So glad I waited a month before following up my Recognito post. That post was about how in June, the U.S. Catholic Bishops (USCCB) managed to set Catholic-Jewish relations back a few years/decades/centuries.
First, they messed around with the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. Then, after being busted for insensitivity, the putzim issued a clarification.
How does issuing a Statement of Principles for Catholic-Jewish Dialogue (October 2, 2009) make it all better? It doesn't. . . not even with this reassurance:
"Jewish-Catholic dialogue, one of the blessed fruits of the Second Vatican Council, has never been and will never be used by the Catholic Church as a means of proselytism -- nor is it intended as a disguised invitation to baptism."
Can the USCCB possibly be more out of touch with what's going on within certain (growing) sectors of the U.S. Catholic population?
Before convicting me for being too tough on the Roman Catholic Church, please compare and contrast this piece posted on Spero News (dateline: October 6) with this one on the Catholic News Agency website (dateline: October 8).
If deep text analysis is your thing, notice how each Catholic news service organizes information, uses quotes from the Statement, and provides links to resources. If that's too darn exegetical for you, then take a deep breath and scroll down to comments posted on the CNA site. Here are a few excerpts:
"Frankly, I'm getting tired of Jewish people telling the Catholic Church what it can pray, believe, and teach."
"Incidents like this always leave me wondering whether Christian-Jewish dialogue is even worth the effort. It gives the impression, in fact, that what passes for dialogue is really just a Jewish monologue with a Christian audience."
"More Apostasy, cowardice,and caving in to the Jews from the USCCB. The Old covenant is dead!!! Our Lord is the fulfilment [sic] of the old covenant."
Despite artfully worded proclamations, anti-Judaism (i.e., hatred of the Jewish religion) and anti-Semitism (i.e., hatred of Jews as an ethnic group) are alive and sick. At least one disturbingly hefty segment of the Catholic population is clue-free about the debt of gratitude all Christians owe to Judaism and the Jewish people.
I suppose I should, in some bizarre way, be grateful for validating proof of persistent ignorance about Jews and Judaism. Instead, I'm mostly annoyed and discouraged by bungled communications from those entrusted with church leadership.
If the USCCB can't adhere to the standard set forth in Matthew 7:12 when they attempt to clarify Catholic-Jewish dialogue, they should at least consider adopting this one from the Hippocratic Corpus: "First, do no harm."