Should We Evangelize the Jewish People? Catholic View
Below is a interesting link to a letter I found from a converted Jewish woman to Cardinal Keeler, the U.S. bishop’s moderator for Jewish relations. This open letter was regarding the controversial document on whether catholics should evangelize the Jewish people. Since this controversial document’s release, the Catholic church released a statement to offer clarification.
Dear Cardinal Keeler:
I am grateful, your Eminence, that you have encouraged serious reflection on the statements of the document by Jews and Catholics throughout the United States, and I beg you to bear with me as I try to convey to you the things so heavy on my heart. (All quotes below are from the document unless otherwise indicated.)
Having been born and raised in a Conservative Jewish home, I have deep love and respect for the Jewish people, many of whom see me as a traitor now that I’m a Christian (or, more specifically, a Hebrew Catholic). While I fall far short of the depth of Paul’s heart for his kinsmen according to the flesh, wishing himself accursed and cut off from Christ for their sake (cf. Rom. 9:3), I anguish yet at Israel’s unbelief in the Messiah who came for them, though them. One of the most heartrending statements to me in all of Scripture is that of our Lord as he wept over Jerusalem: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem. . . . How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not” (Matt. 23:37.
Yet Israel’s lack of belief is not so great a mysety to me as my belief. That we are born in original sin, which plunged us into darkness, is a fact, however sorrowful. That, in addition to our fallen condition, “a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in” (Rom. 11:25) is another. But that the love and grace of God should have penetrated my heart and drawn me to him is a mystery for which I will sing God’s praises through all eternity.
Though the document was “meant to spur reflection,” it caused me considerable distress. I agree with much of what it says, and I am grateful for the love of the Jewish people that is at its core, but I believe the conclusions it reaches are opposed to the temporal and spiritual welfare of this people. I beg your forgiveness if, in stating my thoughts so forthrightly, I offend you in any way. That is not my intention…LETTER CONTINUES HERE