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On the Relationship Between the Jewish People and God (7127)

What does Vatican II really say about the Jews and the Covenant?

10/27/2010 Comments (7)
2005 CNS photo from L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Benedict XVI presents a framed copy of Nostra Aetate to Israeli President Moshe Katsav during their meeting at the Vatican.

– 2005 CNS photo from L'Osservatore Romano

As illustrated here, the relationship between the Jewish people and God is one that commonly elicits strong (and divergent) reactions. But what does the Church have to say about this relationship? In particular, are the Jewish people still “chosen,” maintaining a special relationship with God? And, if so, does this therefore mean that they are already in a salvific covenant with him such that they have no need of Christ and his Church?

In regard to the first question, perhaps the most significant evidence that the answer is Yes can be found in Section 16 of Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium, the dogmatic constitution on the Church, which says:

Finally, those who have not yet received the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic-jewish dialogue, catholicism, catholics and jews, israel, jewish

Synod's Rough Landing (4358)

Will an explosive comment on the Synod's last day set Vatican-Israeli relations back even further? A Jerusalem bishop gives his diagnosis.

10/27/2010 Comments (6)
CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters

Rabbi David Rosen, right, a Jerusalem-based adviser to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, speaks during the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican Oct. 13. Rosen said after the conclusion of the synod that one bishop's remarks “reflect either shocking ignorance or insubordination in relation to the Catholic Church’s teaching on Jews and Judaism flowing from the Vatican II declaration Nostra Aetate.”

– CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters

JERUSALEM — Vatican-Israeli relations, which were already strained in recent years over property-tax issues, the Palestinians and the Holocaust, may have received a further blow at the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops meeting this past week at the Vatican.

During the Oct. 23 closing press conference of the bishops’ gathering, which examined problems Christians face in the Middle East, the predominantly Arab bishops released a statement expressing solidarity with Middle East Christians, whose numbers have plummeted due to widespread emigration.

Under the section dedicated to relations with Jews, the synod message warned against inappropriate use of the words of the Bible. It said that...READ MORE

Filed under catholics and jews, israel, synod of bishops, vatican

'I Seized the Hand of God' (2803)

Only one thing could possibly have kept the hope of 33 Chilean miners alive.

10/26/2010 Comment
CNS photo/Carlos Vera, Reuters

GRATEFUL. Rescued Chilean miner Alex Vega, center, arrives with family members to the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile, Oct. 17. Some of the 33 miners rescued last week after 69 days trapped underground returned to the copper and gold mine for a Mass of thanksgiving.

– CNS photo/Carlos Vera, Reuters

COPIAPO, Chile — The 36-hour rescue operation of 33 Chilean miners Oct. 13 was a triumph not only of technology, but also of the human spirit. For many of the miners who had been stuck in the San José copper and gold mine for 69 days, the ordeal strengthened their relationship with God. And for many Chileans, whose faith had been tested by a devastating earthquake in February, the rescue was a much-needed shot in the arm.

By all accounts, the men emerged in remarkably good condition after enduring stress levels that could easily have led to nervous breakdowns or group panic.

Instead, what the world saw upon their release was a remarkable display of strength and solidarity, nourished by...READ MORE

Filed under chile, chile mine rescue

Whose Life Is It Anyway? (4478)

The heartlessness of assisted reproduction goes on display in a dramatic Canadian surrogacy case.

10/25/2010 Comment
REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder

BRAVE NEW WORLD. U.S. citizen Brad Fister, 29, holds his 23-day-old baby daughter, Ashton in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad Feb. 19. Fister and Michael Griebe, a homosexual couple who live in Kentucky and own a computer firm, paid about $60,000 to a city-based infertility clinic for the procedure where a donated egg was fertilized with his sperm and carried to term by an Indian surrogate mother. Ashton is the first surrogate child case to be handled by the U.S Consulate there and more same-sex couples are coming to be Hyderabad to seek surrogate mothers, local media reported.

– REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder

VICTORIA, British Columbia — The deal was signed; the sperm was collected; the baby was conceived. All the usual steps in the surrogate motherhood cycle were successfully completed. Then something went wrong. The dream baby the young, wealthy British Columbia couple had planted in the womb of a young, poor single mother turned out to have Down syndrome.

The prospective parents pulled out and called for an abortion post haste. They didn’t want damaged goods. But the surrogate mother refused. She would raise the child, she said, if only they would help her with expenses. That was not part of the deal, they responded. It would be totally her responsibility. As a single mother with two...READ MORE

Filed under surrogate motherhood

Rosary Ban in Colorado School Sparks Controversy (6858)

It's not every day that the ACLU agrees with the Church.

10/22/2010 Comments (17)
2008 REUTERS/John Gress

– 2008 REUTERS/John Gress

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Wear a Buddha. Wear the Star of David. Wear an atheist evolve fish, even if religious students take offense. Just don’t wear a rosary while attending Mann Middle School.

Administrators of the school, in a city of 410,000 that’s often referred to as the “Evangelical Vatican,” have banned wearing the rosary unless it’s tucked under a shirt. While imposing the policy, administrators have clarified that students may wear any other religious items in a visible manner. They have created confusion about their rationale, telling the media it relates to gang activity and telling parents that it has to do with sensitivity to Catholics who may find wearing of rosary beads...READ MORE

Filed under rosary as gang symbol, rosary as jewely

From Darkness Into God’s Marvelous Light (10802)

A former college partygoer tells how she found happiness as a SOLT sister.

10/21/2010 Comments (26)

SEATTLE — Church was the last thing on Sharon Heidland’s mind when she entered college in the fall of 1994. Having received a full volleyball scholarship to the University of Nevada-Reno, she was living 800 miles away from home and pursuing her own path toward what she thought would bring happiness.

“My goal entering college was to succeed at sports and build skills for a successful
career,” she explained. “I wanted to be either a businesswoman or a journalist. Above all, I wanted to do something great with my life, something extraordinary. I thought ultimate happiness would be wealth, prestige, glamour and power.”

With her parents no longer telling her what to do, Sharon stopped...READ MORE

Filed under religious life

Life After a Youth Conference (3573)

Part 3 in a Register series on young Catholics and youth ministry.

10/19/2010 Comments (4)
CNS photo

Upwards of 20,000 young people attend the National Catholic Youth Conference every year.

– CNS photo

If you’re like me, getting stuck in traffic can be a real source of frustration. It seems there are days I get stuck behind every slow driver in the area. The light inevitably turns red the moment I approach it, school buses come out of nowhere and stop to let thousands of kids out, and ambulances, cattle, avalanches and deer just show up out of nowhere to block my progress.

The days we get in our car and make it to our destination without any problems are few and far between. The same goes for our spiritual life.

The maturation of a spiritual life is not an easy way to live if problem-free paths are what we are seeking. We are often surprised by this fact, especially after moving so fast...READ MORE

Filed under bible, catholic, catholic church, catholic faith, catholicism, catholicity, youth

Documenting the Middle East’s Christians (3229)

Meet a woman whose mission is to make films to tell the story of persecuted Christians. No matter what it takes.

10/19/2010 Comments (5)
Paolo Grana

INTREPID. Italian filmmaker Elisabetta Valgiusti.

– Paolo Grana

Elisabetta Valgiusti is a documentary producer and filmmaker as well as president of Salva i Monasteri (Save the Monasteries). Salva i Monasteri is an Italian association of academics, scholars, artists and media experts who want to safeguard Christian religious sites in areas of crisis. They do this through cultural and media projects.

Valgiusti has two documentaries about Pakistan and India which will be aired on EWTN this November and December. She spoke with Register correspondent Sabrina Arena Ferrisi.


Given your interest in the rights of Christians and preserving monasteries, did you grow up in a strongly Catholic family?

I was born in South America, in Caracas, from an Italian...READ MORE

Filed under christians in india, christians in pakistan, christians in the middle east, elisabetta valgiusti, islam

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