Christianity

Church & Govt Argue Child Sex Predators Are Innocent Because Children Consented

http://www.renegadetribune.com/church-govt-argue-child-sex-predators-innocent-children-consented/

 

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The Catholic Church and government agencies in the United Kingdom have developed a new argument to avoid paying out settlements to victims of pedophilia and sex abuse: they’re claiming the children consented.

As the Telegraph noted over the weekend:

Lawyers who represent some of the victims have told the Sunday Telegraph that the defence is more frequently being used by private schools, religious groups and local authorities when trying to defend compensation claims.”

Though news of these recent attempts to avoid paying settlements emerged last month, the Telegraph recently viewed documents from two court cases in which defense attorneys used the “consent” argument.

One claimant was told by lawyers for the Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark that his abuse, which included rape and began when he was 15, ‘actually occurred in the context of a consensual relationship (albeit one the Claimant in retrospect now appears to regret),’” the Telegraph reported.

I was below the legal age of consent anyway and there’s a grooming element to that kind of situation. It was totally disregarded and it made me feel really small,” he said.

According to Siobhán Crawford, a lawyer with London-based Bolt Burdon Kemp, the strategy is usually used when a child turns sixteen during the abuse. Sixteen is the age of consent, though the Telegraph notes that “[f]or adults in a position of authority, it is illegal to have sex with a child under their care, even if the child is 16 or 17 at the time.

Even so, in one case, the Cambridgeshire County Council, a government entity, claimed a student whose abuse started when she was under 16 consented:

On her own account the Claimant voluntarily sought out contact with [the teacher] and considered that she was in a relationship with him. If that is correct, after she had obtained the age of 16, the Claimant consented to sexual acts with [the teacher] and those acts ceased to be assaults.”

The victims in these two cases were eventually compensated.

Despite claims from the Church and government that consent was issued, Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, disagrees. “No child ever gives their ‘consent’ to being abused, and the increased use of this line of defence, although still quite rare, is worrying,” she said.

While the defense is rare, it is being employed more often. Crawford told the Telegraph that her firm had dealt with ten cases and that “there had been an increase in the past two years as authorities became aware that it was an option.

Barnardo’s, one of the children’s charities objecting to this new line of defense, said in July that since the CICA was established in 2012, “nearly 700 child victims of sexual abuse have been refused payments ranging between £1,000 and £44,000, according to a freedom of information request by the charity coalition,” which also includes Victim SupportLibertyRape Crisis and the National Working Group (NWG).

One case in which the victim was not compensated, the Telegraph noted in July, “involved a 12-year-old girl who was plied with alcohol, led into the woods and sexually assaulted by a 21-year-old man.

This was because she had gone into the woods ‘voluntarily,’ had not been a victim of violence, she emerged ‘happily’ from the woods and that she had recently had sexual relations with another child around her own age,” the outlet summarized.

The coalition of charities has called for a change in rules. According to a press release Barnardo’s issued in July:

The coalition is calling for the rules to be changed so no child groomed and manipulated into sexual abuse is denied compensation because they complied with their abuse through fear, lack of understanding, or being brainwashed into believing their abuser loved them and developing feelings for them.

This is only the latest controversy surrounding the Catholic Church, which has been defending alleged pedophiles and child abusers within its ranks for years. The government agencies in question are also under fire now, too.

As Dawn Thomas, co-chair of Rape Crisis England & Wales, said last month:

It’s not only bizarre but also inappropriate and harmful that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority applies a different definition of consent from the law and, as a result, routinely tell victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation that they consented to the sexual violence perpetrated against them.”


This article originally appeared on The Anti-Media.

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How Evangelicals (White Freemasons, Zionists) Support White Supremacy (White Idiots)—Even Though They Reject Racism

I spent most of my life inside the Evangelical Christian community. I’ve watched society puzzle over its relationship to white supremacy. Evangelical leaders seem oddly removed from the discussion, condemning racism but doing nothing pro-active about the problem. There’s a reason for this phenomenon.

