quoting of others, especially those whose opinion the Holy Father doesn't share. It becomes a bit tedious constantly questioning whether this quote by this theologian is one in support of his position, or an explanation of the opposing view. It's too much back and forth, especially for novice theology readers. It would've been better if he'd just written a straightforward meditation of sorts without trying to always mention opposing ideas. I think, especially in light of his office, it was a mistake to write a work of theology as it can easily give rise to scandal and misinterpretation.

I am almost finished and just have a few pages left. I doubt the last few pages will change my mind.

I agree with your last sentence, and I hesitate to say any more, but he did put the name "Joseph Ratzinger" above Benedict XVI, so I will comment on Joseph Ratzinger, the theologian.

If I did not know the book was written by a Catholic, I wouldn't know it was written by a Catholic. Not once in the entire book does the word "Catholic" appear. Quite frankly, I am sick to death of reading and hearing the generic term "Christian" all of the time. I get the impression it is being done to group us all under one common term so our differences will hopefully disappear.

You would never know that other Catholic theologians have already written about the same things he wrote about and have already come to conclusions. I got the impression that that wasn't good enough for him so he had to start afresh as they had somehow missed the mark.

I would never recommend the book to another Catholic to read. Why? It could really mess you up. If I hadn't received the foundation of my faith prior to the Vatican II debacle and its aftermath, who knows what reading this book would have done to my faith.

It has some very good parts - I like the part about Pontius Pilate especially.

I could say more, but I will stop here and wait to hear from you when you have a chance.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Lourdes on Tue May 24, 2011 6:10 pm

Are Marian and I the only two that have read the book here?

No one else has anything to say?

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  MRyan on Tue May 24, 2011 6:36 pm

Lourdes wrote:Are Marian and I the only two that have read the book here?

No one else has anything to say?
Apparently. I've only read excerpts from the book, so I hesitate to weigh-in. And I am not sure that I need to read his book. But, from the on-line excerpts that I have read, I feel safe in saying that I agree with you when you suggest that trying to penetrate the complex thoughts and theological musings of Benedict XVI the private theologian can leave one exasperated and confused.

He does have a fondness for the German theologians of the Protestant persuasion; which can tend to dampen one's enthusiasm for rushing out to buy the book; though I am sure much of it is very good and provoking in a good Catholic way, if you know what I mean. He is still the Pope, after all, and I am sure his work, given the topic, is for the better part, most edifying.

Whew.
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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Guest on Tue May 24, 2011 6:52 pm

I agree that there are parts of the book which are good.

But, in general, I think the criticisms are legitimate. Your average Catholic, though, might not even notice some of the problematic parts; but could easily get bogged down in the theological back and forth. In that, I think the first book (have you read it?) was better than the second. My overall feeling is one of disappointment. It was marketed as Pope Benedict's XVI "personal search for the face of the Lord" and so I expected it to be more meditative and reflective, but instead the series reads like a dissertation.

I think I want to read the first book again and compare them more closely.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  DeSelby on Tue May 24, 2011 8:44 pm

Lourdes wrote:Have you read the book, DeSelby? If so, feel free to chime in here. What I am doing is making sure that I am not reading him wrong. So far, I have not, and that is troubling to me.

I'm sorry for my delayed response, Lourdes. No, I have not read the entire book. I can scavenge around various online bookstores to read sections of it (with an account at such sites a surprisingly large amount is available). The portions you mentioned I was able to find and read for myself, so I felt OK to respond to that.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Lourdes on Wed May 25, 2011 4:23 pm

I won't be reading anything by him again if I can help it.

This book should not have gotten the build up it did, which caused countless Catholics to run out and buy it, as it can do a lot of harm. I borrowed my copy and am gladly returning it.


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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Lourdes on Thu May 26, 2011 5:33 pm

Here's a good review of the book that I came across today: http://www.catholicintl.com/articles/Review%20of%20Jesus%20of%20Nazareth.pdf

Had I the intelligence to translate my thoughts into words, I would have written similar and more besides. This part is especially true:

Perhaps for the book Jesus of Nazareth the issue is
much simpler because there the pope explicitly states that it “is precisely not a book of the Magisterium.
It is not a book that I wrote with my authority as Pope….I very intentionally wanted the book to be, not
an act of the Magisterium, but an effort to participate in the scholarly discussion,”3 adding that “everyone is free, then, to contradict me.” Fair enough. But I don’t think the masses see it that way. If the pope says
or writes something, it is like Gospel, regardless if he temporarily assumes the alias “Joseph Ratzinger.”
Popes need to be very careful with the impressions they create. Benedict XVI must realize he is no longer Joseph Ratzinger and he cannot go back there, at least not without confusing the rest of Catholicism. He is
the pope, the vicar of Christ, the head-hauncho, and the whole world hangs on his every word; and that, whether he likes it or not, will remain the case until he dies. The days of Joseph Ratzinger and his speculative theology are over; and it is very dangerous for Benedict XVI to try to revive them. If he is going to speak on an issue as sensitive and important as condoms then he must only speak from his
magisterial chair.
The job of each Catholic is to protect the papacy and Joseph Ratzinger is no exception to that mandate.

And this:

Now, in reviewing Jesus of Nazareth it became apparent to me why Joseph Ratzinger, regardless of his apparent love of Scripture, must cease taking center stage under the name Pope Benedict XVI. The basic reason is, Jesus of Nazareth, although very uplifting and insightful in several places, contains a disturbing
amount of dubious theological propositions; lack of scholarly exegesis; misuse of biblical criticism; and a general ignoring of Catholic tradition. The problem is exacerbated in that I wouldn’t expect most college professors to be able to sort out the problems in Jesus of Nazareth, much less would I expect the Catholic
masses to do so. The latter, as I noted above, will take Jesus of Nazareth as Gospel, and that is precisely what frightens me the most.

Especially that last line. I am beginning to wish that I was like the lady I ran into last week at Adoration who took my head off when I told her that I though Medjugorjie was a sham and a fake. Sad These types seem to be the happiest with their heads in a perpetual candy cotton cloud.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  DeSelby on Thu May 26, 2011 7:59 pm

Lourdes,

What you quoted there is painfully true.

Regarding Popes being careful with the impressions (sometimes they might be more than just mere impressions though) they create, I'd like to offer the following examples as illustration, both from reviews of the same book:

First off, "exhibit A" if you will, from Abraham Foxman:
(http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/after_ups_and_downs_histric_step_pope)

[...] But one historic gesture earlier this month registered as a complete positive for the Church’s relations with Jews — the publication of Pope Benedict’s new book, “Jesus of Nazareth, Volume II.”

In his book, the pope clearly declared there is no basis in the New Testament for the claim that the Jewish people were responsible for the death of Jesus. This is truly a historic moment, building on the legacy of the Second Vatican Council and the work of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in reconciling the Church and the Jewish people.

Pope Benedict’s declaration in his book that Christianity should not pursue conversion of Jews was equally momentous. He wrote that the fate of the Jewish people is in the hands of God, who will provide salvation at some time in the future, a time that cannot be known to man. Until then, the Church should bring its message to the Gentiles, and “not concern herself with the conversion of the Jews.”

After nearly 2,000 years of the persecution and murder of millions of Jews by Christians holding Jews responsible for killing their God, and also seeking to convert Jews under threat of death, Pope Benedict’s teachings could not be more important for the Jewish people, and for the continuing evolution of Catholic-Jewish relations.

It is technically true that Pope Benedict’s refutation of the deicide charge is not totally new. Since the Second Vatican Council in 1965, the Catholic Church, in officially condemning anti-Semitism, rejected any interpretation of the New Testament that held all Jews, then or now, responsible for the death of Jesus.

But Pope Benedict’s clear statements that the Jewish people are not responsible for the death of Jesus, in a book meant for the masses, is a profound development that must not be overlooked. Here is a sitting pope and a world-class theologian making the irrefutable case to “exonerate the Jews” — as headline writers around the world proclaimed — based on strong biblical and theological grounds.

Benedict’s teachings on these matters mean an entirely positive new interpretation of the New Testament vis-à-vis the Jewish people. He is attempting to fulfill what he told us shortly after he was elected in 2005, when I was invited to a meeting with him in Rome. At that time, he reassured us of his desire to follow in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II, who brought the historic reconciliation between Jews and Christians to new heights.

Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has issued historic positive statements about Judaism and Israel and demonstrated to the world his commitment to building up Catholic-Jewish dialogue by visiting several synagogues, including the Park East Synagogue in New York City.

