U.S. Bishops Revisit Covenant Document

The “ambiguities” in a seven-year-old document from Catholic and Jewish dialogue partners are continuing to cause confusion, two committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in June. The U.S.C.C.B. said the Catholic section of a 2002 document, Reflections on Covenant and Mission, written by participants in an ongoing dialogue between the National Council of Synagogues and the U.S.C.C.B., “contains some statements that are insufficiently precise and potentially misleading.” In a note issued during the bishops’ spring meeting, the committees said, “Reflections on Covenant and Mission should not be taken as an authoritative presentation of the teaching of the Catholic Church.” By stating that the Jewish people’s “witness to the kingdom...must not be curtailed by seeking the conversion of the Jewish people to Christianity,” the document “could lead some to conclude mistakenly that Jews have an obligation not to become Christian and that the church has a corresponding obligation not to baptize Jews,” the committee wrote.

The heads of several major U.S. Jewish organizations said the bishops’ statement was a setback for Catholic-Jewish relations. “The whole basis of dialogue has had a major monkey wrench thrown into it,” Rabbi Gary Greenebaum of the American Jewish Committee told The Los Angeles Times. “What it feels like to Jews is that this is a major breach of trust.”

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

It is astonishing to think that God would choose to enter the world this way: as a fragile newborn who could not even hold up his own head without help.
Ginny Kubitz MoyerOctober 20, 2017
Protestors rally to support Temporary Protected Status near the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 26. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Around 200,000 Salvadorans and 57,000 Hondurans have been residing in the United States for more than 15 years under Temporary Protected Status. But that status is set to expire in early 2018.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 20, 2017
At the heart of Anne Frank’s life and witness is a hopeful faith in humanity.
Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.October 20, 2017
Forensic police work on the main road in Bidnija, Malta, which leads to Daphne Caruana Galizias house, looking for evidence on the blast that killed the journalist as she was leaving her home, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. Caruana Galizia, a harsh critic of Maltese Premier Joseph Muscat, and who reported extensively on corruption on Malta, was killed by a car bomb on Monday. (AP Photo/Rene Rossignaud)
Rarely does the death of a private citizen elicit a formal letter of condolence from the Pope.