My Evangelical experience occured inside a large Southern Baptist Convention affiliated congregation called Spotswood Baptist Church in Virginia. The SBC is the largest Evangelical denomination in the United States, housing more than 15 million members. The only Christian body in the U.S. with more members is the Catholic Church.

Originally formed in partial defense of slavery, the SBC publicly rejects its racist roots. The apology and statement on race released by the SBC in the 1990s reads in part, “[W]e apologize to all African-Americans for condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime; and we genuinely repent of racism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously (Psalm 19:13) or unconsciously (Leviticus 4:27).” It continues “[W]e ask forgiveness from our African-American brothers and sisters.”

All good stuff. But what comes next should raise eyebrows: “[W]e hereby commit ourselves to eradicate racism in all its forms from Southern Baptist life and ministry.”

Southern Baptists don’t express any genuine interest in eradicating racism from the world ― just the denomination’s own community.

This is true across most of racism-rejecting Evangelicalism. This subset of Christians does not work toward racial equality in society in any organized way. Racial inequality outside the structure isn’t an area of interest or concern. But the reason isn’t always obvious to outsiders.

Evangelicals do not avoid participation in racial advocacy because they support racism (although some do). They avoid it because of a genuine theological belief that the world is sinful and people cannot be redeemed outside their own structure. Attempts to eradicate racism in the world are perceived as futile for a religious group that believes in a literal future Armageddon.

The singular of goal of Evangelicals is to get outsiders into the faith system. Racism is treated as a legitimate moral concern once the person has, in Evangelical parlance, committed their life to Jesus. Until then, Satan is the problem and racism one of many incurable symptoms.

Evangelicals view what they derisively name the “social gospel” to be a distraction from their primary goal of “soul winning.” That said, some leading Evangelicals have tried in vein to convince members to care more in recent years. But indoctrination into the zero-sum theology of Evangelical Christianity has left congregants hardened and averse to such messages.

This extreme focus is why Evangelicals will animatedly support any politician that permits them the ability to further their messages, regardless of character. President Donald Trump may be a moral cesspool, but conservative Christians view him as a tool to increase their own cultural reach. Trump’s character is trivial to them.

In the race to win lost souls, social movements dedicated to the well-being of any and all marginalized groups are a waste of time for Evangelicals, unless they produce converts. The same goes for support of government policies and politicians that help the citizenry at-large. The end goal is all that counts.

The reason I didn’t know racism was an actual societal problem until adulthood is because my life happened within the confines of an isolated community of people who overwhelming spoke out against overt racism in their own ranks and squashed conversation about the struggles people face outside the community by bringing the conversation back to society’s need for God.

As far as Evangelicals are concerned, the only cure for racism is inside the doors to their churches. Everyone else can, and will, go to Hell.

Jews can have Christian & Muslim women as Sex Slaves says British Rabbi

[The Rabbi who said this is the chief Rabbi of the UK and Commonwealth. You can read about him here: http://wp.me/p8wSEO-fP Now this “British Rabbi” is actually a Jew from South Africa. I bet you if you asked him about the Boers and Apartheid he would condemn the “evil” of the Boers and the whites of South Africa. But here he is, garbage that he is, saying that its cool for Jews to have Christian and Muslim women as sex slaves!! These Jews think they are GOD! I did a video about it. Also go and check out my video series: The Great Jewish Mask. Let that begin opening your eyes. Jan]

A British rabbi has told his congregation in Wales that war is approaching and Judaism allows them to take women as slaves and rape them.

Ephraim Mirvis is an Orthodox rabbi who serves as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. He served as the Chief Rabbi of Ireland between 1985 and 1992.

In the audio, Ephraim Mirvis is heard telling a group of young men: “One of the interpretations as to what this means is that towards the end of time there will be many wars like what we are seeing today, and because of these wars women will be taken as captives, as slaves, yeah, women will be taken as slaves.

