Friday, March 17, 2006
But the strongest passages of the catechesis were those in which the pope explained the relationship between the institution of the apostles – twelve in number, like the twelve Jewish tribes – and the people of Israel.
The pope recalled Jesus’ intention "of founding the holy people again." And then:
"By their mere existence, the twelve – called from different backgrounds – have become a summons to all Israel to conversion and to allow themselves to be reunited in a new covenant, full and perfect accomplishment of the old."
This appeal from the pope for the conversion of the Jews – stated as still valid today – will certainly provoke discussion. In any case, it is perfectly consistent with the view expressed by Benedict XVI when meeting the Jews in the synagogue of Cologne, on August 19, 2005.
Jews and Christians – Ratzinger said on that occasion – remain joined by the one, eternal covenant established by God. And also therefore “in those areas in which, due to our profound convictions in faith, we diverge, and indeed precisely in those areas, we need to show respect and love for one another.” This begins with the chief distinction: belief or lack of belief in Jesus as the Messiah and the son of God.
Hat tip to someone on this article, but I can't remember who.