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Our readers asked:

Do Catholics Believe That Jews Can Get to Heaven?

Thomas Ryan, CSP Answers:

Question: I am wondering about Jewish people, my son is marrying a Jewish girl soon, If Jews don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God In the second person of the trinity, how will they get to Heaven?  I was taught that one must believe In Jesus as the mediator between God and us.

There is a lot of discussion and debate in the church today about the question you raise. On September 1, 2002, a Christian Scholars Group published the following consensus statement:

“For centuries, Christians claimed that their covenant with God replaced or superseded the Jewish covenant. We renounce this claim. We believe that God does not revoke divine promises. We affirm that God is in covenant with both Jews and Christians. Tragically, the entrenched theology of super-sessionism continues to influence Christian faith, worship, practice, even though it has been repudiated by many Christian denominations and many Christians no longer accept it. Our recognition of the abiding validity of Judaism has implications for all aspects of Christian life.

“Christians meet God’s saving power in the person of Jesus Christ and believe that this power is available to all people in him. Christians have therefore taught for centuries that salvation is available only through Jesus Christ. With their recent realization that God’s covenant with the Jewish people is eternal, Christians can now recognize in the Jewish tradition the redemptive power of God at work. If Jews, who do not share our faith in Christ, are in a saving covenant with God, then Christians need new ways of understanding the universal significance of Christ.”

For development of these perspectives, consult the work of the Christian Scholars Group at the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College. www.bc.edu/cjlearning

Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP is the Director for the Paulist Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs

 
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The Author : Thomas Ryan, CSP
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP, directs the Paulist North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in Washington, D.C.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Bob Kechlin

    nobody knows what comes after life, if anything. Man needs to be humble enough to admit that. Religions are the work of man’s imagination. The Bible is blasphemy, it portrays god as a mass murdering killer of children, women, the innocent, an angry petty, jealous god with no respect for humanity. Look how many times he murders his Jews? This ancient nonsense should have died a long time ago.

  • john

    I love ya “moose”

    I knew there must be a place for me to go to
    after death

  • ran

    Jews do not in the Jesus, period. Christians believe in Jesus Christ that’s why they are called christians, no man can come to the father except he believes in him. End of story now judge which one is right.

    • http://www.facebook.com/michael.salvini Michael Salvini

      Exactly….The Catholic Church has been on a slippery course of justification that goes directly against Gospel. It is one way or the other, the law can only be interpreted in the most Orthodox way, “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Is there confusion with this?

  • Rebel

    If you truly believe in God with all your heart and soul then it is God and God alone who will judge you. We can spend our days trying to be Christ-like, but we can’t be Christ. Nor can we know the mind of God. Each believer has a unique relationship with God and it is that relationship that should sustain us in our daily lives. God bless all.

  • dameian

    isnt catholism the same as judaism it or almost the same they have alot in common?

  • Elliot .S

    Those who fallow the Jewish faith love God ad the base of who they are. Did God not command to be loved? Just as important, Jesus taught us to love one another. I think people over think things. I listen to my heart and it tells me he loves all. Good enough for me.

  • happyceltic

    I would say that we must be careful as to thinking wecan read Gods mind. After al He is all knowning and all powerfull their for it is possible for him to allow what he wants no matter what we think

  • chuck romer

    well jesus was a jew and he made it

    i believe anyone can get to heaven if he accepts Jesus as his LORD AND Savior

    i am sorry but the only one i read in the bible to pray to is Jesus since he is the ONLY way to heaven

  • mike

    moose…lol, “who ya gonna call?”

  • moose

    Gee Mike, If I didn’t know better your last message sounds like dialogue right out of the movie “Ghost Busters”.

  • mike

    Our Lady of La Salette…. Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist. The Church will be in an eclipse
    You Ecumenical madmen are destroying our church!!! But Marys Immaculate Heart will prevail !!!!

  • mike

    Matthew Chapter 21…..42.Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected

    has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’? 43. Therefore, I say to you,

    the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit. 45. When the chief priests

    and the Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them. Sounds to me, the Jews lost their covenant????

    • Robert Pentangelo

      Amen, brother.

  • Daisy

    Since Jesus was Jewish, shouldn’t the question more properly be, “Can Christians who reject their Jewish heritage get into Heaven?”? As far as I know, Jesus never rejected his heritage, he only reformed it into love and forgiveness – redemption.

  • moose

    Thanks Don,

    I’m glad someone got my point.

    p.s. Gnostic heretic, Basilides????
    Sure, he’s right up there on my
    top ten list of heretics!

  • Don Ald

    Right on, moose.
    We need a sense of humor in all this…

  • Bugsy

    CW, Christ died to redeem the world, not just the Jews. He did that by expanding, not abolishing the Covenant God made with Israel. The Gospels never have the Lord trying to abolish the Mosaic, his probelm was with people folling the letter of the Law and not the Spirit of the Law. The Framer’s intent, completely flew over their heads. It was St. Paul who tried to prohibit the expansion of the letter of Mosaic Law to the new gentile converts; don’t read into his words anything more than that. The religion of Jesus is Love and Forgiveness. Zeb, you are completely right. Temple Judaism (1st Century) is radically different than Pharasaic Judaism of today; it ads accepted the Love and Forgiveness elements of Christianity. Moose, no, Heaven is heaven, unless you believe in the doctrines of the Gnostic heretic, Basilides.

  • moose

    Of course Jews can get to heaven.
    They just go to the Jewish Heaven, right?

  • Zeb

    I’m not a Christian Scholar but it seems to me that Jesus did not start a new religion, rather he refined and perfected Judaism. Judaism had evolved tremendously over the 2,000 years before Jesus, so his coming and his teachings may not have been a radical break, rather the next true step in the evolution of Judaism. Contemporary Judaism is so far from what 1st century Jews practiced that I don’t see why they would be covered by the “Jewish covenant” independently of the “Christian covenant.” Is Heaven or eternal life is a part of the covenant enunciated in the OT anyway? There is no salvation outside of Christ – Jews are saved by Christ despite their doubts about him.

  • Ivan Tretiak

    Very good and balanced answer. It is nice to see some people making links between the two religions rather then judging them. As said before on the busted halo, people are too often stuck into the basic theory of catholicism ( which I often call catholic 101) believing that a two line statement should contradict 200 pages of the bible which proves the similitudes between jews and christian.

    Thank you for increasing my faith in cahotlicism and in its awsome power of tolerance, respect and understanding.

  • Carson Weber

    If the Jews are in a saving covenant with God, then why would Jesus Christ need to die so that they could be released from the curses of the Mosaic Law? Helloooo…

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