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  #1  
Old 10th March 2011, 12:48 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Should Catholics seek the conversion of Jews?

Pope Benedict seems to say no, although this is based on media reports. I've ordered his new book, but haven't received it yet.
http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today...jews-pope-says

Quote:
Almost ten years ago, the late Cardinal Avery Dulles was critical of a joint statement from the National Council of Synagogues and the Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference to the effect that “targeting Jews for conversion to Christianity” is “no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church.”

Dulles replied that the church cannot curtail the scope of the gospel without betraying itself: “Once we grant that there are some persons for whom it is not important to acknowledge Christ, to be baptized and to receive the sacraments, we raise questions about our own religious life,” he wrote.

Subsequently, the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine issued a clarification in 2009 that most experts regarded as largely upholding the position taken by Dulles. Its conclusion was, “The fulfillment of the covenants, indeed, of all God’s promises to Israel, is found only in Jesus Christ.”

I agree with Dulles that the Church should be seeking the conversion of everyone. Even Catholics need continual 'conversion' to renew the faith within us daily.

[1 Cor]
{9:20} And so, to the Jews, I became like a Jew, so that I might gain the Jews.

Paul is an example to us that we should seek the conversion of the Jews, not by opposition, but by cooperation.

{10:32} Be without offense toward the Jews, and toward the Gentiles, and toward the Church of God,
{10:33} just as I also, in all things, please everyone, not seeking what is best for myself, but what is best for many others, so that they may be saved.

Our conversion of Jews should be without offense. So we should not target or pressure Jews for conversion. Instead, we should cooperate with the grace and providence of God, which always seeks to lead each and every soul to the whole truth.

[Galatians]
{2:7} But it was to the contrary, since they had seen that the Gospel to the uncircumcised was entrusted to me, just as the Gospel to the circumcised was entrusted to Peter.

Preaching the Gospel to the Jews is entrusted to the Pope, and, since the Pope is the head of the Church on earth, to the whole Church.
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  #2  
Old 10th March 2011, 11:03 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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Quote:
169. What is the relationship of the Catholic Church with the Jewish people?
839-840

The Catholic Church recognizes a particular link with the Jewish people in the fact that God chose them before all others to receive his Word. To the Jewish people belong “the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, the promises, and the patriarchs; and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ” (Romans 9:4, 5). The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to the revelation of God in the Old Covenant.

-- Compendium of the CCC.

Jesus Christ did not come to "abolish" the Old Law, but to fulfilled it (meaning He gave us its correct interpretation), and since the Church He established is also part of His Mystical Body where God permanently resides; we, guided by Divine Providence, can also explain our Jewish brothers the fulfillment of the laws given to Moses and the prophets.
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  #3  
Old 11th March 2011, 05:24 AM
CB CB is offline
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Ron, this statement by Benedict 16, if indeed accurate, is adverse to the CCC, as Brother pointed out and seems unbiblical. I do not know what to make of it, yet I don't feel good about it.
At the very least, our quiet witness now and previously throughout the centuries, is a form of prosthelityzing and testifies to the truth of the Resurrection-not to mention the actual physical martyrdoms that many have endured. How could any Catholic in communion with the Church, avoid giving witness to Jesus as Messiah and Lord?
Also, what does this say to the many Jews who have converted to Catholicism? If I were among them, perhaps I would begin to feel a bit irrelevant as far as the timing of my conversion is concerned.
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Old 11th March 2011, 12:31 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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I've ordered his book, so I'll have to see exactly what he says.


I think that we should convert others by the example of our lives, by our prayers and sacrifices, and by cooperating humbly with the grace of God. We should not be like some fundamentalist Protestants who target individuals for conversion and press them to convert as if grace and providence did not exist.

A Pope can err in his private theology. For example, see this article on Pope John 22nd (not the 23rd), more than half way down the page, starting with:
"In the last years of John's pontificate there arose a dogmatic conflict about the Beatific Vision,"
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08431a.htm
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  #5  
Old 11th March 2011, 04:42 PM
garabandalg garabandalg is offline
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Default Being proactive by being a patient example

I believe we can convert others by example. This kind of conversion in my opinion is much stronger because it allows and respects the other to make the initiative to change. Converting others by banging on their door until they are moved to distraction is precisely the kind of disordered, intrusive effort that Our Lord disfavored. John the Baptist did not go door to door forcing conversions. He merely spoke and waited for people to come to him.
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Old 11th March 2011, 08:36 PM
Michael
 
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most jews converted at the time of Jesus to Christianity, but what about the ones who didnt. The ones who fought it and the ones who still fight it. Are they not anti-christs?

