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Can Jews safely reside in Western society?
The Vatican recently announced that it would convene a synod of bishops to revisit the problem of theological anti-Judaism. This will be the second time since the Holocaust that the Vatican addressed the issue. The first synod, twenty years after the liberation of Auschwitz, produced Nostra Aetate, a document that urged clergy to interpret basal Christian documents as not blaming contemporary Jews for the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Since anti-Semitism failed to decline in the wake of Nostra Aetate and is experiencing resurgence in Christian Europe, the need for the new synod is clear. But will the 2007 synod more directly address the substance of theological anti-Judaism, the gospel accusations of deicide than it did 42 years ago? As reported by Reuters, the guidelines for the 2007 synod will follow the same path as its predecessor and will again recommend clergy "interpret" the offending gospels as not blaming present day Jews of responsibility for the death of Jesus.
For nearly 2,000 years, since evolving from Jewish sect to independent religion, Christianity has struggled with Judaism's continuing existence. According to Christian basal writings, Jesus was a believing Jew whose mission was not to the pagans but to his own people. That his mission failed to convince the Jews posed an existential problem for the emergent religion: How could this failure be understood if Jesus was God's son and Jewish messiah? Since God is infallible and supra historical, how could He have failed to foresee this outcome?
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