Lisa Palmieri-Billig, représentante en Italie et auprès du Saint Siège de l’American Jewish Committee, livre ses réflexions à La Stampa – Vatican Insider, suite à la publication la semaine passée d’un document à l’occasion des 50 ans de Nostra Aetate (voitr le billet de la Tribune de Terre Sainte sur ce sujet).
“A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of ‘‘Nostra Aetate’’ (no.4) is the subtitle of this most impressive new document, issued by the Pontifical Commission on Religious Relations with the Jews. And indeed, it is a “reflection” and not an “official document of the Teachings of the Church” as both Cardinal Kurt Koch and Rev. Norbert Hofmann (respectively President and Secretary of the Commission) emphasized at the official presentation. Perhaps the reason for the stressed distinction is that some key theological concepts related to the Catholic-Jewish dialogue remain “divine mysteries.”
At least three central “divine mysteries” emerge from the text. Firstly, the affirmation that the two separate Covenants, that of Abraham and his descendants in the Hebrew Bible (Torah) and that of Christians in the New Testament, (the “Old” and the “New”) are not self-contradictory but both, paradoxically, eternally valid, is a theological mystery deriving from the “irrevocable” attribute attached to the “Gifts and Calling of God”, as per the title’s reference to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Secondly, although the directives against missionary activities directed towards Jews is implicit in previous documents, this is the first time a Vatican document clearly forbids it by stating that “the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews”. Christians are thus instructed that they are “nonetheless called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews” but “they should do so in a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God’s Word, and particularly in view of the great tragedy of the Shoah.” Thirdly, lack of Jewish belief in the divinity of Jesus no longer bars Jews from salvation: “…it does not in any way follow that the Jews are excluded from God’s salvation because they do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God” and “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 also acknowledges that the Torah is to Jews what Christ is to Christians.)
La suite de ce document sur le site de La Stampa – Vatican Insider.