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

 Pope Francis and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stand outside the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan.19.(CNS photo//Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
“The degradation of the environment...cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
The U.S. bishops had an unusually busy year issuing positive and negative statements about the new president, but some hoped for more decisive action against his policies.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 19, 2018
Transgender patients “need to know they are welcome and they will not be looked down upon” if they come to Catholic institutions seeking treatment, says Sister Carol Keehan.
Kevin ClarkeJanuary 19, 2018
Francis is the first pope to come to the Amazon region, and he insisted that his first event and major speech of his visit to Peru should be to this place.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 19, 2018