His visit to the State of Israel solidified the Vatican’s formal relationship with the Jewish state, and the Church’s commitment to its security and survival. In Israel, the pope honored the memory of the “six million Jewish victims of the Shoah,” and said that “every effort must be made to fight anti-Semitism wherever it is found.” And during his trip to the Great Synagogue in Rome last year, Pope Benedict made an important theological step. He referred to Jews as “people of the Covenant of Moses,” clearly demonstrating the Roman Catholic Church’s belief that God’s Covenant with the Jewish People made with Moses at Mt. Sinai is eternal and irrevocable. [...]


The second is from Rabbi Eugene Korn: (http://www.forward.com/articles/135991/)

The second volume of Pope Benedict XVI’s “Jesus of Nazareth” has already created a splash. Even before the book’s release, numerous Jewish leaders lavished effusive praise on Benedict for the volume’s exculpation of the Jews in Jesus’ crucifixion.

But is anything new here? Has Benedict broken any ground regarding how Catholics need to understand their faith and relations with their Jewish elder brothers and sisters? After all, the 1965 Vatican II document Nostra Aetate insisted that “what happened in [Christ’s] passion cannot be blamed upon all the Jews then living without distinction nor upon the Jews of today.” And in 1985, another Catholic document, “Notes on the Correct Way to Present the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church,” went further, stating that “Christian sinners are more to blame for the death of Christ than those few Jews who brought it about — they indeed ‘knew not what they did.’”

In our age, however, media and context are everything. The sad truth is that few Catholics read Catholic theological pronouncements, and fewer still could tell you what Nostra Aetate says. But because of both the media hoopla and its deliberate analysis, Benedict’s book gives these Catholic teachings significantly greater prominence.

Not only is the reach greater, but Benedict provides an extensive rationale and a close biblical analysis of why Jews bear no blame for Jesus’ death. In his reading of the Gospels and Catholic theology, it is clear that no one should be blamed for Jesus’ death, since, as he argues, the crucifixion was necessary for God’s plan of universal redemption. In Benedict’s keen hermeneutic, even the hitherto toxic cry of the Jewish mob, “His blood be upon us and our children” (Matthew 27:25), is a plea for purification and salvation because that is what Jesus’ blood signifies in Christian teachings. It is a cry for reconciliation, not of vengeance or admission of guilt.

Meanwhile, in passages so far overlooked by Jewish commentators, Benedict sensitively touches upon a major problem that has plagued Catholic-Jewish relations all throughout history: converting Jews. This topic has been the focus of considerable discord in Catholic-Jewish relations in recent years. In 2008, Benedict upset many Jews with his reauthorization of the Latin Mass containing a prayer for the conversion of the Jews. And in 2009, a statement by American Catholic Bishops endorsing the evangelization of Jews nearly destroyed their interfaith dialogue. (The bishops later retracted the offending claim.)

As a theological conservative, Benedict has written previously that the Jewish covenant at Sinai has been superseded. But his supersessionism has always been focused on the end of time, and he has maintained that Jewish unification with the church is “hardly possible, and perhaps not even desirable before the eschaton.” In his latest book, he expands this idea, insisting that for now “Israel retains its own mission” and that saving Israel “is in the hands of God” — meaning, presumably, not in the hands of Christian missionaries. Had Christians followed this doctrine throughout the millennia, less Jewish blood would have ran in the streets, and Jews would have been freer to practice their faith with dignity.

Benedict’s expectation of the future acceptance of Christian faith by everyone takes the practical threat out of Christian supersessionism for Jews today. And if some Jews still object to his eschatological supersessionism, they should remember that it is not far from what most traditional Jews believe will occur in the “end of days,” when gentiles will accept Judaism’s God and, as Jews proclaim regularly in our Aleinu prayer, “In that day, the Lord will be One and His name One.”

Benedict has chosen to stress these teachings not because of Jewish pressure nor to be politically correct. He wrote the book for Catholics around the world, not to win Jewish minds and hearts. Evidently Benedict understands that purging the New Testament and Catholic thinking of all traces of the Adversus Judaeos motifs so prevalent in early and medieval Christian theology is essential if he is to purify the faith of Christian believers. This makes the most recent installment of “Jesus of Nazareth” an all the more important and impressive work.

It might be worthwhile to go more in depth on some of these statements but for now I'll just let them stand as they are.
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Not a fair reading of Benedict XVI

Post  Caritas1 on Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:10 pm

Catholic_Truth wrote:Church should not pursue conversion of Jews, Benedict XVI says
by John L Allen Jr on Mar. 10, 2011
National Catholic Reporter

So whats your thoughts on this ? Is not Benedict rejecting the dogmatic teaching of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus ? Can someone reject a dogma of the Church and still be Catholic ? Can a nonCatholic be the visible head of the Catholic Church ?



I've come across two takes on this issue that strike me as charitable and reasonable. I can't post external links right now, but I'm sure you can find these two articles by Googling the following words.

For Jimmy Akin's article, "Pope: Don't Evangelize Jews! Really?", try Googling these sentences:

"So Pope Benedict is contemplating the two-stages of phases of history that precede the end of the world. First, there are what Our Lord refers to as “the times of the gentiles,” in which the Gospel is preached to all nations and the gentiles are given the chance to convert, and then the second stage in which the partial hardness that has come upon Israel is removed and so “all Israel will be saved”—a reference to a corporate conversion of the Jewish people at the end of history."


For the other article, called "Defending Pope Benedict XVI from Sungenis's Latest Attack", try Googling these sentences:

"Reading the relevant passages of JNPII, it seems clear to me that the Holy Father was not addressing the issue of individual Jews who convert to the Catholic faith. He was addressing the eschatological expectation of the corporate conversion of the Jews – as a people (click here and here to see a compilation of quotes from Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, Popes and other magisterial statements about the "conversion of the Jews"). The entire context of his comments was within an eschatological framework. Nothing in JNPII leads me to conclude that Benedict XVI opposes inviting individual Jews to become Catholic. Such a notion would fly in the face of what he wrote while head of the CDF"


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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  MRyan on Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:37 pm

Caritas1 wrote:
For the other article, called "Defending Pope Benedict XVI from Sungenis's Latest Attack", try Googling these sentences:

"Nothing in JNPII leads me to conclude that Benedict XVI opposes inviting individual Jews to become Catholic. Such a notion would fly in the face of what he wrote while head of the CDF"
Actually, it's that not "Benedict XVI opposes [per se] inviting individual Jews to become Catholic", its the strong impression he leaves that the Jews are "hands off"; they are a "special" case reserved for God alone.

And yes, Cardinal Ratzinger/BXVI can seem to be careless when speaking as a private theologian, as opposed to teaching in his official capacity as head of the CDF, and now as Pope.

That's why I don't make too much of some of the remarks of the private theologian - I listen to the head of the CDF and the Pope. In this case, I simply disagree with the theologian (on both the theological and the prudential level), though I know there was no intentional error.








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Not a strong impression to me....

Post  Caritas1 on Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:11 pm

[quote="MRyan"]
Caritas1 wrote:
Actually, it's that not "Benedict XVI opposes [per se] inviting individual Jews to become Catholic", its the strong impression he leaves that the Jews are "hands off"; they are a "special" case reserved for God alone.


Thanks for your reply.

Your statement that "it's the strong impression he leaves that Jews are 'hands off'" is subjective, of course. It's a "strong impression" to you. But it's not a strong impression to me. He never explicitly said such a thing. Perhaps it's because he's writing as a theologian, with full knowledge that he is referring to the Church's expectation of an eventual corporate conversion of the Jewish people (see CCC 674 for example). But to one who may not be as well versed in this belief/expectation, what he wrote might appear to be suggesting something different (as happened to you).

My concern is that some people are jumping to an uncharitable conclusion without justification. As Catholics, we know better than to grab a verse here or there of the Bible and jump to conclusions. That's a good practice with all writings.

Further quote from the second article:

Nothing in JNPII leads me to conclude that Benedict XVI opposes inviting individual Jews to become Catholic. Such a notion would fly in the face of what he wrote while head of the CDF:

“God has willed that the Church founded by him be the instrument for the salvation of all humanity. . .If it is true that the followers of other religions can receive divine grace, it is also certain that objectively speaking they are in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the Church, have the fullness of the means of salvation. Because she believes in God’s universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary…Indeed, the Church…must be primarily committed to proclaiming to all the people the truth definitively revealed by the Lord, and to announcing the necessity of conversion to Jesus Christ and of adherence to the Church through Baptism and the other sacraments, in order to participate fully in communion with God…Thus, the certainty of the universal salvific will of God does not diminish, but rather increases the duty and urgency of the proclamation of salvation and of conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Dominus Iesus, no. 22)

And on 25 March 2012 while in Mexico, Pope Benedict XVI said the following in a homily:

I encourage you to continue to share freely the treasures of the Gospel, so that they can become a powerful source of hope, freedom and salvation for everyone (cf. Rom 1:16) (Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI)
And what does Romans 1:16 state?

