Sunday, March 9, 2008

Jewish Salvation Without Christ

Writing in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, in December 2000, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote, "As Christians we are the inheritors of their faith in the one God."

"Our gratitude," the future pope wrote, "must be extended to our Jewish brothers and sisters who, despite the hardships of their own history, have held on to faith in this God right up to the present, and who witness to it in the sight of those peoples who, lacking knowledge of the one God, 'dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.'"

Two years later, Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Commission for Relations With the Jews, told a U.S. conference that Christians cannot ignore their core belief in the universality of salvation in Christ.

However, he said, "this does not mean that Jews, in order to be saved, have to become Christians; if they follow their own conscience and believe in God's promises as they understand them in their religious tradition, they are in line with God's plan, which for us comes to historical completion in Jesus Christ."

-Catholic News

8 comments:

Reginald de Piperno said...

For a more current (and complete, and representative) view of Cardinal Kasper's beliefs about Jews and the need for them to convert, see this Reuters article from last month:

In a separate interview with Vatican Radio, Kasper said: "The Holy Father wanted to say 'yes, Jesus Christ is the savior of all men, including the Jews'."

Peace,

RdP

Carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie said...

"The Holy Father wanted to say 'yes, Jesus Christ is the savior of all men, including the Jews'."

That doesn't dismiss a backdoor salvation without explicit faith in Christ as exists for other non-Christians. Nor did Kasper retract his original comments in the article you cite.

CCC 847 "This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church: Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation."

CCC 1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery." Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity."

------- Theo ------- said...

"That doesn't dismiss a backdoor salvation without explicit faith in Christ as exists for other non-Christians."

Unless you know the state of every man's consciousness / heart at the hour of his death, I find it difficult to imagine you are able to determine whether or not God reached him by His divine mercy and grace. As the Apostle tells us, faith is not just part of the fruit of the Spirit. It can also be a supernatural gift. That, you see, is what makes it a gift: it’s free.

If any man is saved, it is through Christ: through the front and only door--the narrow gate. It is not for you to dictate to God who he can and cannot save or what portion shall be his.


"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

"About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went.

"He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'

" 'Because no one has hired us,' they answered.

"He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'

"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.'

"The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.

When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'

"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'


God tells us that he considers our lives and actions when giving us this gift, yet at the same time, the one who he calls and who comes at the very last moment is paid the same as the one who worked all day. Truly, some who you would condemn to hell will be seated much closer to the Master at His table than will you or I. "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."


Respectfully submitted,
Your servant and brother in Christ,
--Theo

♥ Kirs@Rhette ♥ said...

Please pray for "Maryann." She is ill & has no family support. Thank you & God Bless :)

Kirs~

------- Theo ------- said...

Dear God of divine mercy and love,
I pray for Maryann, that your infinite goodness and glory might be made known to men through her testimony. If you would that her cup should pass, I ask you to take it from her quickly, that she will recognize her relief in you; in the Name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Rhology said...

It's two diff things to say "Christ is the Savior of the Jews" and "You don't know the state of someone's heart at the hour of his death."

The latter seems to imply that Christ would somehow appear to them and they would become Christians before they die. Totally different. Theo, it is so disingenuous to talk like that. Just shoot straight, OK?

------- Theo ------- said...

Rho, my brother in Jesus who alone is the savior of any and all who will be saved:

These are not contradictory. I agree that if there is any truth in this doctrine (and I do), then in fact, each who is saved would have to become "Christian" at the instant of his death or sooner.

It is a matter of Christian dogma and the testimony of Jesus Himself that if any are saved they are saved only by and in Him--and such is the ultimate definition of a Christian, Rho. How Christ might make himself known to each person He saves is known to Christ.

I will speak subjectively now; my own experience of protracted cognition in a very short period of time while I was "dying" in the ER confirms this possibility for me. It is by no means disingenuous. I am shooting straight, thank you. I do not believe this contradicts the doctrine in question.

This (my personal experience regarding the possibility of last-instant communication with God) of course is purely private revelation and is not real evidence. I would not expect you or anyone to treat it as anything but; however, the experience provides me personally with additional confidence that the doctrine can be and indeed is true. Additionally, Jesus' parable of the generous task master lends weight to the notion that the Kingdom of God is indeed like this. Thus I say again, unless you know the state of every man's consciousness / heart at the hour of his death (I am confident that you do not and will not for any man but yourself--and then may God have mercy.), I find it difficult to imagine you are able to determine whether or not God reached him by His divine mercy and grace.

With sincere prayers for your blessing,
--Theo