Pope Francis at Rome synagogue: God’s covenant with Jews ‘irrevocable’

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Pope Francis gestures at the end of his visit at Rome's Great Synagogue, Italy January 17, 2016. Photo by Alessandro Bianchi courtesy of Reuters

Pope Francis gestures at the end of his visit at Rome's Great Synagogue, Italy January 17, 2016. Photo by Alessandro Bianchi courtesy of Reuters

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ROME (RNS) On his first visit to Rome's main synagogue, Francis stressed the "transformation" in Catholic-Jewish relations and said they must work against Middle Ease violence.

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  • “Every human being, as a creature of God, is our brother, regardless of his or her origin or religious affiliation,” – Pope Francis


    Too bad “The Word of God” disagrees with Pope Francis:

    “the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us…THEY DO NOT PLEASE GOD, and are contrary to all men…for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”
    PAUL (1 Thessalonians 2:14)

    I call this incendiary, bigoted anti-semitic hatred and I condemn it.
    Why won’t Christians condemn it? Denounce these epistles.

    in THE SCRIPTURAL WORD OF GOD (an obviously arbitrary designation) if you have decided it isn’t the word of God after all?

    “Avoid them!” – (Romans 16:16)

    So one must choose the wishful Pope or the bigoted Bible.

    Or dispose of both and just be good for goodness sake.

  • Marilyn

    The Pope says contrary to God’s Word:
    Catholic Douay Bible says:
    Matthew 23: 37 -39
    “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not? Behold, your house shall be left to you, desolate. For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

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  • Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Ahimsa is the way forward. Violence is no good. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth can only create further disabilities.

  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    You are right, Marilyn–the bible can be and has been used to justify all kinds of hatreds; and the result of using the bible that way has been the same, over and over and over again: hatred and more hatred, violence and more violence; and in the case of the Jews, horrible mass murder by people calling themselves Christians.

    Do you seriously believe that’s the message of the bible – of the Gospel of Jesus, whom you quote above; or do you think there may be an alternative way to read and think about that passage and the many passages we use to justify our hatreds?

    That way of reading and using the bible is common enough; but does it point us forward in a way that we want our children to live with? Do you really believe that’s the message of Jesus?

    Surely we’ve seen more than enough violence in the name of Jesus, and can find a way forward without hatred?

  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    One more thought, Marilyn: maybe–just maybe–your using biblical text in that way is exactly what the passage is about: maybe you’re stoning one of the prophets.

    Maybe that ancient proverb of the sages is some the best advice of all: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.

  • MaryLou Scherer

    The more I hear religious leaders and their followers the more I am glad to be a Pastafarian

  • Ben in oakland

    We are told repeatedly that god’s word never changes. So does god hate the Jews or does God love the Jews.

    tHe New Testament is just jam packed with antisemitism.

    Gods word never changes. Except when it does.

  • Jack

    Max, you’re a lying sack of….er…..potatoes.

    Every time you post I Thessalonians 2:14 in grotesquely mistranslated form, I correct you. Major modern translations, including the New King James Version, have long made the correction….they base their change on modern scholarship.

    Yet each time I correct you, you go right back to the mistranslation, like a dog returning to its vomit.

    There is one main group of people who do as you do — neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. It’s their favorite mistranslation in the entire Bible. It is very curious that you are following their lead in spreading the hate.

    Both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament teach that the Jews were, are, and will forever be God’s people, and that His covenant with them is indeed “irrevocable.” Pope Francis lifted those very words from Paul’s eloquent and powerful attack on anti-Semitism in Romans 11. I believe the Pope is quoting from verse 28.

  • Jack

    Wrong Marilyn. You cherry-pick Bible verses, found in both the Hebrew Bible & New Testament, where God gets tough on His people — not for being uniquely bad, but for imitating the ways of peoples far worse than they are. People like you, for example.

    But you conveniently leave out the big and final picture, how in the end, God never gives up on his people and keeps His unconditional covenant with them, and promises a glorious future for them.

    You have to be dishonest in the extreme to ignore how, in book after book in the Bible, the ending is one of hope, encouragement, and ultimate reconciliation, no matter how individuals behave.

    To his credit, Pope Francis is rejecting the sordid history of his church in terms of its teachings against the Jews. He is putting the Bible first, and erroneous church teachings last. Like Pope John Paul II and other post-Vatican II pontiffs, he is embracing Biblical facts and reality on this issue.

  • Jack

    Ben, you are flatly wrong on this….read honestly and without the bigotry of a dejudaized church, it is not anti-Semitic in the least. Part of the problem is a host of glaring mistranslations through the centuries, mistranslations resulting from the erroneous, non-Biblical doctrine of replacement theology.

    The mistranslations were so glaring, in fact, that I’ll bet that if I selected 100 people at random, who knew absolutely nothing about the Bible, and requested that they compare the mistranslations to the corrected translations, and asked them which sounded more logical within a given sentence or verse, all 100 would choose the corrected translation. It is really that bad, that egregious, and that self-evidently inaccurate.

    In other words, the gap between the history of anti-Semitism in Euro-Christendom and the reality of what the NT actually says is simply gargantuan. A failure to address the gap is intellectual dishonesty on parade.

  • John

    Hello, everybody, belivers, unbelivers etc, brothers in Christ !

    I consider you are interested in our Lord Jesus Christ, somehow.

    There is no man without sin, irrespective of nation, language, religion, sex, social position etc.

    Through our faith in The Lord and Saviour Jesus we are given the possibility to become right, sinless.

    “22This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
    23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    24and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.(Romans chapter 3).

    May our Lord Jesus Christ be exalted, every moment !
    May His Heavenly Father be exalted, every moment !
    May The Holy Spirit of Truth, The Comforter be exalted, every moment !
    May The Holy Virgin Mary, Jesus’s Mother be exalted, every moment !
    May all God’s friends be exalted !

  • Rosie S.

    The Jewish Talmud also contains racist, bigoted and mean-spirited hate passages. What should be do about that? When will the Jews repudiate this book?

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