While speaking at Cambridge University recently, Cdl. Kurt Koch, the president of the noxious Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said the following:
We have a mission to convert all non-Christian religions’ people [except] Judaism.
It is very clear that we can speak about three Abrahamic religions but we cannot deny that the view of Abraham in Jewish and the Christian tradition and the Islamic tradition is not the same.
Koch was speaking primarily about the need for Catholics to convert persons who belong to ISIS and other Islamist groups.
At first glance, some may believe that the Cardinal’s remarks are merely an echoing of Christ’s Divine Mandate in Mt 28:19: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations.”
In reality, the Cardinal did nothing of the kind. In fact, he contradicted Christ’s words.
For one, the term “non-Christian” is different than “non-Catholic.” Before Vatican II, Baptists, Calvinists, Lutherans, etc. were viewed as false cults or heretical sects. Following the Council, they came to be described as ecclesial communities, fellow Christians and separated brethren. Accordingly, Christ’s prayer in John 17:21 “that all may be one” was re-interpreted to mean “all Christians should come together in unity.”
Of course, this is not the sort of unity Christ prayed for. Fr. Michael Muller explains the Traditional interpretation of John 17:21 in his book The Catholic Dogma:
The community on earth of those Christians who are united under one common Head, the Pope, as the successor of St. Peter, and who profess the same faith and partake of the same sacraments, are called Christ’s Body.
In other words, only those who 1) recognize the Pope as the head of the Church Christ founded 2) adhere to the same faith and doctrines and 3) participate in the same sacraments can be considered united. Anyone who breaks from the one true Church of Christ in any of these three categories cannot be considered one with Her. 2 Corinthians 6:15: “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?”
As far as Cdl. Koch saying that Catholics do not have a mission to convert followers of Judaism goes, well, one may simply respond by quoting Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis:
by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area – He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the House of Israel – the Law and the Gospel were together in force but on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race. “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gopel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.”
Pray the Church recovers the true meaning of Christ’s commands and once again seeks to covert every non-Catholic to the one true faith.