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, then the Greek.

And, certainly, a scholar of Benedict XVI’s caliber is well aware of Jewish converts like Eugenio Zolli (former head rabbi of Rome), the Lehmann brothers (who became priests), the Ratisbonne brothers (who also became a priests) and Cardinal Lustiger. And the man he appointed as head of the Church’s highest canonical court (Cardinal Burke) is an advocate of and advisor to the Association of Hebrew Catholics (an interesting interview between the president of the AHC and Cardinal Burke may be viewed by clicking here). End quote


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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  MRyan on Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:38 pm

Caritas1 wrote:
MRyan wrote:
Actually, it's that not "Benedict XVI opposes [per se] inviting individual Jews to become Catholic", its the strong impression he leaves that the Jews are "hands off"; they are a "special" case reserved for God alone.
Thanks for your reply.

Your statement that "it's the strong impression he leaves that Jews are 'hands off'" is subjective, of course. It's a "strong impression" to you. But it's not a strong impression to me. He never explicitly said such a thing.
That’s right, and I never said he “explicitly said such a thing”, which is the whole point of saying his words left the “strong impression … the Jews are ‘hands off’; they are a ‘special’ case reserved for God alone”; thus, he said quite explicitly (citing Hildegard Brem): “the Church must not concern herself with the conversion of the Jews”.

And it is this last statement that led Robert Sungenis and others to conclude that the Holy Father “does not think it necessary to seek the conversion of the Jews at the present time because God is apparently going to save the Jews sometime in the future”. I disagree; I think the assessment is too harsh, though he is entitled to his opinion.

If it is understood that the Jews will corporately convert to Christ, but not until the end of time, Jimmy Aiken asks, “what does it mean to say that 'the Church must not concern herself with the conversion of the Jews'? It could mean any number of things … The passage is complex and bears more than one interpretation.” (http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/pope-dont-evangelize-jews-really)

Let’s re-frame the debate in light of Aiken’s analysis, where he said:

St. Bernard also seems to suggest that Pope Eugene has an excuse not to evangelize Jews as vigorously as gentiles because their corporate conversion is still future, and Pope Benedict appears to give support to this view, saying that this observation of St. Bernard’s is more accurate than his initial summary. The Holy Father then cites Hildegard Brem (a German nun of our own day):

Hildegard Brem comments on this passage as follows: “In the light of Romans 11:25, the Church must not concern herself with the conversion of the Jews, since she must wait for the time fixed for this by God, ‘until the full number of the Gentiles come in’ (Rom 11:25). On the contrary, the Jews themselves are a living homily to which the Church must draw attention, since they call to mind the Lord’s suffering (cf. Ep 363) . . .” (quoted in Sämtliche Werke, ed. Winkler, I, p. 834).
This passage, at least as it is translated in English, contains the strongest statement in the entire passage concerning evangelizing Jews. What does it mean? Romans 11:25 is one of the base texts that undergirds the two-phrase conception of Christian history that the pope has been discussing. It is where St. Paul says:

Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in.
In light of this, what does it mean to say that “the Church must not concern herself with the conversion of the Jews”? It could mean any number of things.

I think it would be reasonable to say that the Church should not worry or be concerned or upset if the Jewish people do not corporately convert in our own age. It would also be reasonable to say on the basis of Romans 11:25 to say that the Church should not expect the corporate conversion of the Jewish people in an age prior to the end. If any of these are the kind of “concern” the Church shouldn’t have then the statement is quite reasonable.
I think both interpretations are reasonable, and it is also reasonable to conclude with Aiken that:

On the other hand, if what is meant is that the Church should not share the Gospel with Jewish people prior to the end then the statement is highly problematic. One reason is that we won’t know when the end has arrived until it really does arrive. At any point prior to the Second Coming we could be facing a situation that looks like the end but really isn’t. If this is the criterion the Church would never share the Gospel with the Jewish people.

Further, this understanding would be flatly in contradiction with that of the apostles and other New Testament authors who were themselves evangelized Jews!
In other words, I am in total agreement with your statement: “Nothing in JNPII leads me to conclude that Benedict XVI opposes inviting individual Jews to become Catholic. Such a notion would fly in the face of what he wrote while head of the CDF [and as Pope, etc]:”

Now, having said all that, we are allowed to take issue with what might be a faulty exegesis of Romans 11:25-26, that says:

He [Pope Benedict] is not saying that Jews don’t need Jesus or that they don’t need to become Christians. He is saying that they will corporately convert to Christ, but not until the end of time. Prior to that point, individual Jews may become Christians—as with the apostles and the very first Christians and with other converts from Judaism down through history. But the full, corporate conversion of Israel (which even then might not involve every single individual without exception) is something to be found only at the end of the world.
A blogger named Carson Weber provided the following commentary:

Everyone is called to become disciples of Christ. The Gospel is for the Jew first, then Gentile, as Paul says in Romans. Everyone needs to be evangelized. The idea that the Church is to focus on the Gentiles and wait for a future point in time to preach the Gospel among the Jewish people... That is based upon a misinterpretation of Romans 11:25-26. Once we see that this is a misinterpretation, the idea should be let go of.

I believe Pope Benedict misinterpreted Romans 11:25-26 because he is unaware of a surprising context unveiled by Biblical scholarship. See http://j.mp/f91uJ2 which explains this context.

In sum, “Israel” = 12 tribes. The remnant in Paul’s day consisted of Judahites (i.e., Jews, e.g., Jesus), Benjaminites (e.g., St. Paul), and Levites (e.g., St. John the Baptist).

The other tribes were assimilated among the Gentile nations following the Assyrian conquest of Israel (circa 722 BC). Yet, the prophets foretell time and time again that God will reunite all the tribes under the Davidic Messiah with the Gentiles.

How will he reunite the 12 tribes (once divided in 930 BC) if 9/12ths are no longer retrievable? By bringing the Gospel to the Gentiles. When the Gentiles come under the reign of the Davidic King in the New Covenant, guess who’s among them?

Descendants of Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Zebulun, etc.

So, when “the full number of the Gentiles come in, all Israel will be saved.”
Paul is speaking about his ministry and the result it is bringing about… not some cryptic prophecy of a future mass conversion of the Jews.

(http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2011/03/jimmy-akin-carefully-considers-benedict-xvis-thoughts-on-the-conversion-of-jews.html)
One note of exception, I would be careful with saying that “Pope Benedict misinterpreted Romans 11:25-26" since I am not sure that he did, or that "he is unaware of a surprising context unveiled by Biblical scholarship” since there is very little that gets by this theologian, the pope; but, by citing Pope Eugene and the nun Hildgrad Bren, and by his own words, BXVI certainly gives the “impression” that “the full, corporate conversion of Israel is something to be found only at the end of the world.”

IF, as a private theologian, that is the pope’s understanding of Romans 11:25-26, we are allowed to take exception.

Caritas1 wrote:My concern is that some people are jumping to an uncharitable conclusion without justification.
Agreed.

Thanks, Caritas1, for your valued input, and for your laudable defense of the Holy Father.
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It seems we're largely in agreement...

Post  Caritas1 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:38 pm

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate your input. It seems we are largely in agreement. But there are a couple of points I would make.

I agree with the second article I provided, which states:

It seems plain to me that the Holy Father was maintaining the current pastoral approach to Jewish conversion - a recognition that previous “campaigns” to target “the Jews” have had negative consequences and should therefore should remain abandoned. God will bring about the "conversion of the Jews", as a people, in His time and in His way. However, I see no justification at all to conclude that the Holy Father is against inviting individual Jews to become Catholic in the mean time.

I find this interpretation to be the most charitable and reasonable. It’s one that Akin finds to be reasonable, too. I agree with the Holy Father that it’s a bad idea to “target” the Jews for conversion as a people. It will likely only backfire badly.

