Jewish authorities in Israel sought an explanation from Pope Francis regarding some of the statements he made during a mass worship held on August 11, Catholic website “Il Seismographo” reported on Wednesday (25).
According to the portal, a letter arrived at the Vatican “in the last days” of Cardinal Kurk Koch, the chairman of the Council of Christian Unity and the Commission on Religious Relations with Judaism. The document was signed by Rabbi Rasson Arousi, chairman of Israel’s Grand Rabbit Commission for Dialogue.
Jewish leaders said they were “concerned” by Francis’ speech, citing the reading of St Peter’s letter to the Galatians, where the Catholic leader indicated that “Jewish law is obsolete.”
In the reading, Jorge Mario Bergoglio reflected on the Torah in the New Testament, saying that “the apostle explains to the Galatians that, in fact, the covenant with God and the Law of Moses are not inextricably linked”.
“The law is not based on the covenant because it emerged sequentially and was necessary and fair, but before it was the promise, the covenant”, said Francisco, explaining that “So Paulo was not against the Law of Moses because it respected it and more than once defended its divine origin”.
“The law, however, does not give life, does not offer the fulfillment of the promise because it was not in a position to be able to fulfill it. The law is a path that leads you to the meeting”, added Pope.
To the authorities signing the letter, the Catholic leader’s speech reveals that Christianity “does not merely overcome the Torah, but affirms that the latter no longer gives life, which means that the Jews in the present age of religious practice is obsolete”.
For Arousi, the remark is “an integral part” of “derogatory teaching against Jews and Judaism”, things we thought were outright rejected by the Church. The rabbi further urges Cardinal Koch to “express his anguish to Pope Francis” as well as, “seeking an explanation to ensure that any outrageous conclusions are expressly rejected.”