So much was going on for me this summer, that I just wasn't in the mood to deal with any United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) or Vatican-generated chazzarai about Catholic-Jewish relations.
More specifically, I'd just calmed down about the SSPX situation when the USCCB issued its June statement, "A Note on Ambiguities Contained in Reflections on Covenant and Mission." I read and printed out a few news reports, then set them aside. Didn't read the original document. Shame on "Jewish in identity, Christian in faith, and Catholic in religious practice" me for not paying attention.
Even more shame on me for only glancing at news reports about the U.S. Catholic Bishops voting to ask the Vatican "to approve a small change" in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. The small change? Striking this sentence: "Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them." (p. 131).
What they kept in is a pile o' words that includes a quote from Paul's letter to the church in Rome (Romans 9:4-5). Read that scripture snippet in context and you'll find yet another great example of, revealed especially in his use of pronouns, Paul's own identity-faith issues. Have I mentioned lately that I'm glad it's no longer the Year of St. Paul?
And of course every other commentator jumped all over this story. I let it slide when it was reported first on August 12 and two weeks later when the USCCB received Vatican Recognitio for this change. So what finally prompted me to yank my head out of the sand?
I dunno. Maybe it's because I'd just finished explaining -- to a Catholic who had to look up the word -- that supercessionism is, at long last, considered a disreputable theological stance. (Making a comeback?) Or, maybe it's because I read Rocco Palmo recent post about the Vatican announcing that its teachings about the Jewish people are "not negotiable." (Oh really?)
More likely it's because all this interfaith dishabille seems especially distressing as Rosh Hashonah approaches. I really do prefer the new year include stuff worth celebrating. In the domain of Catholic-Jewish relations, this is hardly the case. I'm counting it all oy.