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The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

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Our readers asked:

Should a Jewish convert to Catholicism continue to celebrate Passover and Chanukah?

Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D. Answers:

There is no requirement that Jewish converts continue to celebrate Jewish liturgical feasts once they have been baptized. Most Jewish converts I know do not. It’s not that such things are forbidden , strictly speaking; it’s just that many do not feel the need given the new context in which they are living. It’s not so much a rejection of their past as it is an embracing of their new life in Christ (cf. Galatians 3:19-29). Of course, much depends on a person’s family history and cultural heritage. In all cases, the one thing to be avoided is falling into the problem of “syncretism,” that is, creating an amalgam which is neither truly Jewish nor truly Catholic.

 
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The Author : Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D.
The Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D., formerly the Interreligious Affairs specialist at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is now pastor of St. Benedict's Parish in Anchorage, Alaska. Photo Credit: Bob Roller, Catholic News Service (CNS).
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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.
  • Kam Kewson

    It is unfortunate that THE Archbishop + Sergis does not provide an answer but attacks and at that uncharitably the priest who provides an excellent answer. Reverend Walsh has answered correctly.
    Refer to the Interview of Faith magazine’s Patrick O’Brien with David Moss, President of the Association of Hebrew Catholics (AHC). The AHC relocated to Ypsilanti, Michigan in Sept. 2001. [The interview below reflects some modifications made to fit a flyer produced by the AHC. The full interview may be found at http://www.faithmag.com/faithmag/issues/mar02.html.

    Messianic Jews are Jews who have come to faith in Jesus in the non-Catholic Christian world. Typically, their theology derives from Evangelical Christianity. Instead of entering one of the Christian denominations, many are joining Messianic congregations that have been springing up in many cities throughout the Americas, Europe and Israel. In these congregations, they attempt to live as Jews with modifications arising from their belief in the Messiah.
    The term Messianic Jews is an umbrella term. It does not signify a common set of doctrines or practices. The majority believe that Jesus is both Messiah and Son of God. A small number believe that he is Messiah, but not divine.

  • Archbishop + Sergius

    Authentic Christians are, in fact, Messianic Jews. Both the question and the priest who (conceitedly) calls himself “Reverend” are absurd!

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