(CNS) - ...The change, which must be confirmed by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy, would remove from the catechism a sentence that reads: "Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them."THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It's not often I agree with the U.S. Catholic Bishops on such matters, and it should be noted that the USCCB is not a "real" governing body in the Catholic Church, nor does it have any "real" authority of it's own. Everything it does must be rubber stamped by the Vatican for approval, or else it remains null and void. The purpose of the USCCB is to provide continuity between Roman Catholic diocese within the United States, so that Catholics moving from one diocese to another don't see dramatic changes in the way things are done between various bishops. So it serves more as a "coordinating body" rather than a "governing body," hence the reason for Vatican approval on virtually everything it does.
Replacing it would be this sentence: "To the Jewish people, whom God first chose to hear his word, 'belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ.'" (Rom 9:4-5; cf. CCC, No. 839)....
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That being said, I think the USCCB is making a wise choice with this decision, and I expect the Vatican will probably approve it. The wording in question has to do with the U.S. Catechism for Adults, which happens to be the simplified American version of the Universal Catechism. I've read though this U.S. version and have discovered many problems with it, which in my opinion, include an overemphasis on some points of Catholic teaching, with a glossing over of others, particularly in the area of social doctrine. The above sentence which the bishops seek to change is downright confusing, and some might even say misleading. It reads as follows: "Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them." This gives the false impression that Catholic theology allows for two completely separate methods of salvation - one for Gentiles through Christ, and the other for Jews through the Mosaic Law. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Catholic Church does not teach this, has never taught this, and will never teach it in the future. Such a notion defies the very nature of the New Covenant. We can only speculate what the original intentions where behind the formulation of such an oversimplified, and potentially misleading, sentence. After all is said and done, it's just speculation, and what really matters is that the U.S. Catholic bishops have come to their senses and wish to correct the problem by substituting the controversial sentence with a line directly from the Universal Catechism. "To the Jewish people, whom God first chose to hear his word, 'belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ.'"
This rendering makes it much more clear what the mind of the Church actually is concerning Judaism and the Jewish people. They deserve a special place of recognition by the Church, and we acknowledge that everything we are as a people originally comes from them. To them belong both covenants - including the New Covenant - which is offered freely to those who will accept it. The purpose of this statement is to defuse any possible inkling of anti-semitism within the Church, or a sense of spiritual pride among Christians that might look down upon the Jewish people. The sentence is designed to affirm the Church's teachings about the New Covenant, but to do so in a way that doesn't defame the Jewish people who have not yet accepted it. There is no room in the Church for those who would look down upon Christ's fellow kinsmen - the Jews - and that is the whole point behind the Church's modern teaching on the Jewish people. Sadly, some have taken the Church's teaching on this to a whole new level, never intended by the Church, so as to suggest there is a completely different mode of salvation for those of the Jewish faith. Interestingly, the U.S. Catholic Catechism structured a sentence in such a way that appeared to coddle that suggestion. Now the U.S. bishops backing away from it. 'The Catholic Knight' applauds them for the courage to do the right thing on this matter.