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Vatican responds to Jewish leaders’ concerns about Pope’s remarks on the Law

August 31, 2021

» Continue to this story on Vatican News

CWN Editor's Note: In his August 11 general audience on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians and the Mosaic law, Pope Francis said, “The Law, however, does not give life, it does not offer the fulfillment of the promise because it is not capable of being able to fulfill it. . . . .Those who seek life need to look to the promise and to its fulfillment in Christ.”

Rabbi Rasson Arousi, chair of the Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel for Dialogue with the Holy See, spoke on behalf of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in responding, “The Pope presents the Christian faith as not just superseding the Torah; but asserts that the latter no longer gives life, implying that Jewish religious practice in the present era is rendered obsolete. This is in effect part and parcel of the ‘teaching of contempt’ towards Jews and Judaism that we had thought had been fully repudiated by the Church.”

Responding indirectly to the Chief Rabbinate’s concerns, the Vatican has published “Law and grace for Jews and Christians,” a brief article by Argentine Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, a close collaborator with the Pope. Archbishop Fernández writes that “Jewish traditions also recognize that fulfilling the Law in its entirety requires a transformation that starts in the heart.”

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