Thursday, August 21, 2008
In a just discovered Catholic News Service Brief from August 12, the U.S. bishops have proposed a change to CCC 839. The change, subject to Vatican approval, "would remove from the catechism a sentence that reads: "Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them."
The replacement would read: "To the Jewish people, whom God first chose to hear his word, 'belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ".
The USCCB website addressing this change tells the faithful:
"Talking points" distributed to the bishops...said the proposed revision "is not a change in the church's teaching."
"Catholics understand that all previous covenants that God made with the Jewish people have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ through the new covenant established through his sacrificial death on the cross," the talking points say.
"The prior version of the text," they continue, "might be understood to imply that one of the former covenants imparts salvation without the mediation of Christ, whom Christians believe to be the universal savior of all people."
This must be a change from a more recent version of the CCC than the one I have, since that sentence--"Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them."--does not appear in the text of mine which reads:
"Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways.The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, "the first to hear the Word of God." The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises, to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ"; "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."
The change in wording appears to signal a rejection of dual covenant theology that has been the subject of such hot debate on the part of Robert Sungenis and his opponents. It, to me, is a very big deal, yet this change in wording has been slipped through with very little fanfare. Interesting.