Dialogika

Christian Conversion of Jews?

"The Church's Commitment to Christ and the Christian-Jewish Dialogue"

Statement of the Chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Dr. Robert Zollitsch, regarding a declaration of the discussion group "Jews and Christians" of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK)

 

During its meeting on 27 April 2009, the Permanent Council of the German Bishops' Conference* discussed the declaration "No to the Mission to the Jews — Yes to Dialogue between Jews and Christians." This discussion took place on the basis of a statement which, upon my request, was prepared and made public by Dr. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, and which was thankfully received by the Bishops.

The declaration of the discussion group "Jews and Christians" was on the whole met with rejection on part of the Bishops. Two reasons were pivotal to this decision:

  • The declaration does not do justice to the Church's commitment to Christ in all of its fullness. It presents the mission of the Church in an abbreviated form and thus, due to a one-sided viewpoint and terminology, runs the risk of not being a positive contribution to Christian-Jewish dialogue in the long-term.

  • The statement is seen as abetting the false notion that the discussion group could address a theological matter with ecclesiastical authority, the clarification of which is reserved to the Magisterium. .

The Permanent Council does not leave unrecognized that the discussion group "Jews and Christians" has, in the past, facilitated and formulated important impulses for dialogue between Jews and Christians. The discussion group's most recent declaration lags behind this and is disappointing in its theological deficits. The Permanent Council has requested that the Commission for Doctrine and Faith of the German Bishops' Conference concern itself in detail with the text.

Bonn, 5 March 2009



* The Permanent Council of the German Bishops' Conference is composed of 27 bishops, one from each diocese. It is responsible for all the decisions in the periods between the two annual Plenary Sessions of the Bishops' Conference.