So why should we not try to convert? It appears there are numerous Jews who are basically aetheists and could care less, but then there are the ones who vehemently fight against christianity. So why shouldnt these jews be converted? I really dont get this line of thinking. Anybody..
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  #7  
Old 11th March 2011, 08:58 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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Well, our call given to us at Baptism is to holiness and to the apostolate, to spread out the good news to the world and our Lord sent His Apostles door to door. It is traditionally said that our Lord is knocking and awaiting at the door of our home (hearts) for us to open it, then He can enter.

Little is known, but we Catholics also go door to doors to share the "good news" with people; however, unlike other groups that go with a Bible trying to convince people to join their churches because the "book" they carry say so, in such and such passage; we go to share our personal experiences and relationships with the Lord and how He has taking us out of the slavery of sin, how the Lord is transforming our lives for the better, etc., etc. Just as the first Christians, they told other people about the marvelous things Jesus Christ have done in their lives and in the lives of others, and He can also do in the lives of the people they are passing the news to (without carrying the Scriptures). It's not necessary to go with a Bible because an unbeliever, in many cases, is not going to "convert" just because a "book" say so, but is different sharing personal experiences.

I have brothers from my parish who tell their experiences and they say that there have been cases where people have been literally on the verge of committing suicide but they didn't because two souls knocked at his door and gave him the "good news", gave them hope. There are many people out there who are bitter, who live in bitterness, in alcohols, drug, sex addiction, and who are, believe or not, awaiting for someone to give them love and to lift up their spirit. In fact, Jesus' yoke is easy and light. I have done so too, I don't like to go out there to see some doors slammed on my face, but is great to come back happy, knowing that I could have left a seed in some people's houses. We are not pressing anyone, we just want to plant a seed, nothing more, God takes care of the rest if the person doesn't root out that seed and let it grow and bear fruits.

It is just another way of how to reach people, yes, it can called a "foolishness".

[1 Corinthians]
{1:21} For the world did not know God through wisdom, and so, in the wisdom of God, it pleased God to accomplish the salvation of believers, through the foolishness of our preaching.
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Old 11th March 2011, 09:17 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
most jews converted at the time of Jesus to Christianity, but what about the ones who didnt. The ones who fought it and the ones who still fight it. Are they not anti-christs?

So why should we not try to convert? It appears there are numerous Jews who are basically aetheists and could care less, but then there are the ones who vehemently fight against christianity. So why shouldnt these jews be converted? I really dont get this line of thinking. Anybody..


I don't think is prudent to try to "convert" someone who is openly anti-Christian or someone who is openly from another religion (unless that person or group of persons are open to a dialogue).

We can only "enter" if, we see that the door is "open".
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  #9  
Old 12th March 2011, 07:11 PM
garabandalg garabandalg is offline
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Default Not if but how

nothing wrong to try to convert, but I think it is how we do it. Do we bang on doors and bend ears to the point of distraction or point fingers and howl at people saying change or you are going to hell???? That will not work in this society and will actually be counterproductive.

I think we must use wise strategy and be open to God's help and guidance in this area. It is not a question of not trying but rather how we try.
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  #10  
Old 15th March 2011, 05:21 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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I've now read the portions of Pope Benedict's book about the conversion of the Jews.

He quotes Bernard of Clairvaux, with regard to the conversion of the Jews: "Granted, with regard to the Jews, time excuses you; for them a determined point in time is fixed, which cannot be anticipated." And he quotes the Abbess Hildegard Brem: "In the light of Romans 11:25 [a certain blindness has occurred in Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has arrived.], the Church must not concern herself with the conversion of the Jews, since she must wait for the time fixed for this by God...."

Benedict clearly agrees with both quotes. However, he attributes this conversion of the Jews in the future as a conversion of the whole people. And so there is no implication that the Church or her members cannot seek the conversions of individual Jews:

"the nucleus of Jesus' eschatological message includes the proclamation of an age of the nations, during which the Gospel must be brought to the whole world and to all people: only then can history attain its goal. In the meantime, Israel retains its own mission. Israel is in the hands of God, who will save it 'as a whole' at the proper time, when the number of the Gentiles is complete. The fact that the historical duration of this period cannot be calculated is self-evident and should not surprise us."

[quotes are from pp. 44-46]

Since the Church's mission is "to the whole world and to all people," the Pope is not exlcuding the convesion of individual Jews. But the conversion of the whole of the Jewish people the Church should not seek at this time.

I agree with this assessment. However, I disagree that the timing of this conversion of the whole Jewish people cannot be calculated. My next book, The Second Part of the Tribulation, deals with the events around the time of the Return of Jesus, including the conversion of the whole of the Jewish people: all Jews at that time will either convert to Catholic Christianity, or fall away from faith altogether. And the same is true for all Muslims at that time.

The timing of this event is after the fall of the Antichrist from power, just before Jesus returns, in the year 2437 A.D.
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