Pope Francis on Jewish-Christian Relations

I subscribe to a weekly reflection on the Jewish scriptures called Light of Torah.  It is prepared by Christians for Christians, from a place of profound respect for Judaism.  This week’s email message contained excerpts from Pope Francis’ statement, released last week, that relate to Jewish-Christian relations.  Because they so completely warm my heart, I just had to cut and paste here.

Papa Francisco na JMJ - 24072013.jpg

Evangelii Gaudium: ‘the joy of the gospel’
Last week Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation was released. Three paragraphs explicitly address the Jewish-Christian relationship:

247. We hold the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked, for “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable” (Rom 11:29). The Church, which shares with Jews an important part of the sacred Scriptures, looks upon the people of the covenant and their faith as one of the sacred roots of her own Christian identity (cf. Rom 11:16-18). As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God (cf. 1 Thes 1:9). With them, we believe in the one God who acts in history, and with them we accept his revealed word.

248. Dialogue and friendship with the children of Israel are part of the life of Jesus’ disciples. The friendship which has grown between us makes us bitterly and sincerely regret the terrible persecutions which they have endured, and continue to endure, especially those that have involved Christians.

249. God continues to work among the people of the Old Covenant and to bring forth treasures of wisdom which flow from their encounter with his word. For this reason, the Church also is enriched when she receives the values of Judaism. While it is true that certain Christian beliefs are unacceptable to Judaism, and that the Church cannot refrain from proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Messiah, there exists as well a rich complementarity which allows us to read the texts of the Hebrew Scriptures together and to help one another to mine the riches of God’s word. We can also share many ethical convictions and a common concern for justice and the development of peoples.     

[Full text of Evangelii Gaudium at the Vatican website.

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