- Pathfinder

Reply To: How can you work to combat antisemitism and supersessionism in your own Christian community?

Kaitlyn Tully

I am a Catholic, and I am surrounded by many traditionalist Catholics. While I do not subscribe to many of the same ideas, it often proves incredibly difficult to combat the underlying supersessionist ideas. The phrase that goes around in my circles is this: “salus extra Ecclesium non est”, which means “outside the Church there is no salvation”. This phrase came from the writings of Saint Cyprian of Carthage; however, I find it to be incredibly problematic. While I do believe that the Church is the sure way to salvation, I most certainly do not believe that God broke His covenant and cut the Jews off from salvation entirely. To say He did is to portray a God who is very different from the one I believe in. However, most traditional Catholics find this concept to be against everything they have been taught.

In order to combat these harmful ideas in the Catholic Church, it is imperative that more Catholics are further educated on the Old Testament and on Judaism in general. In the Catholic Church today, there is often a severe neglect of the Old Testament for the sake of the gospel; however, this leads to harmful ideas like that of Saint Cyprian of Carthage. It is not enough to simply read the gospels. Rather, Jesus’ teachings are steeped in tradition and context. They are steeped in the meaning of the Old Testament, and the truth behind God’s covenant with Israel.

I plan to have further conversations with my priest about the topics of Judaism, Israel, and how to better educate those in my parish. I am excited to see what these conversations bring about.