Category Archives: Interfaith Dialogue

Jews to stop spitting on Christians, hopefully

NCR journalist John Allen posted a rather disturbing piece yesterday about Jewish youth who spit on Christian clergy in Jerusalem. Perhaps this is a good example of turning the other cheek or being despised for belief in Christ as Messiah. The public witness to belief in Christ and one’s consecration to the same is an extraordinary witness to the person of Christ who warned his disciples of acts of hatred. But whatever spiritualization of a disgusting insult you want to offer, the act is nonetheless a sign hate and I don’t think it ought to go un-addressed. Over-zealous youth is a problem whether you live in New Haven, CT, St. Louis, MO or Jerusalem. I wonder if the admonition of the tribunal there is strong enough to alter the behavior of Jewish petulant youth in question.

Read John Allen’s article, “Jews move to halt spitting at Christians in Jerusalem.”

Islam stagnant & the West has alzheimer’s

An astute observer of religion has to pay attention to the current situation of Christianity and Islam, in all its forms. One person to listen to is Jesuit Father Samir Khalil Samir, a Cairo born Islamic scholar and Catholic theologian teaching at Saint Joseph’s University, Beruit; Father Samir is well-published and well-sought after for counsel on Christian-Muslim matters.

Today at Asia News, Father Samir has a keenly written article on Islam and Christianity as we know it right now. Really, you need to read this article.
You may also be interested in a primer on the basics of Christian and Islamic thought, What Catholics Need to Know About Islam by Sandra T. Keating be helpful to you.

Covenant with the Jewish people to be clarified in Adult Catechism

A recognitio from the Holy See following a vote from the US Bishops, was received allowing for a clarification that all the covenants God made with the Jewish people are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Don’t think this is change is revisionist theology or fancy foot work on the part of the Holy See or the US Bishops. Rather, it is standard theology and it is what the Church has consistently taught for a very, very long time. The editors of the Adult Catechism slipped up by being a bit imprecise in their work, shall we say. Of course, the statement announcing the clarification notes that the Adult Catechism is a catechetical work and not a theological text. True enough, we know…but this rationalization is a bit much. Does that mean we have to check each and every fact in the second printing of the AC, too? The Bishops’ Conference statement is here.

Muslims burn 6 Christians to death in Pakistan

Muslims burned alive 6 Christians based on false accusations. What a crime!

Read the story. And here.
Will the international Christian community raise their voice fraternal support of the Pakistani Christians and their plight? Boy, I hope so. This is a real tragedy for all concerned and human and religious failure.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord. And let perpetual light shed upon them.

ADL wants to revise Catholic theology

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wants the US Catholic bishops to revise the statement, Reflections on Covenant and Mission (2002) to emphasize that Catholics don’t want to convert Jews to Christianity. Here’s the US Bishops’ recent statement on clarifications made to RCM. This is not a document of the Roman Catholic Church, i.e., the Magisterium, nor of the US Bishops. It is a work of a group of theologians, Jewish and Catholic, reflecting on mutual interests in theology.

Our theology is such that Jesus Christ is The Way, the Truth and the Life: all people come to salvation in and through Jesus Christ; God’s promises through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are fulfilled in Jesus as the definitive revelation of God. Jews are not the singular group here; Catholics believe this is true for all the world’s peoples. This is revealed by the Lord Himself. It was not dreamed up by a committee. Having said all this, the Church’s missiology is governed by the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate which understands Judaism in special light when it comes to evangelization but nowhere in Vatican II theology (or praxis) does it say that the Church capitulates to another faith group because of its belief is “controversial.”
If someone doesn’t understand or even like or wants to reject this theology, OK. We propose belief in Christ as salvific and not impose this belief on others. We have to be clear on what we believe so as to be clear on the method of sharing our belief. But why does the ADL presume to tell the Church what to believe. Do Catholics tell the Jews what remove from their theology because Catholics don’t like it? Not likely.
I think RCM is fair-minded and accurate. 

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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