Wednesday, March 16, 2011



Confraternity of Catholic Clergy

2011 Convocation

JULY 26 - 29


Adoremus in Aeternam


1300 Stritch Drive

Mundelein, IL 60060

(847) 566-6060   FAX (847) 566-6082

Arrival: anytime after 4pm on 7/26
Departure: 12 noon on 7/29

Fr. Thomas Kocik
Reform of the Reform
New Liturgical Movement

Fr. Frank Phillips, CR
founder & superior of the Canons Regular of St John Cantius

Dr. Denis McNamara
The Liturgical Institute
, University of Saint Mary of the Lake


$450 includes private room & board (accommodations & all meals) plus admission to all conference talks (BEST DEAL)


$300 for conference talks and meals only (FOR THOSE WHO WILL FIND THEIR OWN LODGING)


$150 for conference talks alone (FOR COMMUTERS & LOCALS)

email  to register


Consider the gift of a Confraternity of Catholic Clergy annual convocation ($450) or provide him with transportation to the event. We can also use donations for scholarships to help those clergy (priests, deacons and seminarians) who cannot afford to come due to financial

ONGOING spiritual, theological and pastoral formation of the clergy is not an option nor luxury; it is a NECESSITY. The CCC provides this ongoing formation in a fraternal setting with our ordained brethren who unequivocally proclaim loyalty and obedience to the Magisterium and the Roman Pontiff. URGE your clergy to 'come and see' (membership not a requirement to attend convocation)

Church should not pursue conversion of Jews, pope says

Church should not pursue conversion of Jews, pope says

Matt Abbott from RENEW AMERICA asked me to opine on the article found in the NCR this week

We live in a high tech, media-savvy and 24 hour news culture where everything is reduced to a thirty second sound bite. This unfortunately reduces the attention span tremendously so that any in depth discussion of sophisticated reasoning is sacrificed for the fortune-cookie, bumper-sticker slogan people can tweet to one another. Look at Pope Benedict’s recent book, JESUS OF NAZARETH, part two. The media has reduced 384 pages to one phrase: “the church must not concern herself with the conversion of the Jews.”
This is a quote from Hildegard Brem the pontiff cites early in his book.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, said: never deny, seldom affirm, always distinguish.

Hence, let’s examine this carefully, prudently and intelligently.
Is the Pope saying Jews do not need Christ or His Church? That would contradict the Catechism and DOMINUS IESUS, the document written by then Josef Cardinal Ratzinger as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and confirmed by Pope John Paul II on June 16, 2000.

14. It must therefore be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith that the universal salvific will of the One and Triune God is offered and accomplished once for all in the mystery of the incarnation, death, and resurrection of the Son of God.

16. Therefore, in connection with the unicity and universality of the salvific mediation of Jesus Christ, the unicity of the Church founded by him must be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith. Just as there is one Christ, so there exists a single body of Christ, a single Bride of Christ: “a single Catholic and apostolic Church.

20. Above all else, it must be firmly believed that “the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation ... For those who are not formally and visibly members of the Church, “salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation.

22. With the coming of the Savior Jesus Christ, God has willed that the Church founded by him be the instrument for the salvation of all humanity (cf. Acts 17:30-31).This truth of faith does not lessen the sincere respect which the Church has for the religions of the world, but at the same time, it rules out, in a radical way, that mentality of indifferentism “characterized by a religious relativism which leads to the belief that ‘one religion is as good as another'”

The Catholic Church does not believe in a dual-covenant theology in which Jews are saved by the Old Covenant while Gentiles are saved by the New Covenant.

Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, wrote an article in America magazine (October 21, 2002):

While [Pope John Paul II] does not “target” Jews in any special way for conversion, he makes no exception for them. On the part of Catholic Christians, “dialogue should be conducted and implemented with the conviction that the Church is the ordinary means of salvation and that she alone possesses the fullness of the means of salvation” (No. 55). This does not mean, of course, that we must despair of the salvation of non-Christians or that they are to be pressured into accepting our faith. On the contrary, Vatican II made it clear that God offers the possibility of salvation to all who conscientiously strive with his help to find his truth and do his will, and that explicit Christian faith, while it is a great blessing, must always be free and un-coerced.