As Chief Rabbi of Ireland and before the opening of an Israeli Embassy in Ireland, he represented Israel’s interests at government level and in the media. In 1999, he led a group of British rabbis on a solidarity trip to Israel. Since 1997, he has hosted the annual Bnei Akiva Yom Ha’atzmaut service at Finchley synagogue.

Regarding the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, while deploring the loss of life in Gaza, Mirvis defended Israel‘s right to protect itself from Hamas rocket attacks,adding that the conflict was used as a cover to voice anti-Semitic sentiment.

http://www.awdnews.com

Source: http://israevil.com/british-rabbi-war-comingzionists-can-take-christian-muslim-women-sex-slaves/

I Hate The Christian Existence

For the past several months I have been writing hateful poetry against Jews, Blacks, and even Whites but nothing yet against the most hated group of people in my life, the Christians.  For it was Christians who raped me as a child, who cost me multiple employment opportunities, who stole my innocence as a child, who enslaved me to their false beliefs and false gods.  My earlier works was well received and resulted in the deaths of some Christians in the summer of 2015, let’s hope that success is repeated with this poem!

 

I Hate The Christian Existence

Christians involve their false gods
As they kneel before the cross
As they pray aloud
To gods that do not even exist
Their faces sicken me
So that’s why I choke their necks with their cross
Stabbing them around their necks
My hands begin to itch
As I only desire to break their fucking face
I have killed so many of them
Their souls only taste the joys of hell
Misery is all that awaits them
They shall fucking die in the house of their god
Christians were born to die from the start
For they are parasites that feed from others
Violence is all I shall deliver to them
If they stand in my way I will give them incredible pain
Pain they have never felt before
I hate the christian existence
I hate the christian existence
I hate the christian existence

Glen Campbell was a practicing Messianic Jew for over two decades

Glen Campbell

(JTA) — Glen Campbell, the country music star who died at 81 on Tuesday from Alzheimer’s, grew up in rural Arkansas. The man who sang hits such as “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “By the Time I Get To Phoenix” was raised a Baptist in a family of 12.

But as the Jewish Journal pointed out, Reuters reported in 2008 that Campbell had been a Messianic Jew for the last two decades of his life. He and his wife Kim attended services at a synagogue near their home in Malibu, and they celebrated major Jewish holidays, such as Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah.

“Kim cooks a mean brisket but is still working on her matzo balls,” Dean Goodman wrote. “And grape juice subs for Manischewitz in the alcohol-free household.”

Goodman even observed a menorah and a Hebrew book in Campbell’s home.

Messianic Judaism combines Jewish traditions with the idea that Jesus Christ is the coming Messiah. “It’s Jews who believe that Christ is the risen savior,” as Campbell explained to Reuters. Some Messianic Jews want the movement to be accepted as a sect of Judaism, but mainstream Jewish movements believe the ideology is a contradiction.

Pedophile Priest Claims Child Abuse was Just an ‘Old Jewish Ritual’

A pedophile priest made the shocking claim that his child abuse was simply an ‘old Jewish ritual’.

Mauro Inzoli, the Catholic priest who was caught after being found guilty of the sexual abuse of minors brushed off his crimes as a ‘Jewish ritual from the Old Testament’.

After being disgraced, rather than turning their back on him, the Catholic church offered Inzoli an early retirement, as he was instructed to live out his days seeking a life of ‘prayer and humble discretion’ by Pope Francis.

During the trial gruesome details of the abuse was heard, that the pedophile told his victims the act was a “baptism of the testicles” and that it was a “sign of affection between father and son”.

Inzoli was tried at the Vatican court and was found guilty of the crimes regarding eight counts of sexual abuse of children aged 12 to 16 years old between 2004 and 2008.

As the Catholic church’s pedophile ring continues to be exposed, Pope Francis says he has taken a ‘zero tolerance’ stance on priests who are discovered to be child abusers.