In regard to the “surprising context” of Romans 11:25-26, I came across that a long time ago from Scott Hahn. He had an audio tape out called “All Israel Shall Be Saved” (or something like that). It’s interesting, but I don’t find it convincing or overly important in this particular context involving the Pope’s book.

The first problem that strikes me is that St. Paul clearly distinguishes the Gentiles from “Israel” throughout Romans 11. I see no justification in the immediate context to conclude that St. Paul is actually trying to say that “All Israel” will be saved because the lost tribes of Israel are within the Gentile population. Honestly, my first impression is that this hermeneutic muddles the entire chapter and renders it incoherent.

Far more importantly, I think we should be most interested in what the Church Fathers had to say about it. I have trouble believing that they all just somehow completely missed such a crucial insight. The Church Fathers clearly anticipated a future conversion of the Jewish people in the last days that would follow after “the fullness of the Gentiles.” They use “Israel” and “the Jews” interchangeably. Most commonly, they explicitly referenced Romans 11:25-26 as their scriptural evidence for that belief. The expectation of the future conversion of the Jews after the fullness of the Gentiles is also reflected in the Catechism (#674).

There’s a pretty extensive list of quotes from the Church Fathers and others that you can find at a website with the address:

sungenisandthejews(dot)com/Addenda_and_Bio(dot)html

(Sorry, I can’t post links for some reason).

You can probably find it by Googling this section, too: “Below is a compilation of various Fathers, Saints, Popes, scholars and respected Catholic 
commentators who support the idea of an unusual conversion of the Jews in the future 
(this list is not intended to be exhaustive).”

Then there's also some interesting evidence found in Fr. Fahey's "The Kingship of Christ and the Conversion of the Jewish Nation." Here, Fahey is referencing the Postulatum Pro Hebrais - which was signed by most all the fathers of Vatican I (I'm not recommending Fahey in general here - just pointing out some documentation):

When the Fathers Lémann were petitioning the Bishops, assembled in Rome
for the Vatican Council, for their signatures to the Postulatum Pro Hebræis, many
of their Lordships smilingly put the objection that “to work for the conversion of the
Jews was to bring on the end of the world.”
The two Fathers gave several answers to this objection, and their arguments seem to go far towards proving that there will be a considerable lapse of time between the conversion of the Jewish nation and the
Last Judgment. Two things are certain. The first is that, however short the time,
the newly-converted Jews will not remain idle. The second is that if the Jews as a
body sincerely accepted the true Messias and put all that restless energy and
unshakeable tenacity into the furtherance of the Kingship of Christ, which they now
display against His rule, the conversion of the world would be rapidly advanced.
Just picture for a moment, Jewish influence in the Press of the world directed towards
featuring the truth about Lourdes and Fatima and the horror of the rejection of
God and our divine Lord in Russia! Just think of Jewish influence on the Cinema,
instead of being directed towards the elimination of the Supernatural life by the
production of irksomeness with all moral restraints, being canalised into showing the
solution of human unrest by the loving acceptance of membership of Jesus!

But again, I think this is a relatively minor point. We both agree that there's insufficient justification to be tarring and feathering the Holy Father over this. That response by a few was disrespectful and unjustified.


Pax Christi


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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  tornpage on Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:34 pm

This bit about a mass conversion of Jews . . . I trust it’s not a definitive reading that we must buy into. True? Because I don’t buy it. The Church is the new Isreal - God no longer looks upon the “flesh.”

In Romans 11, Paul cites from Psalm 68, where there is a reference to the crucifixion of Christ, and says (Romans 11 cites vv.23-4, and not the highlighted - but the fuller context is significant):

In thy sight are all they that afflict me; my heart hath expected reproach and misery. And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none. [22] And they gave me gall for my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. [23] Let their table become as a snare before them, and a recompense, and a stumblingblock. [24] Let their eyes be darkened that they see not; and their back bend thou down always. [25] Pour out thy indignation upon them: and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.

[23] Let their table: What here follows in the style of an imprecation, is a prophecy of the wretched state to which the Jews should be reduced in punishment of their wilful obstinacy.

[26] Let their habitation be made desolate: and let there be none to dwell in their tabernacles. [27] Because they have persecuted him whom thou hast smitten; and they have added to the grief of my wounds. [28] Add thou iniquity upon their iniquity: and let them not come into thy justice. [29] Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; and with the just let them not be written. [30] But I am poor and sorrowful: thy salvation, O God, hath set me up.

And then we have Galatians 4:

[21]Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, have you not read the law? [22] For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, and the other by a free woman. [23] But he who was of the bondwoman, was born according to the flesh: but he of the free woman, was by promise. [24] Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from mount Sina, engendering unto bondage; which is Agar: [25] For Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

[26] But that Jerusalem, which is above, is free: which is our mother. [27] For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. [28] Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. [29] But as then he, that was born according to the flesh, persecuted him that was after the spirit; so also it is now. [30] But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.

[31] So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.

As I said, that interpretation of Romans 11 as referring to a mass conversion of Jews at some point doesn’t ring true to me.

I hope Abe Foxman doesn’t read this forum.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Caritas1 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:04 pm

tornpage wrote:This bit about a mass conversion of Jews . . . I trust it’s not a definitive reading that we must buy into. True? Because I don’t buy it. The Church is the new Isreal - God no longer looks upon the “flesh.”


I don't think it's a defined dogma, if that's what you mean. But I would suggest reading that compilation of quotes from the Fathers, doctors, popes, Catholic Encyclopedia, etc. that I mentioned to see the extent of the pedigree of this teaching before dismissing it so lightly.

And there's a both/and available in regard to "Israel". The Church is clearly Israel in the fullest, spiritual sense of the term. But Scripture, the Fathers and The Church still acknowledge the relevance of Israel "according to the flesh". I don't think St. Paul would agree that Israel's identity according to the flesh is now completely irrelevant as he wrote, "they are beloved of God because of the Patriarchs." (Rom. 11:28)





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Haydock and Douay Rheims

Post  Caritas1 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:05 pm

I've got something that may take me away for a while. Not sure if I'll be able to get back to this for a while. But I noticed that you have notes from the Haydock Bible and the Douay Rheims at the bottom of you last post, Tornpage. So I assume you respect and value them. You might find these quotes interesting and helpful (all borrowed from the compilation):


The Douay Rheims:

Romans 11:11: “ ‘That they should fall.’ The nation of the Jews is not absolutely and
without remedy cast off for ever; but in part only (many thousands of them having been first converted) and for a time; which fall of theirs, God has been pleased to turn to the good of the Gentiles.”

Note: The Douay-Rheims Bible expresses that this passage means that the Jews,
as a nation (which also suggests interesting implications for baptism of blood’s views on the nation of Israel), have been cast off only “for a time”....I believe the plain implication of “for a time” is that this time of being cast off as a nation or people is temporary, that a new circumstance will emerge.

Haydock:


On Romans 11:12- 15:

"The nation of the Jews is not absolutely and without remedy cast off forever; but in part only and for a time: which fall of theirs God has been pleased to turn to the good of the Gentiles. “How much more the fullness of them (Jews)”: As if he should say, if the obstinacy of so many Jews seem to be an occasion upon which God …hath bestowed the riches of his grace on other nations; and while the glory of the Jews, the elect people of God, has been diminished, the Gentiles have been made happy: how much more glorious will be the fullness of them? That is, according to the common interpretation, will be the re-establishment and conversion of the
Jews hereafter, before the end of the world? "

(Notes: 1) Here Haydock references several father, including St. Chrysostom,
St. Hilary of Poitiers, St. Jerome, and St. Augustine.
2) It is significant that he says this is “the common interpretation”...

"Then the receiving of them into the Church, and their conversion to Christ,
shall be like life from the dead, when the Jewish people in general,
shall rise from the death of sin…to the life of grace."


B) On Romans 1 1: 25-26:


"I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, this, hidden truth of
God’s justice and mercy, that blindness in part hath happened in Israel, or to part of
them, until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in, by the conversion of all nations: and then all Israel should be saved, when they shall submit to the faith of Christ."


C) On Luke 2 1:24:

"Till the times of the nations be fulfilled. According to the common exposition of this, and some other places, the Jews from the time of the destruction of their temple and city, under Titus Vespasian, and especially from their utter destruction under the emperor Adrian, in punishment of the obstinate blindness, shall remain dispersed through the world under miseries and oppressions, till the gospel hath been preached to all nations; then, not long before the end of the world, the Jews shall be converted and acknowledge Jesus to be their true Messias."

