Vatican approves U.S. catechism revision on Jewish covenant with God

WASHINGTON – The Vatican Congregation for Clergy has approved a small change in the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults clarifying Catholic teaching about God’s covenant with the Jewish people.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced Aug. 27 that the Vatican had granted its “recognitio” to a one-sentence revision of the catechism that was approved by the U.S. bishops at their June 2008 meeting.

The revised sentence, in a section that explains relations between the Catholic Church and Jews, reads: “To the Jewish people, whom God first chose to hear his word, ‘belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ’“ (Rom 9: 4-5; cf. CCC, No. 839).

The original sentence read: “Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them.”

The statement from the USCCB said: “The clarification reflects the teaching of the church that all previous covenants that God made with the Jewish people are fulfilled in Jesus Christ through the new covenant established through his sacrificial death on the cross.

“Catholics believe that the Jewish people continue to live within the truth of the covenant God made with Abraham, and that God continues to be faithful to them,” it said.

According to the USCCB, the Catholic Catechism for Adults is about to go into a second printing. The 664-page adult catechism was adopted by the U.S. bishops in November 2004 and later approved by the Vatican.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.