The trial was met with errors from the start, as lawyers representing the victims called out the Vatican in 2015 for refusing to hand over important documents associated with the case.

One victim told the Cremona court Inzoli had “referred to a sort of ‘baptism of the testicles’ which he said was a Jewish ritual found in the Old Testament as a sign of affection between father and son,”.

He was instructed to pay 125,000 euros ($142,000) to the victims, but the ruling Judge Letizia Plate said that the psychological effects that the children suffered was increased by the unwillingness of some family members to believe the victims, taking the priests side instead.

Why Trump and Evangelical Christians (White Idiots, White Freemasons, Christian Zionists) Are Peas in a Pod

Donald Trump is a man of many notable qualities. He is ignorant and a brute. He has bragged about sexually assaulting women by grabbing them by their genitals. He is a serial womanizer and has been divorced several times. He has also admitted to finding his own daughter sexually attractive. He is a serial liar who adores autocrats and dictators. He may even have gone so far as to collude with Russia and Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 presidential election. Trump is also violent, moody, vain and impulsive. He does not read and is proudly ignorant.

Why would anyone support such a leader? More specifically, why would any supposed “Christian” support Donald Trump, who appears to represent the antithesis of Christian virtues in so many ways?

Writing at Talking Points Memo, editor Josh Marshall offers the following insights:

But Trump is able to take people of some apparent substance and attainment and destroy them as well. The key though is that he doesn’t destroy them. In his orbit, under some kind of spell, he makes them destroy themselves. It is always a self-destruction. He’s like a black hole. But for this there’s no ready explanation. Because what is the power? The force?

I puzzled over this for some time. Eventually I sensed that Trump wasn’t inducing people’s self-destruction so much as he was acting like a divining rod, revealing rot that existed already but was not apparent. … The rot was there but hidden. Trump is the moonlight. Perhaps better to say, to invert our metaphor, Trump is the darkness. …

This seems most palpably the case with the political evangelical community with which Trump has maintained, since early in his campaign, a profound and profoundly cynical mutual embrace. Here I use the term advisedly: I don’t mean evangelical Christians or even conservative evangelical Christians but the evangelical right political faction, which is distinct and differentNothing I have seen before has more clearly revealed this group’s moral rot than the adoration of Trump, an unchurched hedonist with the moral compass of a predator who is lauded and almost worshipped purely and entirely because he produces political deliverables.

Despite his strong words, Marshall does not go far enough. Christian evangelicals (“Dominionists” and Christian nationalists especially) support Trump because he shares their most important values.

Trump and the Republican Party are waging a crusade to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedoms.

Trump and the Republican Party want to remove constitutional and other legal barriers that limit the ability of churches and other religious organizations to engage in overt political lobbying while retaining their tax-exempt status.

Trump and the Republican Party want to destroy the social safety net and believe that wealth and money are indicators of human worth and value. A belief in the “prosperity gospel” and a crude form of Calvinism where money and wealth are signs of being among “the elect” and of God’s blessing has been endorsed by many Christian evangelical leaders.

Trump and the Republican Party embrace racism and white supremacy. Southern Baptists and other white Christian evangelical faith communities have a long and deep history of racism against people of color — especially African-Americans.

There is also a biblical-mythological dimension for why Christian evangelicals support Trump. Many right-wing Christians have convinced themselves that he is a leader in the tradition of Cyrus the Great or King David who, while being deeply flawed, can be used as an instrument of God’s will.

There is another factor, rooted in emotion and irrationality, that also helps explain evangelical Christians’ support for Donald Trump.

New research published in the Journal of Religion and Health explains it this way:

The studies, based on surveys of more than 900 people, also found some similarities between religious and non-religious people. In both groups the most dogmatic are less adept at analytical thinking, and also less likely to look at issues from other’s perspectives. … The results showed religious participants as a whole had a higher level of dogmatism, empathetic concern and prosocial intentions, while the nonreligious performed better on the measure of analytic reasoning. Decreasing empathy among the nonreligious corresponded to increasing dogmatism.