D) On Matthew 2 1:2: Of Jesus sitting on both the ass and the colt, he writes:

"Both Jews and Gentiles, figured by the ass and the colt, are to be loosed and
conducted by the hands of the apostles of Christ to their Redeemer. The
Gentiles, represented by the colt, though heretofore unclean, no sooner receive
Jesus resting upon them, than they are freed from every stain and rendered perfectly
clean. The zeal of the Gentiles stirred up the emulation of the Jews; therefore
did the ass follow after its colt. This approach of the Jews to the true faith,
after the vocation of the Gentiles, is spoken of by St. Paul in Romans 1 1:25.
Blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel should be saved. St. Chysostom, homily 1xvi---As it is written, “there shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And this is to them my covenant”. This prophecy of Isaias (lxi20) St. Paul applies to the conversion of the Jews, and thus both Jew and Gentile
are to take up our Saviour’s yoke, which is certainly sweet and his burden light."



E) On Matthew 23:39/Luke 13:35:

“'Till you say ‘blessed is he that cometh’ …It may be understood of the Jews,
who are to be converted to the faith of Jesus Christ towards the end of the world
(St. Chrysostom, hom 1xxv)."


F) On Hosea 3:2-5:

“Ver. 2: The unbelieving Jews, who refrain from idols, receive some temporal
advantages, but not….faith of the blessed Trinity and the observance of the
Decalogue whereby they might obtain eternal life. Towards the end of the world
they shall be converted.”

“Verse 5: ‘David their king’ . That is, Christ, who is of the house of David.
Ch. - After the captivity, the Jews submitted to Zorobabel. Yet this only
foreshewed a more sincere conversion to Jesus Christ. In fact, the house
of David never regained the throne, (C.) and it is not clear that Zorobabel had
any authority over the people. H.- Christ is the literal object of this prediction.”


G) On Deuteronomy 4:30:

“Voice, after the captivity of Babylon, or rather at the end of the world. The nation at large has not embraced the worship of idols since the former period. But it will not be perfectly converted, until the fullness of the Gentiles come in….And so all Israel be saved. (Rom XI 25). C. – St. Paul terms their present state a blindness in part,
because, though few have embraced the revelation of God, made to all by his only Son, the far greater part have obstinately shut their eyes…they seem to have a veil on them. But, after, they shall have been the sport of their passions and errors till the latter time, when the man of sin shall be fully revealed, they will see how wretchedly they have been deluded, and, the grace of God touching their hearts, they will remember the covenant, and embrace Christ, the end of all the law. Happy those who do not defer their conversion till that awful period!”


H) On Isaiah 59:20:

“To Sion. Sept. “from Sion, and will turn away iniquity from Jacob. (2 1) And this,:
H. – St. Paul hence proves that the Jews will at last be converted. Romans 1 1:26.
The return of the captives prefigured this event.”


J) On Micheas 2: 12:


"Ver 12: Assemble…W.- At least the Jews shall be converted (S. Jerome, Eusebius
Dem ii. 50.)"


K) On Malachi 4:5-6:

"Ver 6: By bringing over the Jews to the faith of Christ, he (Elias) shall reconcile
them to their father, viz, the patriarchs and prophets, whose hearts for many ages
have been turned away from them, because of their refusing to believe in Christ.
Ch- The antipathy of Jews and Gentiles shall cease. Both shall enter the Church of Christ. Is 1 1: 13. The Baptist strove to ameliorate the manners of the people, and to bring all to Christ, who reconciles all seeming contradictions in the Scriptures…..
H- Christ will convert the Jews at last who have not yet opened their eyes."


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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  tornpage on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:21 pm

Caritas,

I think we can agree that my view is not a defined dogma either. geek

Here's the thing with Rheims and Haydock. I tend to take a contrary view often - I don't know if it just falls out that way. Not all the time, though, mind you. Anyway, when Haydock or Rheims supports you, it's a trump card. You know, when some neocon or anyone who disagrees with you says, "the Catholic Church believes this," and then you cite Haydock, it kind of stops them in their tracks. Well, places a bolder in their path, halts their bias for a moment, and then they have to take a circular detour.So when someone says, "you don't have to have explicit faith in Christ, or the Catholic faith, to be saved," you whip out the old, old 16th Century Rheims or Haydock.

When you're a contrarian and a bit of a loose cannon, as I tend to be, you can pick and choose quotes from the non-contrarian, established sources when it suits you. If they - the established order, the powers that be - hoist themselves by their own words, that's fodder for you. If they go agin you, hey, they're agin you anyway. No harm done. When they contradict you, it doesn't hurt you - they're supposed to be opposed to you. But when they contradict themselves . . . Smile

Yeah, love the old Rheims and Haydock.

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LOL

Post  Caritas1 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:34 pm

tornpage wrote:Caritas,

I think we can agree that my view is not a defined dogma either. geek

Yeah, love the old Rheims and Haydock.



lol! You are what my mother would always refer to as "a real character".

But seriously, take a look at that compilation I mentioned above. Haydock and the Douay are just the tip of the iceberg. The patristic evidence is really pretty overwhelming -- it just goes on and on and on. There are also quotes from several popes, doctors of the Church, Ludwig Ott, et al.

Let's just put it this way, if we had this much evidence for the Assumption of Mary, the Protestant apologists wouldn't even dare to open their mouths (well, maybe a couple still would - some of them just can't help themselves). Wink

Pax.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  MRyan on Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:20 pm

Caritas1 wrote:
tornpage wrote:Caritas,

I think we can agree that my view is not a defined dogma either. geek

Yeah, love the old Rheims and Haydock.



lol! You are what my mother would always refer to as "a real character".
You have no idea.

Caritas1 wrote:
But seriously, take a look at that compilation I mentioned above. Haydock and the Douay are just the tip of the iceberg. The patristic evidence is really pretty overwhelming -- it just goes on and on and on. There are also quotes from several popes, doctors of the Church, Ludwig Ott, et al.

Let's just put it this way, if we had this much evidence for the Assumption of Mary, the Protestant apologists wouldn't even dare to open their mouths (well, maybe a couple still would - some of them just can't help themselves). Wink

Pax.
Careful there, there is no comparison between the always fallible and speculative theological musings concerning certain Scripture passages steeped in eschatology (no matter how consistent), that remain to this day a deep mystery, and the unfolding of the once revealed dogma of the Assumption.

I may have more to say on this subject, but for now, I'm out of gas.
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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Caritas1 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:58 pm

MRyan wrote:
Careful there, there is no comparison between the always fallible and speculative theological musings concerning certain Scripture passages steeped in eschatology (no matter how consistent), that remain to this day a deep mystery, and the unfolding of the once revealed dogma of the Assumption.

I may have more to say on this subject, but for now, I'm out of gas.



You missed my point. My intent wasn't to denigrate the Church's dogmatic teaching on the Assumption, but rather to make clear how extensive the patristic evidence is for the conversion of the Jews. There's so much evidence (and even early evidence) that even Protestant apologists (who don't accept the Magisterium or Papal Infallibility) wouldn't be able to begin to make a case against it in regard to the patristic pedigree. I wish we had that kind of evidence on the Assumption because it would make it easier to completely shut down one of the most common Protestant criticisms of the Assumption.

Follow?

Your characterization of the evidence for the future conversion of the Jews as mere "speculative theological musings " strongly suggests that you haven't looked at it. It's much more than that. It's overwhelming, broad and deep, imo.

Maybe when you have some more time and energy you'll be able to take the time necessary to wade through the dozens of citations from fathers, popes, doctors of the Church, scholars, the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Catechism, etc.

sungenisandthejews(dot)com/Addenda_and_Bio(dot)html

Pax Christi.

P.S. Thanks for confirmation on Tornpage. I will be keeping my eye on him. Wink

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  MRyan on Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:31 am

Caritas1 wrote:
MRyan wrote:
Careful there, there is no comparison between the always fallible and speculative theological musings concerning certain Scripture passages steeped in eschatology (no matter how consistent), that remain to this day a deep mystery, and the unfolding of the once revealed dogma of the Assumption.
You missed my point. My intent wasn't to denigrate the Church's dogmatic teaching on the Assumption, but rather to make clear how extensive the patristic evidence is for the conversion of the Jews. There's so much evidence (and even early evidence) that even Protestant apologists (who don't accept the Magisterium or Papal Infallibility) wouldn't be able to begin to make a case against it in regard to the patristic pedigree. I wish we had that kind of evidence on the Assumption because it would make it easier to completely shut down one of the most common Protestant criticisms of the Assumption.

