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So, I was reading one of the letters of St. Paul today and I am paraphrasing here but he says that the Jews cannot be justified unless they believe in Jesus Christ. Now, I know Popes and Cardinals and Bishops and Priests are a lot smarter than I am and they know a lot more about theology then I ever will but to me, Paul is saying unless the Jews believe in Jesus they will not go to Heaven. Yet, the VII popes and many Cardinals, Bishops and Priests say that the Jews go to Heaven just because they are Jews. This sounds like a heresy to me, but I am just a dumb lay man.

Where am I going wrong?

(03-01-2010, 02:37 PM)Petertherock Wrote: [ -> ]So, I was reading one of the letters of St. Paul today and I am paraphrasing here but he says that the Jews cannot be justified unless they believe in Jesus Christ. Now, I know Popes and Cardinals and Bishops and Priests are a lot smarter than I am and they know a lot more about theology then I ever will but to me, Paul is saying unless the Jews believe in Jesus they will not go to Heaven. Yet, the VII popes and many Cardinals, Bishops and Priests say that the Jews go to Heaven just because they are Jews. This sounds like a heresy to me, but I am just a dumb lay man.

Where am I going wrong?

The Church does not say otherwise. You are not going wrong. The Popes do not teach contrary to the Church on this matter.
I agree, you are not going wrong, they must profess belief in Jesus Christ to be saved, take a look at someone like St. Edith Stein, she suffered a great deal from her family because she converted to Catholicism.

I also got into an argument once in my Sacred Doctrine class at Ave Maria University with one of the professors who seemed to be making the claim that Jews have an implicit belief in Jesus Christ because they desire to believe in a true messiah for their religion. But I vehemently contended him on this point since it obviously wrong in many ways.

Anyway, Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.
(03-01-2010, 02:37 PM)Petertherock Wrote: [ -> ]Popes [...] say that the Jews go to Heaven just because they are Jews.

What Popes? I would really like to see if there is evidence that any Pope has explicitly made this claim. I am sure there have been plenty of bishops and even cardinals to do so, but Popes? John XXIII never said this, Paul VI I am pretty sure never said this. JPII? I highly doubt it. As much as he was very ecumenist in his actions he never went so far to actually say something that heretical. And the idea of Benedict XVI saying that is laughable.
Benedict XVI, God and the World 2000, pages 150-151

"...their No to Christ brings the Israelites into conflict with the subsequent acts of God,but at the same time we are assured of the faithfulness of God.  They are not excluded from salvation..."


John Paul II Redemptoris Missio December 1990

"The Redemption event brings salvation to all, for each one is included in the mystery of the redemption and with each one Christ has united Himself forever through this mystery..."

One can see why Peter might be confused.




(03-01-2010, 06:24 PM)quoprimumV Wrote: [ -> ]Benedict XVI, God and the World 2000, pages 150-151

"...their No to Christ brings the Israelites into conflict with the subsequent acts of God,but at the same time we are assured of the faithfulness of God.  They are not excluded from salvation..."


John Paul II Redemptoris Missio December 1990

"The Redemption event brings salvation to all, for each one is included in the mystery of the redemption and with each one Christ has united Himself forever through this mystery..."

One can see why Peter might be confused.


True, these quotes are very misleading out of context. I do not believe these popes have said that the Jews are not outside salvation, but they have not done a good job making the truth clear about the issue either.
I don't think its out of context.  Here is is further down in the encyclical where John Paul II clarifies that statement....

"10. The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the gospel revelation or to enter the Church. The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions. For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his Sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation.

For this reason the Council, after affirming the centrality of the Paschal Mystery, went on to declare that "this applies not only to Christians but to all people of good will in whose hearts grace is secretly at work. Since Christ died for everyone, and since the ultimate calling of each of us comes from God and is therefore a universal one, we are obliged to hold that the Holy Spirit offers everyone the possibility of sharing in this Paschal Mystery in a manner known to God."

Compare the above  with some of the Infallible decrees given earlier by the Church on Outside the Church there is no salvation, (Extra Ecclesia Nulla Sallus) then it is very easy to see the confusion.   

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, “Cantate Domino,” 1441, ex cathedra: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives…”


Underlining is mine.

(03-01-2010, 02:37 PM)Petertherock Wrote: [ -> ]So, I was reading one of the letters of St. Paul today and I am paraphrasing here but he says that the Jews cannot be justified unless they believe in Jesus Christ. Now, I know Popes and Cardinals and Bishops and Priests are a lot smarter than I am and they know a lot more about theology then I ever will but to me, Paul is saying unless the Jews believe in Jesus they will not go to Heaven. Yet, the VII popes and many Cardinals, Bishops and Priests say that the Jews go to Heaven just because they are Jews. This sounds like a heresy to me, but I am just a dumb lay man.

Where am I going wrong?

Which letter?  Because Romans (for instance) doesn't give that interpretation. 
(03-01-2010, 02:37 PM)Petertherock Wrote: [ -> ]So, I was reading one of the letters of St. Paul today and I am paraphrasing here but he says that the Jews cannot be justified unless they believe in Jesus Christ. Now, I know Popes and Cardinals and Bishops and Priests are a lot smarter than I am and they know a lot more about theology then I ever will but to me, Paul is saying unless the Jews believe in Jesus they will not go to Heaven. Yet, the VII popes and many Cardinals, Bishops and Priests say that the Jews go to Heaven just because they are Jews. This sounds like a heresy to me, but I am just a dumb lay man.

Where am I going wrong?

It would be easier to answer your dilemma (if this is dilemma et not just an attack against the 'papists') if you would be so kind to quote Paul

Here are some random passages Paul mentions the Jews:

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and to the Greek.
Romans 2:9 Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek. 10 But glory, and honour, and peace to every one that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon him.
Romans 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also.
Ga 1:14  And I made progress in the Jews' religion above many of my equals in my own nation, being more abundantly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
Gal 2:16 But knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; we also believe in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

In Paul's time there were three kind of Jews:

- those who were enemies of the Christians, these were condemned by Paul

- those who became Christians (those were prised by Paul

- those who were indifferent for the Christianity, mostly because did not heard about it (I found no reference to this Jews in the Bible).

I found also no reference in the recent Papal statement which would deny the Council of Florence, that the enemies of the Christianity would not be saved (unless they repent before death)

Please, come up with details.
I don't know which of St. Paul's letters Peter refers to, but the Gospel of St. John is pretty clear and in these cases he is quoting Our Lord Himself.

For God so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son; that whoseoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. John 1:16

He that believeth in the Son hath life everlasting; but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.  John 1:36
That all men may honor the Son, as they honor the Father.  He who honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father, who hath sent him.  John 5:23

This is the work of God, that you believe in whom he hath sent. John 6:29

And this is the will of my Father that sent me; that every one who seeth the SOn and believeth in him, may have life everlasting, and I will raise him up in the last day. John 6:40

For if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sin, John 8:24

He that despiseth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. John 12:48

No man cometh to the Father, but by me.  John 14:6

He that hateth me, hateth my Father also John 15:23

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