Emeritus Pope Benedict

Confessing communities praise the contribution of the emeritus Pope

Evangelical Protestant News Agency Press Service, August 1, 2018, No. 179. 


Opinion also "highly significant" for Protestant churches and ecumenism

Rome / Hamburg - The International Conference of Confessing Communities has welcomed the statement issued in July by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI on the relationship between the Catholic Church and Judaism. His contribution, "Grace and vocation without remorse," has appeared in the theological journal Communio. Benedict comments on a document published in 2015 by the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. The President of the International Conference of Confessing Communities, Pastor Ulrich Rüß (Hamburg), and the chairman of its theological commission, Rev. Werner Neuer (Schallbach bei Lörrach), praise the statement of the emeritus Pope as an "encouraging clarification." It was also a "highly significant document" for the Protestant churches and the whole ecumenical movement.
The contribution invites Christians and Jews to a dialogue that is committed to the truth of the Old and New Testaments. On the one hand, Benedict confirms the Jewish view that God never renounced the unique covenant with Israel. At the same time he reaffirmed the conviction of Jesus and the apostles that God through the cross and resurrection of Jesus had opened a universal covenant with all mankind: "This new covenant of God is open to the covenant people as well as to all people in all the nations of the earth." Benedict rightly emphasized "that the universal redemption through Jesus Christ specifically includes the covenant people of the Jews with its promises." The emeritus Pope had written in his contribution: "The reestablishment of the Sinai covenant in the new covenant in the blood of Christ, that is, in his death overcoming love, gives the covenant a new and eternally valid form." The International Conference of Confessing Communities regrets in its statement on Israel on Sunday (5 August), "that in the media the message of the universal love of God emphasized by Benedict was partly misunderstood and attacked in an anti-Jewish sense."