Professor Anthony Jack highlights the implications of this research for American politics: “With all this talk about fake news, the Trump administration, by emotionally resonating with people, appeals to members of its base while ignoring facts.”

Jared Friedman, a co-author of this new research, concludes, “It suggests that religious individuals may cling to certain beliefs, especially those which seem at odds with analytic reasoning, because those beliefs resonate with their moral sentiments.”

Christian evangelicals’ rejection of empirical reality and their habituation into believing the absurd and the fantastical mates perfectly with the zealotry of the broader American right, which views politics as a form of religious fundamentalism.

Faith, after all, is a matter of believing in that which cannot be proven by normal or empirical means. This definition is a perfect description of both movement conservatism and the Christian right.

Ultimately, Christian evangelicals and Donald Trump are united in an imperfect marriage because they share mutual goals. This is an unholy alliance and, as such, a perfect emblem of today’s Republican Party.

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon. His essays can also be found at Chaunceydevega.com. He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Chauncey DeVega Show. Chauncey can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews: Jesuits of Jewish Ancestry and Purity-of-Blood Laws in the Early Society of Jesus by Robert Aleksander Maryks

 

The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews is a superb study of the relationship between Jesuits and New Christians—converts from Judaism and their descendants—during the three generations after the founding of the Society of Jesus in 1540. It has long been known that many New Christians joined the Society in the sixteenth century. The opposition that this influx of New Christians inspired both within and outside the Society, however, is something of which only a few specialists have been aware until recently. James W. Reites and Francisco de Borja Medina have written important studies of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s philosemitism and of the divisions within the Society that developed after Ignatius’s death. Maryks, however, does something that no one has attempted until now—he investigates the genealogical roots of dozens of sixteenth-century Spanish and Portuguese Jesuits. Among these men were several of the most notable Jesuit intellectuals of the period, including José de Acosta, Diego Laínez, Juan de Mariana, Jerónimo Nadal, Juan Alfonso de Polanco, Pedro de Ribadeneira, and Francisco Suárez.

Maryks links his genealogical study to a sophisticated analysis of the various factions that developed within the Society as a result of the debate about the admission of New Christians. In addition, Maryks analyzes the strong opposition in court and clerical circles in Spain and Portugal as a whole to the admission of New Christians in the Society.

The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews provides a profound and convincing analysis—based on extensive archival work—of the conflict between theory and practice in the Society of Jesus. The Society’s founding documents called for an inclusive approach to the admissions process. In practice, however, discrimination in the admission of a wide range of minorities—including not only New Christians but also Asians, Africans, Amerindians, and mestizos—was widespread.

The debate about New Christians hinged on the interpretation, by individual Jesuits, of Ignatius’s intentions. Drawing on their direct contacts with Ignatius, on their understanding of the Institute of the Society, or on both, Jesuits on both sides of the debate about New Christians asserted that they sought to adopt the policy that Ignatius would have adopted had he been alive in the 1570s, when the debate threatened to produce a schism in the Society.

The vocal minority in the Society that opposed the admission of New Christians gained strength at the Third General Congregation in 1573, when it prevented the election of Polanco to succeed Francisco de Borja as Superior General. Opponents of Polanco said that they wished to elect the [End Page 355] first non-Spanish Superior General, but their true goal—to prevent the election of a New Christian—was clear to all the electors. The new Superior General, Everard Mercurian, removed influential New Christians from their administrative posts in Rome and ordered them to return to Spain.

At the Fifth General Congregation in 1593, the electors voted to exclude men of Jewish and Muslim descent from the Society. Acosta cast one of only two dissenting votes. Maryks provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the bitter debate surrounding the passage of the exclusion decree. Several notable Jesuits, including Ribadeneira and Antonio Possevino (an Italian who was likely of Jewish descent), mounted an eloquent defense of the principle of nondiscrimination in general and of the admission of New Christians in particular. The decree was modified slightly in 1608 to ensure that investigations of lineages not extend beyond five generations, but it was not formally rescinded until 1946.

