The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Catholics on conversion from Judaism

In June, some Jewish leaders expressed concern after U.S. Roman Catholic bishops revised a 2002 document that said targeting Jews for conversion is “no longer theologically acceptable” because Jews “already dwell in a saving covenant with God.”

The bishops said Jews won’t be a target for evangelism, but that the 2002 statement had caused some to “conclude mistakenly that Jews have an obligation not to become Christian and the church has a corresponding obligation not to baptize Jews.”

Rabbi Gary Greenbaum, director of interfaith relations for the American Jewish Committee, said “a growing comfort level ... over how Catholics viewed Jewish salvation” is “less clear and will need a new redefinition.”

Outgoing Conservative Jewish head Rabbi Jerome Epstein asked for the bishops to clarify who they are addressing — Jews or Roman Catholics. “If they’re saying they’re going to go sell that message to Jews, then I’ve got a problem with that,” he said.




Posted at 7:25 pm (U.S. Eastern) 7/28/2009

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