Follow?
No, I didn’t miss your point, for never did I even remotely suggest that your “intent” was “to denigrate the Church's dogmatic teaching on the Assumption”; rather, my point is and remains that, as a matter of faith, the dogma of the Assumption (even before it was defined) cannot compare to the speculative theology on the end times conversion/restoration of “Israel”.

In fact, the dogma of the Assumption was defined because there was a strong desire of the Faithful (petitioning the Holy Father) to finally recognize this long held Revelation (doubted by no one) as a defined dogma. There is no similar desire of the Faithful to “define” the end times conversion of “Israel” (it is not a matter of “belief” that is integral to our Catholic faith); on the other hand, neither is there some meaningful debate over the accepted tradition that there will be an end-times conversion of the Jews (but only over what this means).

So your analogy has merit to the extent that both the Assumption of Mary and the end-time conversion of the Jews enjoy Patristic and traditional support, but that’s where the analogy ends, for the devil, as the say, is in the details about what the end-times conversion actually means, both for a “remnant” of dispersed Jews who will no doubt convert, and for “Israel”.

For example, do the Talmudic Jews represent the Israel of the Torah (the “spirit of Israel”?) and the true blood lines running through “the remnant [tribes] in Paul’s day” which “consisted of Judahites (i.e., Jews, e.g., Jesus), Benjaminites (e.g., St. Paul), and Levites (e.g., St. John the Baptist)”?

Or, are the dispersed remnants of “Israel” more a metaphor for anyone who is born “Jewish”?

Caritas wrote:
Your characterization of the evidence for the future conversion of the Jews as mere "speculative theological musings" strongly suggests that you haven't looked at it. It's much more than that. It's overwhelming, broad and deep, imo.

Maybe when you have some more time and energy you'll be able to take the time necessary to wade through the dozens of citations from fathers, popes, doctors of the Church, scholars, the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Catechism, etc.

sungenisandthejews(dot)com/Addenda_and_Bio(dot)html
Sorry, but you assumed wrong, for I did not say that I disagreed with the broad evidence “for the future conversion of the Jews” becasue it represents “speculative theological musings". The context of the latter was in direct relation to my reference to the Catholic blogger’s commentary that says: “The idea that the Church is to focus on the Gentiles and wait for a future point in time to preach the Gospel among the Jewish people... That is based upon a misinterpretation of Romans 11:25-26.”

However, to some degree, “speculative theology” also concerns whether St. Paul is referring to “some cryptic prophecy of a future mass conversion of the Jews”, or to the conversion of “a remnant” of dispersed Jews, and precisely what is meant by “Israel” (who are its true descendants, and, if a “spiritual Israel” only, is it a metaphor for the New Israel which is the Catholic Church?).

Since the majority (9/12ths) of the tribes of Israel are assimilated among the Gentiles, and “the Gentiles come under the reign of the Davidic King in the New Covenant”, what do the prophets mean when they “foretell time and time again that God will reunite all the tribes under the Davidic Messiah with the Gentiles”?

So, I believe, it is reasonable to conclude (even if you disagree) that “when ‘the full number of the Gentiles come in, all Israel will be saved’, Paul is speaking about his ministry and the result it is bringing about… not [necessarily] some cryptic prophecy of a future mass conversion of the Jews.”

However, Paul’s ministry, and the result it is bringing about, still, I believe (with tradition and the Church) involves at least a conversion of a remnant of remaining Jews, and whether this is a “mass conversion” of all Jews is open to debate. So this is what I believe, in the words of our esteemed Pontiffs (http://sungenisandthejews.com/Addenda_and_Bio.html):

Blessed Pope Pius IX: Histoire Complete de l’Idee Messianique, Feb. 14, 1877

“Because, according to the prophecy of Osee [Hosea 3:5], the sons of Israel have remained for a long time without king and without prince, without sacrifice and without altar, may that other word of the same prophet soon begin to be accomplished: And after this the children of Israel shall return and shall seek the Lord their God and David their king!”

Pope Innocent III in Regi Francorum:

“not displeasing to the Lord, but rather, acceptable to Him that the Dispersion of the Jews should live and do service under Catholic Kings and Christian princes – the remnants of which then will finally be saved, since in those days Judah will be saved (Jeremiah 33:6-26) and Israel will dwell in mutual trust.”

Pope Martin V in Declaration on the Protection of the Jews, 14 19:

“Whereas the Jews are made to the image of God, and a remnant of them will one day be saved, and whereas they have sought our protection: following in the footsteps of our predecessors We command that they be not molested in their synagogues; that their laws, rights and customs be not assailed; that they be not baptized by force, constrained to observe Christian festivals, nor to wear new badges, and that they be not hindered in their business relations with Christians.”

Pope Benedict XVI:

"As Christians, we believe that [the Jews] will in the end be together with us in Christ." (God and the World, p. 150) "We are in fact waiting for the moment when Israel, too, will say Yes to Christ…" (Ibid, p. 150, emphasis added)
Based on the above, I believe Tornpage is justified in saying “that interpretation of Romans 11 as referring to a mass conversion of Jews at some point doesn’t ring true to me”, and he can cite Popes Innocent III and Martin V (in summarizing tradition) as providing greater context to the words of Popes Pius IX and Benedict XVI, for the former refer directly to “a remnant of them” that “will finally be saved” (and provides the context for “and in those days Judah will be saved [Jeremiah 33:6-26]).

However, I would qualify this by saying “mass conversion” could mean a mass conversion of a remnant of Israel (or the remaining remnant of Israel), and tradition weighs heavily in favor of some significant conversion of remaining Jews.

So when Haydock says “Towards the end of the world they shall be converted”, this can be interpreted as a “mass conversion”, or as “a remnant of them” that “will finally be saved”.

And to tell the truth, I find debating one or the other entirely unproductive – for it really does not matter because, at a minimum, “a remnant of them” will “finally be saved” and “Israel” (the spiritual Israel) will be subsumed into the New Israel.

That’s all anyone needs to know, and even that is not “definitive”, as in binding on the Faithful, though every Catholic should give religious submission of the mind and will to the official declarations of the Church on all such matters, even if there is room for interpretation
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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  tornpage on Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:41 am

Mike,

Based on the above, I believe Tornpage is justified in saying “that interpretation of Romans 11 as referring to a mass conversion of Jews at some point doesn’t ring true to me”, and he can cite Popes Innocent III and Martin V (in summarizing tradition) as providing greater context to the words of Popes Pius IX and Benedict XVI, for the former refer directly to “a remnant of them” that “will finally be saved” (and provides the context for “and in those days Judah will be saved [Jeremiah 33:6-26]).

Thanks.

More canon balls are always a good thing.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  tornpage on Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:49 am

And to tell the truth, I find debating one or the other entirely unproductive – for it really does not matter because, at a minimum, “a remnant of them” will “finally be saved” and “Israel” (the spiritual Israel) will be subsumed into the New Israel.

Yes.

Why it matters to me is because the Church is the New Israel, and God has cast off considerations of “fleshly” Israel forever. He thinks of individuals Jews as He does of other people and nations now, under the New Dispensation: no difference.

Philippians 3:3

For we are the circumcision, who in spirit serve God; and glory in Christ Jesus, not having confidence in the flesh.

Romans 2:28-9

For it is not he is a Jew, who is so outwardly; nor is that circumcision which is outwardly in the flesh: [29] But he is a Jew, that is one inwardly; and the circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Not that this is especially relevant, but this topic makes me think of the Evangelicals who think they’re doing God’s will by supporting Israel according to the flesh.
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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  MRyan on Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:46 pm

Mark,

That's fine, for the concept of a "fleshy" Israel is theologically, scripturally and magisterially bankrupt, in my opinion.

There is only one true Israel, and that is the New Israel. The "remnants" of the old Israel of Moses and the Prophets are the unconverted Jews, who remain (largely with a Talmudic religion -- the corrupted traditions of men) dispersed throughout the world.

There will be a final conversion of this remnant, or a remnant of the remnant, to the New Israel.
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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  tornpage on Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:45 pm

So you two have a real problem if it is a once declared dogma that infants who die in original sin alone go straightaway to hell to be "punished" with “unequal pains”, for the “Hell” being described is the “Hell of the Damned”. The “pain of loss” still consists of at least a spiritual pain, as opposed to Limbo where there is NO spiritual pain of loss and there is NO suffering whatsoever, just bliss, and there is no way around it, if, as popes and tradition confirm, Limbo, as just described, cannot be condemned as a "Pelagian Fable".

