About the time The Passion of the Christ came out in theaters, a discussion came up about the charges of anti-semitism in the movie and in various Christian faiths. As a catechist in the Roman Catholic Church, I offered this informal summation of official Church teaching:
"Yeah, sure the Jews of the time asked for Jesus' conviction and death. And without that, He wouldn't have died for our sins, and God's plan wouldn't have been fulfilled. Further, Christ Himself forgave them - so who are we to second- guess the Messiah?"
In retrospect, I should have mentioned that it was a very informal interpretation, as I was quickly called on the carpet by some other Catholics. Below is my reply; in researching it I found out even more than I already knew about the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church in relationship to the Jewish people and faith.
On 18 Mar 2004 at 7:06, Susan wrote:
> Where do you find this in "official RC teaching"??? Could you refer me > to your source?First, I'd like to thank you for this opportunity to further reference and explore my faith. Seriously. I thorougly enjoy challenges to my faith, as they require me to actively contemplate it, examine it, and renew my commitment to it.
As an aside, I quote from the KJV simply because I have an etext copy available. Comparison quotations from many translations may be found at www.biblegateway.com.
I had originally been told this by my priest, but your asking required me to do a bit of research on the topic - since this whole topic was literally something I hadn't considered prior to Mel's movie.
A quick search found the following (which I'll quote a bit of here):
I quote from the latter:
"22. The delicate question of responsibility for the death of Christ must be looked at from the standpoint of the conciliar declaration _Nostra Aetate_, 4 and of _Guidelines_ (III): "What happened in [Christ's] passion cannot be blamed upon all the Jews then living without distinction nor upon the Jews of today," especially since "authorities of the Jews and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ." Again, further on: "Christ in his [sic] boundless love freely underwent his[sic] passion and death because of the sins of all men, so that all might attain salvation." (_Nostra Aetate_, 4). The _Catechism_ of the Council of Trent teaches that Christian sinners are more to blame for the death of Christ than those few Jews who brought it about - they indeed "knew not what they did" (cf. Lk 23:34) and we know it only too well (Pars I, caput V, Quaest. XI). In the same way and for the same reason, "the Jews should not be presented as repudiated or cursed by God, as if such views followed from the holy Scriptures" (_Nostra Aetate_, 4), even though it is true that "the Church is the new people of God" (ibid)."
> The Romans committed the beatings, the Roman soldiers nailed Jesus on > the Cross. I think Jesus forgave them, also.
Yes; I didn't mean to imply otherwise.
> To say that because the Jewish establishment wanted it is the only way > God's plan would be accomplished is wrong. You don't think God would > have accomplished the Ultimate Design another way?
It was *the* way God wanted it. Inherently, God could choose any way that He required - and chose that one. It's not my place to understand why. Again:
"Christ in his [sic] boundless love freely underwent his[sic] passion and death because of the sins of all men, so that all might attain salvation."
> This implies to me that you think God wants some people to commit evil, that > it is in God's will. It is NOT God's will, but our free will.
A few points:
\ | / \|/ P >------------X-------> F --------------X------- N / /| \ / | \ God's POV Our POVThis, I think, is a fairly accurate depiction. The percieved conflict between free will and God's knowledge of the future is based on a false dichotomy: It doesn't have to be an either-or situation - both points of view are 100% valid.
From the point of view of God - or any entity outside of time - our "future" can be predicted, because the term "future" doesn't mean anything to them like it does to us. They *know* what's going to happen, because it *has*, much like a movie reel at the theater - the whole story is already captured.
From the point of view of humans, though, we can only experience this small slice of "now" (a single frame of the movie reel) - so any decisions we make are truly free, as we have no foreknowledge of what has/will happen.
Our future actions are set - but they are the future actions we chose freely.
> Your statement is NOT official RC view.
Let's contrast (my points in the original statement are numbered, the full original is appended if you wish to cross-check):
Points of my statement:
1a. Self-evident, but also reinforced by "Notes on the Correct Way to Present the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis of the Roman Catholic Church"
2a. Noted in _Nostra Aetate_, and echoed in "Notes on the Correct Way to Present the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis of the Roman Catholic Church": "Christ in his [sic] boundless love freely underwent his[sic] passion and death because of the sins of all men, so that all might attain salvation."
3a. Luke 23:34, also to the same end, but for a different reason, _Nostra Aetate_, again echoed in "Notes on the Correct Way to Present the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis of the Roman Catholic Church": "In the same way and for the same reason, "the Jews should not be presented as repudiated or cursed by God, as if such views followed from the holy Scriptures""
While I may have formed my initial statement informally, I don't see any difference between what I said and official Church teaching, especially in areas of faith formation.
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