Ironically, as Maryks notes, Mercurian’s marginalization of the New Christians gave several of these Jesuits—notably Nadal, Polanco, and Ribadneira—the opportunity to explore interests that they had not previously had time to pursue. During the next forty years, these men produced a brilliant collection of writings—ranging from history and biography to…

The Real Reason Evangelicals (White Idiots, White Freemasons, Christian Zionists) Are So Worshipful of Donald Trump

Donald Trump is a man of many notable qualities. He is ignorant and a brute. He has bragged about sexually assaulting women by grabbing them by their genitals. He is a serial womanizer and has been divorced several times. He has also admitted to finding his own daughter sexually attractive. He is a serial liar who adores autocrats and dictators. He may even have gone so far as to collude with Russia and Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 presidential election. Trump is also violent, moody, vain and impulsive. He does not read and is proudly ignorant.

Why would anyone support such a leader? More specifically, why would any supposed “Christian” support Donald Trump, who appears to represent the antithesis of Christian virtues in so many ways?

Writing at Talking Points Memo, editor Josh Marshall offers the following insights:

But Trump is able to take people of some apparent substance and attainment and destroy them as well. The key though is that he doesn’t destroy them. In his orbit, under some kind of spell, he makes them destroy themselves. It is always a self-destruction. He’s like a black hole. But for this there’s no ready explanation. Because what is the power? The force?

I puzzled over this for some time. Eventually I sensed that Trump wasn’t inducing people’s self-destruction so much as he was acting like a divining rod, revealing rot that existed already but was not apparent. … The rot was there but hidden. Trump is the moonlight. Perhaps better to say, to invert our metaphor, Trump is the darkness. …

This seems most palpably the case with the political evangelical community with which Trump has maintained, since early in his campaign, a profound and profoundly cynical mutual embrace. Here I use the term advisedly: I don’t mean evangelical Christians or even conservative evangelical Christians but the evangelical right political faction, which is distinct and differentNothing I have seen before has more clearly revealed this group’s moral rot than the adoration of Trump, an unchurched hedonist with the moral compass of a predator who is lauded and almost worshipped purely and entirely because he produces political deliverables.

Despite his strong words, Marshall does not go far enough. Christian evangelicals (“Dominionists” and Christian nationalists especially) support Trump because he shares their most important values.

Trump and the Republican Party are waging a crusade to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedoms.

Trump and the Republican Party want to remove constitutional and other legal barriers that limit the ability of churches and other religious organizations to engage in overt political lobbying while retaining their tax-exempt status.

Trump and the Republican Party want to destroy the social safety net and believe that wealth and money are indicators of human worth and value. A belief in the “prosperity gospel” and a crude form of Calvinism where money and wealth are signs of being among “the elect” and of God’s blessing has been endorsed by many Christian evangelical leaders.

Trump and the Republican Party embrace racism and white supremacy. Southern Baptists and other white Christian evangelical faith communities have a long and deep history of racism against people of color — especially African-Americans.

There is also a biblical-mythological dimension for why Christian evangelicals support Trump. Many right-wing Christians have convinced themselves that he is a leader in the tradition of Cyrus the Great or King David who, while being deeply flawed, can be used as an instrument of God’s will.

There is another factor, rooted in emotion and irrationality, that also helps explain evangelical Christians’ support for Donald Trump.

New research published in the Journal of Religion and Health explains it this way:

The studies, based on surveys of more than 900 people, also found some similarities between religious and non-religious people. In both groups the most dogmatic are less adept at analytical thinking, and also less likely to look at issues from other’s perspectives. … The results showed religious participants as a whole had a higher level of dogmatism, empathetic concern and prosocial intentions, while the nonreligious performed better on the measure of analytic reasoning. Decreasing empathy among the nonreligious corresponded to increasing dogmatism.