Later, Cardinal Dulles wrote in First Things (November, 2005)
Vatican II brought out the profound truth that the mystery of Israel and the mystery of the Church are permanently intertwined: “As this sacred people searches into the mystery of the Church, it recalls the spiritual bond linking the people of the New Covenant to Abraham's stock.” The Church is conscious that she is a branch grafted onto the olive tree of Israel. Pope John Paul II was deeply conscious of this affinity. Speaking at the synagogue of Rome on April 13, 1986, he made the point: “The Jewish religion is not ‘extrinsic' to us, but in a certain way is ‘intrinsic' to our own religion. With Judaism, therefore, we have a relationship which we do not have with any other religion. You are our dearly beloved brothers and, in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers.”

In continuity with Vatican II and earlier Catholic tradition, John Paul II saw the two covenants as intrinsically related. The Old is a preview and promise of the New; the New is the unveiling and fulfillment of the Old. “The New Covenant,” he declared, “serves to fulfill all that is rooted in the vocation of Abraham, in God's covenant with Israel at Sinai, and in the whole rich heritage of the inspired Prophets who, hundreds of years before that fulfillment, pointed in the Sacred Scriptures to the One whom God would send in the ‘fullness of time.'

Some Christians, in their eagerness to reject a crude supersessionism, give independent validity to the Old Covenant. They depict the Old and New Covenants as two ‘separate but equal' parallel paths to salvation, the one intended for Jews, the other for gentiles ...

It is unthinkable that ... Paul would be proposing salvation for Jews apart from Christ ...
So I do not think Pope Benedict XVI is undoing what he did in 2000 (Dominus Iesus). I think he is continuing what Pope John Paul II began. It is a matter of LOGISTICS, EMPHASIS and PRIORITY not one of doctrine and dogma. If it were, the theologian-pope would have made a coherent theological and dogmatic argument. Instead, we see a phrase quoted from an unofficial and a non-authoritative source (Hildegard Brem). Like the Regensburg talk he gave where a quote was taken out of context, here, too, we see the methodical and logical mind of Pope Benedict, discussing a non-doctrinal matter. Jews are not Christians, obviously, but they are also not Gentiles, pagans, heathens, heretics or schismatics. They are the Chosen People of the Old Covenant. Like everyone else, they need Christ and His Church to be saved but the prudential judgment to ‘not target them for conversion can be valid and beneficial, nevertheless.

It is not that the Pope is giving up on the Jews nor is he saying they do not need Christ or the fullness of grace and revelation found in the Catholic Church. B16 is merely saying that our first priority is to evangelize the Gentile world. There is plenty of immediate and immanent work to do repairing the disunity among Christians. Reconciling East and West and restoring the separated brethren are high priorities for the Church. Spreading the Gospel to the non-Christian world is still part and parcel of the MISSION of the Church to be sure. The only dimension, I think, Pope Benedict XVI was accentuating was the one that rather than aggressively seek the conversion of JUDAISM, Christianity still welcome individual Jews into accepting and embracing Jesus Christ while showing respect for our heritage as once being a part of Judaism (before the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.)

In the past, overzealous believers and some unscrupulous anti-Semites alike sought to eradicate Judaism all together. Whether by forced conversions or pogroms and exiles, some Christians were less than Christ-like to the Jews, the very people Christ Himself came from. Salvation is still from Christ and His Church but it can be done anonymously in good faith for those who through no fault of their own are unaware of this reality.

Judaism itself as a religion will inevitably continue until the end of the world at which time the Second Coming of Christ occurs along with the Resurrection of the Dead and the General Judgment. Who’s to say that the remaining Jews at the Eschaton and Parousia will not convert together or one by one? In the meantime, the Holy Father is merely asking us to treat the Jewish people as a whole and the Jewish religion with respect and honor while we still welcome warmly with open arms any and all individual Jews who seek to know and accept Christ and His Church. It is not that we are asked to ignore the Jews but to trust that God Himself will take care how and when they will be brought into the fold all the way. They are His People and it is His Church.    

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