Church’s position on covenant


To the Editor:

In his "Op-Ed: Challenges facing the Vatican’s Jewish point man," Rabbi Noam Marans makes a common error when he writes, "That document of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II, 1962-1965) changed the course of Catholic-Jewish history with its revolutionary statements … and affirming the validity of God’s ongoing covenant with the Jewish people."

There has been good progress in our relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, but we should not make the mistake of thinking that the Church accepts that there is any way to salvation other than through it.

The Roman Catholic Church has firmly rejected Dual Covenant Theory, which would have provided Jews with their own path to salvation. The Church continues to affirm that the only way to salvation is via the Church (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church 846).  And while the Church says that the covenants that God made with the Jews are still in effect and always will be, the convenants were made with "Israel" and not the people we today call the Jews. The Church considers itself to be the "Israel" of the covenants.

Confirming this analysis of the Church’s position, in 2009 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops removed from the "U.S. Catechism for Adults" the sentence: "Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them."

Len Moskowitz
Teaneck, N.J.

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