You totally avoided the substance of the argument and went off on this tangent.

Yes, one could very well argue that Limbo does not exist on the basis of Florence. The infants are in Hell but suffer lesser pains. But then, the concept of Limbo could very well fit with the definition of Florence, since it has been described as being part of Hell. Also, as I think Jehanne has indicated, there is authority that supports the proposition that Limbo does not preclude a “pain of loss.”

More importantly, while I said I agreed with Limbo, I have nothing against St. Augustine’s doctrine of either/or, Heaven or Hell, with the non-baptized who die with “original sin alone” being there but suffering lesser punishment (whatever that means) consistent with their lack of personal fault.

My theology on grace doesn’t crumble if these infants are in Hell or Limbo without personal fault.

However, the theology of grace of Father Muniz and those who say no one is deprived of glory - you know, God gives sufficient grace to each person individually so that their absence from glory is a result of their rejection of that grace and “personal fault” - absent personal fault would, obviously, fall apart.

To state somewhat differently so as to include Marin-Sola (since you didn’t answer my question): any theory or theology of grace that holds that unbaptized infants would be in heaven if only they or the responsible adults acted differently doesn’t deal with the facts before us: some infants who died without baptism (say infants in 8th century pre-Christian Asia, North America, South America, Africa etc.) may not be in glory - under circumstances where neither their actions or the actions of any living human being would account for that or be at fault for that.

The Thomist theory of negative reprobation, physical premotion, etc. would account for that fact. The Muniz’ theory, and as far as I can tell the Marin-Sola theory, does not.

You can believe either theory.

I will believe the one that provides an explanation for the way things may very well be, and indeed are, if you believe Florence was not defining a “null set.”

Speaking of which, Mike, do you want to take a shot at dealing with the issue of what did the fathers of Florence (Pope Eugene would be the infallible Pontiff acting through them) - so, Pope Eugene believe when he made the definition, and is there a “recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding”?
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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  tornpage on Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:48 pm

Ooops. Wrong forum.
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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Caritas1 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:57 pm

MRyan,

I'm writing this quickly, so my apologies in advance for typos or any failures in clarity/charity.

You seem like a good guy and we're on the same side here, so I'm not trying to start a pointless argument. Really. But you did misunderstand and are still misunderstanding my point about the evidence for the Conversion of the Jews as compared with the evidence for the Assumption. I completely agree that they are two different things, on two different levels. That's why I already stated that belief in the future conversion of the Jews isn't a dogma of the faith. The assumption is a dogma and a faithful Catholic cannot even question it. The only comparison I made was in regard to the patristic evidence *in light of typical Protestant criticisms*. It was a valid point and I still don't see the need for your warning to me. That's all.

You write,
"your analogy has merit to the extent that both the Assumption of Mary and the end-time conversion of the Jews enjoy Patristic and traditional support, but that’s where the analogy ends"

And that's pretty much what I wrote (although I still maintain that the patristic evidence for the conversion of the Jews is actually more extensive). So I don't know why you went further than what I actually wrote. I intended no more than that, but you apparently took it as bordering on an affront to the dogma of the Assumption.

You write:
"the devil, as the say, is in the details about what the end-times conversion actually means, both for a “remnant” of dispersed Jews who will no doubt convert, and for “Israel”.

For example, do the Talmudic Jews represent the Israel of the Torah (the “spirit of Israel”?) and the true blood lines running through “the remnant [tribes] in Paul’s day” which “consisted of Judahites (i.e., Jews, e.g., Jesus), Benjaminites (e.g., St. Paul), and Levites (e.g., St. John the Baptist)”? Or, are the dispersed remnants of “Israel” more a metaphor for anyone who is born “Jewish”?"

I think you're making this too hard. If you read the evidence, it's clear that the expectation is that there will be a future conversion of the Jews and that this will be a sign of the Second Coming. That's the section it's under in the Catechism. That's the heading in Ludwig Ott. It's what the Church Fathers and scholars pretty much universally say. For it to be a sign, it has to be something recognizable by the people, something noteworthy. That is the nature of prophecy, we don't often get the nitty gritty details. But we should expect a noteworthy, readily perceivable conversion of the Jews before the Second Coming. It should be something clearly out of the ordinary, regardless of the precise details.

You write,
I did not say that I disagreed with the broad evidence “for the future conversion of the Jews” becasue it represents “speculative theological musings".

I didn't say that you "disagreed with" it. I was pointing out that your characterization seemed aimed at lowering the significance of the evidence for the belief. Maybe I'm wrong, but that seemed the logical import of your description - in your words, "speculative theological musings". IMO, that description suggested that you hadn't read through all the evidence before you described it because the evidence seems much more than that to me.

You write,
"So, I believe, it is reasonable to conclude (even if you disagree) that “when ‘the full number of the Gentiles come in, all Israel will be saved’, Paul is speaking about his ministry and the result it is bringing about… not [necessarily] some cryptic prophecy of a future mass conversion of the Jews.”

I think it's possible this is a "both/and", which is not uncommon in prophecy. But after viewing the patristic evidence, I believe the primary fulfillment has to be viewed as a future, noteworthy conversion of the Jews. I don't recall any fathers of the Church giving the interpretation you're giving. Do you have any examples of fathers who have your interpretation? Maybe I've just missed it.

You write,
"However, Paul’s ministry, and the result it is bringing about, still, I believe (with tradition and the Church) involves at least a conversion of a remnant of remaining Jews, and whether this is a “mass conversion” of all Jews is open to debate.

I agree with the first part of your sentence but (if I'm understanding you correctly) I don't think I quite agree with the second part. The "conversion of the Jews" after the fulness of the gentiles is listed as a "sign" of the second coming in the catechism. Ott lists it as such as well. I believe I recall many fathers of the Church describing in such terms.

As such, however and whenever this conversion takes place, it would need to be something quite significant - something that people could readily notice, or it wouldn't really qualify as a "sign". If you look in the Catechism, all the other "signs" are very significant and easily recognized -- Christ's return itself, the "final trial" of the Church that will "shake the faith" of her members, and the coming of Antichrist. And the recognition of the Messiah by "all Israel" is right square in the middle of that section. The same in Ott's FoCD. So it seems to me that whatever and however the conversion comes about, it will be something that is clearly recognizable and significant.

You write,
"I would qualify this by saying “mass conversion” could mean a mass conversion of a remnant of Israel (or the remaining remnant of Israel), and tradition weighs heavily in favor of some significant conversion of remaining Jews. "

I believe this is the most reasonable reading of Innocent and Martin V - it aligns with the Fathers of the Church. There is no contradiction. Both refer to a remnant *in the future* - in light of tradition, this is reasonably interpreted as those Jews who have survived and are living before the Second Coming.

You write,
"And to tell the truth, I find debating one or the other entirely unproductive – for it really does not matter because, at a minimum, “a remnant of them” will “finally be saved” and “Israel” (the spiritual Israel) will be subsumed into the New Israel.

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on whether it's worth discussing. If this is to be a sign of the Second Coming, then I think it's worth trying to understand as best we can in light of the consistent patristic witness. But I agree that those of Israel according to the flesh who experience "the conversion" before the second coming, will be subsumed into the New Israel, the Olive Tree that St. Paul describes as "their own." (Rom. 11:24)

Come, Lord Jesus.

I will likely be away for a while, so no offense if I don't respond to anything you may choose to write here.

Pax Christi.

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  Caritas1 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:10 pm

MRyan wrote:Mark,

That's fine, for the concept of a "fleshy" Israel is theologically, scripturally and magisterially bankrupt, in my opinion.


I don't agree that there is no longer any significance at all to fleshly Israel. And I don't believe the Church sees it that way, either.

The second half of this article deals with that issue:

cuf(dot)org/laywitness/LWonline/ja09forrest(dot)asp

There's another here:

ncregister(dot)com/daily-news/on-the-relationship-between-the-jewish-people-and-god/

The comments under the second have a fair amount of back and forth, too.

Have a good weekend.

Pax Christi.


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Sorry....

Post  Caritas1 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:25 pm

I forgot to leave this link from one of the same authors. It's directed at another apologist, but it hits on some the key issues.

sites(dot)google(dot)com/site/sungenisandthejews/sungenis-and-romans-11

Again, my apologies if I can't get back to this.

I enjoyed the discussion.

