(Galatians 1:8-9 RSV.)
Keeping in mind St. Paul's double anathema, read what he wrote about the salvation of Jews:
We ourselves, who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, 16 yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.(Galatians 2:15-16 RSV.)
new document on relations between the Church and Jews. You will learn that it's all very complicated, but Jews are already kind of part of the Church, and Jesus saves them even if they don't believe in Him.
The Bear is not sure where they're going with the following quote. But there seems to be a persistent notion of the Church being a some sort of Jewish-Christian entity.
It is and remains a qualitative definition of the Church of the New Covenant that it consists of Jews and Gentiles, even if the quantitative proportions of Jewish and Gentile Christians may initially give a different impression.We're still trying to reconcile salvation through Jesus Christ and how God has never revoked his covenant with Israel. It's "the mystery of God's work." Seriously, we don't have a clue, but we know that missionary activity is unnecessary. We will be united. Indeed we will be united with all people when God wants. Interesting, that one, says the Bear.
Another focus for Catholics must continue to be the highly complex [I'll say.] theological question of how Christian belief in the universal salvific significance of Jesus Christ can be combined in a coherent way with the equally clear statement of faith in the never-revoked covenant of God with Israel. It is the belief of the Church that Christ is the Saviour for all. There cannot be two ways of salvation, therefore, since Christ is also the Redeemer of the Jews in addition to the Gentiles. Here we confront the mystery [Hey, it's a mystery. Leave us alone.] of God’s work, which is not a matter of missionary efforts to convert Jews, but rather the expectation [based on what?] that the Lord will bring about the hour when we will all be united, "when all peoples will call on God with one voice and ‘serve him shoulder to shoulder’ " ["All peoples?" Who needs missionaries at all? Let God do all the heavy lifting.]"From the Christian confession" Jesus is the only path to salvation. But that doesn't mean Jews are excluded from salvation just because they don't believe in Him. Please don't make us explain this.
From the Christian confession that there can be only one path to salvation, however, it does not in any way follow that the Jews are excluded from God’s salvation because they do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God. [Actually, it does kind of follow.]But we're not taking anything away from Jesus. Despite what we just said, it's One Way as they used to say. Except there are, like, two lanes on the highway to salvation. No, strike that. One way. Seriously. Anyway, the Bear thinks this makes sense.
The theory that there may be two different paths to salvation, the Jewish path without Christ and the path with the Christ, whom Christians believe is Jesus of Nazareth, would in fact endanger the foundations of Christian faith. [Thank you for realizing that in theory.]Since Jews are maybe already in the Church and are anyway just fine as they are, and since Jesus Christ is the one path of salvation, and it's all a big mystery anyway, the Church is done with converting Jews. It's too complicated, and besides, it's bad PR. We can't ask Jews to convert without suggesting they're doing something wrong. That's a no-go zone today. Individual Catholics may seek conversion, if they insist, but for Heaven's sake don't start off talking about the Holocaust.
In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews. [We'd rather have the good PR in this world than save your souls.] While there is a principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission, Christians are nonetheless called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews, although they should do so in a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God’s Word, and particularly in view of the great tragedy of the Shoah.This is obviously a compromise document, as one would expect. The Bear thinks there is a lot of theological hand-waving going on here. The take-away point is that since Jews do not need to convert, the Church has no mission to them. Interesting ecclesiology, too, as far as one can make it out, don't you think?
It says a lot that they think they have to warn Catholics not to bring up the, you know.
This is a non-magisterial document, but clearly reflects the Church's thinking. You would think they would have come up with better theology given 2000 years to work on it. Unless they weren't working on this theology until the last fifty years.