Professor Anthony Jack highlights the implications of this research for American politics: “With all this talk about fake news, the Trump administration, by emotionally resonating with people, appeals to members of its base while ignoring facts.”

Jared Friedman, a co-author of this new research, concludes, “It suggests that religious individuals may cling to certain beliefs, especially those which seem at odds with analytic reasoning, because those beliefs resonate with their moral sentiments.”

Christian evangelicals’ rejection of empirical reality and their habituation into believing the absurd and the fantastical mates perfectly with the zealotry of the broader American right, which views politics as a form of religious fundamentalism.

Faith, after all, is a matter of believing in that which cannot be proven by normal or empirical means. This definition is a perfect description of both movement conservatism and the Christian right.

Ultimately, Christian evangelicals and Donald Trump are united in an imperfect marriage because they share mutual goals. This is an unholy alliance and, as such, a perfect emblem of today’s Republican Party.

 

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon. His essays can also be found at Chaunceydevega.com. He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Chauncey DeVega Show. Chauncey can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

Jews Are Saved Even Without Believing in Christ, Vatican Claims

http://www.christianpost.com/news/jews-saved-heaven-salvation-without-jesus-christ-vatican-claims-pope-francis-israel-152306/

(PHOTO: OSSERVATORE ROMANO/REUTERS)Pope Francis shakes hands with Israeli Rabbi David Lau during a meeting in Jerusalem, May 26, 2014.

 

The Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews has released a major new document claiming that Jews are saved even without believing in Jesus Christ.

The theological document, titled “The Gifts and Calling of God are irrevocable,” was presented by a group of Catholic and Jewish leaders during a press conference at the Vatican on Thursday.

“That the Jews are participants in God’s salvation is theologically unquestionable, but how that can be possible without confessing Christ explicitly, is and remains an unfathomable divine mystery,” the document argues, in part.

The theologians, including Cardinal Kurt Koch and Fr. Norbert Hofmann of the Vatican Commission, reflect on that “mystery,” but note that Catholic doctrine rejects that there can be more than one path to God.

“Since God has never revoked his covenant with his people Israel, there cannot be different paths or approaches to God’s salvation,” they add.

“The theory that there may be two different paths to salvation, the Jewish path without Christ and the path with the Christ, whom Christians believe is Jesus of Nazareth, would in fact endanger the foundations of Christian faith.”

The document further talks of a “highly complex theological question” in how “Christian belief in the universal salvific significance of Jesus Christ can be combined in a coherent way with the equally clear statement of faith in the never-revoked covenant of God with Israel.”

The Vatican also says that conversion outreach efforts by Christians toward Jewish people are a “very delicate and sensitive matter.”

It says that it “neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed toward Jews,” but at the same time notes that Christians are “called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews.”

The text concludes by stating that Jews and Christians come together through “humanitarian aid for justice and peace in the world” in which they “bear witness to the loving care of God.”

“No longer in confrontational opposition but cooperating side by side, Jews and Christians should seek to strive for a better world,” it states, adding the words of Pope John Paul II from November 1980, when the pontiff said that Jews and Christians must commit themselves together for peace for all people, “with the fullness and depth that God Himself intended us to have, and with the readiness for sacrifices that this goal may demand.”

Israeli news site Arutz Sheva said that Catholic-Jewish relations have been improved under Pope Francis, who once jointly published a book on ethics, morality and faith with his long-standing friend and Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka.

Francis is also to become the third pope in history to visit Rome’s main synagogue on Jan. 17, 2016.

Back in September, Francis greeted the Jewish community around the world on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement on the Hebrew calendar.

“I would like to send my greetings to the Hebrew community, to our Jewish brothers, for whom today is a sacred day, Yom Kippur,” Francis said during a visit to Washington D.C. “I hope the Lord brings down his blessing of peace and will keep in life and holiness, according to the Word of the Lord we have heard today: Be Holy, for I am Holy,” he added.