Pax Christi

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

Post  MRyan on Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:29 pm

Caritas1 wrote:The only comparison I made [the Assumption]was in regard to the patristic evidence *in light of typical Protestant criticisms*. It was a valid point and I still don't see the need for your warning to me. That's all.
That's fine, and I do understand the context of your statement, “if we had this much evidence for the Assumption of Mary, the Protestant apologists wouldn't even dare to open their mouths”. I simply do not agree, the Protestants would still reject the dogma no matter how much testimony is produced because they “interpret” neither tradition, nor Scripture, with the eyes of faith.

For example:

This belief of the sacred pastors and of Christ's faithful [in the Assumption] is universally manifested still more splendidly by the fact that, since ancient times, there have been both in the East and in the West solemn liturgical offices commemorating this privilege. The holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church have never failed to draw enlightenment from this fact since, as everyone knows, the sacred liturgy, "because it is the profession, subject to the supreme teaching authority within the Church, of heavenly truths, can supply proofs and testimonies of no small value for deciding a particular point of Christian doctrine."(10)

13. Various testimonies, indications and signs of this common belief of the Church are evident from remote times down through the course of the centuries; and this same belief becomes more clearly manifest from day to day.

26. Often there are theologians and preachers who, following in the footsteps of the holy Fathers,(20) have been rather free in their use of events and expressions taken from Sacred Scripture to explain their belief in the Assumption. Thus, to mention only a few of the texts rather frequently cited in this fashion, some have employed the words of the psalmist: "Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark, which you have sanctified"(21); and have looked upon the Ark of the Covenant, built of incorruptible wood and placed in the Lord's temple, as a type of the most pure body of the Virgin Mary, preserved and exempt from all the corruption of the tomb and raised up to such glory in heaven. Treating of this subject, they also describe her as the Queen entering triumphantly into the royal halls of heaven and sitting at the right hand of the divine Redeemer.(22) Likewise they mention the Spouse of the Canticles "that goes up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh and frankincense" to be crowned.(23) These are proposed as depicting that heavenly Queen and heavenly Spouse who has been lifted up to the courts of heaven with the divine Bridegroom.

27. Moreover, the scholastic Doctors have recognized the Assumption of the Virgin Mother of God as something signified, not only in various figures of the Old Testament, but also in that woman clothed with the sun whom John the Apostle contemplated on the Island of Patmos.(24) Similarly they have given special attention to these words of the New Testament: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women,"(25) since they saw, in the mystery of the Assumption, the fulfillment of that most perfect grace granted to the Blessed Virgin and the special blessing that countered the curse of Eve. (Pope Pius XII, MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS)
And it goes on and on, testimony after testimony in age after age. Those who don’t want to see the truth, won’t; no matter how compelling the evidence. The Jews did not believe Moses or the Prophets, what make you think Protestants will believe the Patristic Fathers, the Scholastics, the Liturgical traditions and the sensus fidelium?

I get your point, it has some merit, I’m just not convinced of it; but it’s no big deal, and I shouldn’t have made it into a big deal because you said it more in jest to emphasize the consistent and considerable testimony, than as an analogy worthy of serious consideration.

Sorry I appeared so stubborn. Bad habit.

Caritas1 wrote:
You write,
"your analogy has merit to the extent that both the Assumption of Mary and the end-time conversion of the Jews enjoy Patristic and traditional support, but that’s where the analogy ends"
And that's pretty much what I wrote (although I still maintain that the patristic evidence for the conversion of the Jews is actually more extensive). So I don't know why you went further than what I actually wrote. I intended no more than that, but you apparently took it as bordering on an affront to the dogma of the Assumption.
No I did not, and when I tell you I did not, please take my word for it.

Caritas1 wrote:
You write:
"the devil, as the say, is in the details about what the end-times conversion actually means, both for a “remnant” of dispersed Jews who will no doubt convert, and for “Israel”.

For example, do the Talmudic Jews represent the Israel of the Torah (the “spirit of Israel”?) and the true blood lines running through “the remnant [tribes] in Paul’s day” which “consisted of Judahites (i.e., Jews, e.g., Jesus), Benjaminites (e.g., St. Paul), and Levites (e.g., St. John the Baptist)”? Or, are the dispersed remnants of “Israel” more a metaphor for anyone who is born “Jewish”?"
I think you're making this too hard. If you read the evidence, it's clear that the expectation is that there will be a future conversion of the Jews and that this will be a sign of the Second Coming. That's the section it's under in the Catechism. That's the heading in Ludwig Ott. It's what the Church Fathers and scholars pretty much universally say. For it to be a sign, it has to be something recognizable by the people, something noteworthy. That is the nature of prophecy, we don't often get the nitty gritty details. But we should expect a noteworthy, readily perceivable conversion of the Jews before the Second Coming. It should be something clearly out of the ordinary, regardless of the precise details.
And I denied none of that.

Caritas1 wrote:You write,
I did not say that I disagreed with the broad evidence “for the future conversion of the Jews” because it represents “speculative theological musings".
I didn't say that you "disagreed with" it. I was pointing out that your characterization seemed aimed at lowering the significance of the evidence for the belief. Maybe I'm wrong, but that seemed the logical import of your description - in your words, "speculative theological musings". IMO, that description suggested that you hadn't read through all the evidence before you described it because the evidence seems much more than that to me.
And I explained exactly what I meant by "speculative theological musings" in both a primary and secondary context. I’m not sure you understand.

Caritas1 wrote:You write,
"So, I believe, it is reasonable to conclude (even if you disagree) that “when ‘the full number of the Gentiles come in, all Israel will be saved’, Paul is speaking about his ministry and the result it is bringing about… not [necessarily] some cryptic prophecy of a future mass conversion of the Jews.”
I think it's possible this is a "both/and", which is not uncommon in prophecy. But after viewing the patristic evidence, I believe the primary fulfillment has to be viewed as a future, noteworthy conversion of the Jews. I don't recall any fathers of the Church giving the interpretation you're giving. Do you have any examples of fathers who have your interpretation? Maybe I've just missed it.
That's fine, its open to interpretation. The citations I provided from the four Roman Pontiff's should be sufficient.

Caritas1 wrote:You write,
"However, Paul’s ministry, and the result it is bringing about, still, I believe (with tradition and the Church) involves at least a conversion of a remnant of remaining Jews, and whether this is a “mass conversion” of all Jews is open to debate.

I agree with the first part of your sentence but (if I'm understanding you correctly) I don't think I quite agree with the second part. The "conversion of the Jews" after the fulness of the gentiles is listed as a "sign" of the second coming in the catechism. Ott lists it as such as well. I believe I recall many fathers of the Church describing in such terms.

As such, however and whenever this conversion takes place, it would need to be something quite significant - something that people could readily notice, or it wouldn't really qualify as a "sign". If you look in the Catechism, all the other "signs" are very significant and easily recognized -- Christ's return itself, the "final trial" of the Church that will "shake the faith" of her members, and the coming of Antichrist. And the recognition of the Messiah by "all Israel" is right square in the middle of that section. The same in Ott's FoCD. So it seems to me that whatever and however the conversion comes about, it will be something that is clearly recognizable and significant.
Again, no problem, though I’m sure you would agree that "significant" is totally subjective, so let's leave it at that. I see no substantial difference in our respective opinions worth quibbling over.

Caritas1 wrote:You write,
"I would qualify this by saying “mass conversion” could mean a mass conversion of a remnant of Israel (or the remaining remnant of Israel), and tradition weighs heavily in favor of some significant conversion of remaining Jews."
I believe this is the most reasonable reading of Innocent and Martin V - it aligns with the Fathers of the Church. There is no contradiction. Both refer to a remnant *in the future* - in light of tradition, this is reasonably interpreted as those Jews who have survived and are living before the Second Coming.
No problem.

Caritas1 wrote:You write,
"And to tell the truth, I find debating one or the other entirely unproductive – for it really does not matter because, at a minimum, “a remnant of them” will “finally be saved” and “Israel” (the spiritual Israel) will be subsumed into the New Israel.
Well, we'll have to agree to disagree on whether it's worth discussing. If this is to be a sign of the Second Coming, then I think it's worth trying to understand as best we can in light of the consistent patristic witness. But I agree that those of Israel according to the flesh who experience "the conversion" before the second coming, will be subsumed into the New Israel, the Olive Tree that St. Paul describes as "their own." (Rom. 11:24)

Come, Lord Jesus.

I will likely be away for a while, so no offense if I don't respond to anything you may choose to write here.

Pax Christi.
OK, looking forward to your return.
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MRyan

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Re: Benedict's Book says not to pursue convesion of Jews

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