Thursday, October 29, 2009

Catholic bishops to edit interfaith document

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says it will remove language from a document that caused "serious concern" among Jewish leaders.

A coalition of five Jewish organizations had written the bishops in August taking issue with a recent conference statement that described interfaith dialogue as an implicit invitation to baptism and appeared to say that the Mosaic covenant with God was obsolete.

In a letter to the Jewish groups, the bishops said it would change the document to eliminate the disputed passage and affirmed that Catholic-Jewish dialogue "has never been and will never be used by the Catholic Church as a means of proselytism ... nor is it a disguised invitation to baptism."

They also said the Mosaic covenant -- a conditional covenant made between God and the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19-24) -- "endures till the present day."

"We welcome the fact that the bishops not only heard our concerns, but are making efforts to be responsive to them," the coalition said in a statement.

"We were deeply troubled by the original wording of this document and hope this will now put our dialogue back on a positive track."

The coalition consists of the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the National Council of Synagogues, the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America.

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