Catholics converting Jews???

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In what seems another terrible misstep on the Catholic relationship with Judaism, the U.S. bishops have issued a letter "clarifying" a 2002 bishops' statement called "Covenant and Mission," which suggested that Catholic-Jewish dialogue did not have conversion as one of its goals.

In the letter, Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., chair of the bishops' doctrine committee, wrote: "While the Catholic Church does not proselytize the Jewish people, neither does she fail to witness to them her faith in Christ, nor to welcome them to share in that same faith whenever appropriate." U.S. Jewish groups, not surprisingly, have reacted with alarm to this veritable dynamiting of the fragile bridge between Judaism and Roman Catholicism, according to the AP.

Why on earth the bishops feel the need to keep poking at this scab is beyond me. The Second Vatican Council, echoing St. Paul in Romans, as much as said that God's covenant with the Jewish people endures in both Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate. Pope John Paul II affirmed it many times. And quite frankly, it says more about God than anything else: God doesn't welch on promises, including the covenant with the Jewish people.

And if you'd like to know how Jewish people feel about it, you can read US Catholic's August interview with Rabbi Ruth Langer of Boston College. For Jews, conversion is a matter of survival.