I feel as if I have what some Jews coin a ‘Jewish Soul’. Judaism attracts me, but I don’t want to leave the Church. Is there a way to have both?
Behold, I Paul tell you, that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
“For I have not come to abolish the law, but to perfect it”. You already have both. Christianity is the fulfillment of the Jewish faith. Jesus is the Messiah that the Jewish people were looking for, and He founded us a new faith from the old. This is it, right here.
Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, so as it was said above me, you already have both.
OP, I also love Judaism. My family were mostly Jews who converted to Catholicism several generations ago, and having been raised with Ashkenazi culture, I have a deep love and respect for the culture. It’s difficult, because I can’t be “Jewish” and “Catholic”, in that I want to be associated with the Jewish people (who follow the Jewish religion, which is what binds them together over their vastly different ethnic traditions).
I had to realize that my love for an ethnicity can do absolutely nothing for my salvation. Catholicism, on the other hand, is the fulfillment of all of the prophecies of Judaism - for Christ is our sacrifice, which made the final atonement for our sins. We must live in response to His sacrifice, and that is where Judaism falls short.
Check out this video, it’s a talk given by Sr. Rosalind Moss, who converted to Catholicism from Judaism. She explains that Catholicism is the fulfillment of Judaism. It’s pretty great.
You might also want to look into Messianic Judaism. Not as a religious option - don’t leave the Catholic Church (you won’t thank yourself.) Many Evangelicals decided that they wanted to worship as the first Christians did and, disregarding two thousand years of Christian history, decided that their best bet was to practice the rituals of Jews today, and praising “Yeshua”. I don’t really get it, but I suppose if you wanted to bring Jewish culture into your household, you can see how the Christians put their own spin on the Shabbat or something.
EDIT: Please avoid the impression that the form of Judaism most westerners are familiar with is the same Jewish lifestyle that was lived by Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their time. Just as Christianity has evolved throughout the centuries, so did Judaism. The traditions I grew up with formed in the Yiddish speaking communities of Hungary and Poland - customs probably unrecognizable to those who lived in the Palestine of Jesus. It’s a totally different culture, but if it’s what interests you, do what makes you happy! Just don’t make an idol of ethnicity. People inside and outside of the Church do this, and it never ends well.
Read Romans 11. By your baptism, you have been grafted into the Jewish vine.
To revert to Judaism is to deny that Christ has come. IMO, Messianic Judaism is stuck between the two covenants. What many fail to realize is that Catholicism is not a Gentile religion. It is the religion of faithful Jews into which Gentiles have been made acceptable.
NO!!! You cannot be both and shouldn’t try! You are Catholic as we are and must stay that way if you wish to be saved. Catholicism is the One, True Faith of God, so you better not leave it for heresy, schism, or another “religion.”
Read Session 11: Bull of Union with the Copts, Paragraph 11 from the decrees of the Ecumenical Council of Florence on EWTN.com
May God bless you! Please stay in the Catholic Church completely!
Please do NOT join a Messianic Jewish group. These groups are protestant in nature and theological messed up.
If you have interested in the Jewish Roots of the Church, you can visit and join up with Hebrew Catholics at hebrewcatholic.net/
The Hebrew Catholics are in communion with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. You will notice they call themselves “Hebrew Catholics” and not “Jewish Catholics.” Reason, their theology is 100% Catholic. They are simply culturally Hebrew (aka Jewish).
If you have any questions, please check them out, but do NOT check out groups not in communion with the Pope.
As note: the Hebrew Catholics have the Ecclesiastical Support of His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, among others.
Catholicism is the one religion than if a Jew converts to it, he becomes even more Jewish
I have a great respect for Israel, and I have a great love for the Jewish faith.
What is the Jewish faith? The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Jewish faith of today is simply first century protestantism. They would not have been considered faithful Jews before or even during the time of Christ.
Don’t be attracted by style, that would be to turn your faith into a novelty. As a Catholic you are more Jewish than you could ever be. You even have an intact Old Testament Canon of Sacred Scripture!
Just a note on “Messianic Judaism” and the “Jews for Jesus” movement: As you noted, they are basically evangelical Protestants who, based on faulty theological notions, want to be able to combine Jewish customs with Christianity.
Most orthodox Jews find this practice offensive.
While your interest in the Jewish roots of Catholicism is commendable, you may want to rethink mixing the two together. As pointed out by many of the statements in this thread, the directives from the Church and Scripture are unanimous and unambiguous that Jewish rites are not binding upon Gentile Christians nor are they necessary requisites to salvation.
There are Catholics from a Hebrew background who will always welcome an interest in Jewish life as well as Jews who practice Judaism who welcome ecumenical discussion, and both are good sources to learn more and witness how Jewish culture is lived out in the various circumstances of today.
But if you aren’t a Jew, you can’t actually be a Jewish Catholic. Let me explain…
I am a Roman Catholic of Jewish ancestry. A study which began in 1996 and ended just last year confirmed the family oral history both sides of my family have cherished of being Sephardic Jews, my mother’s side being Conversos from the days of the Spanish Inquisition and my father’s family from a line of Jews who claim to have been among the world’s first Catholics as they accepted the Gospel of Christ while in Jerusalem during the days of the Second Temple and apostles some 2000 years ago.
Now if I wanted to be an Irish Catholic, I could not be that. I’m not Irish.
I can’t be an Italian Catholic or a Catholic of Mexican heritage either.
I can share in some of the customs with these Catholic brethren of mine. When St. Patrick’s Day comes along it seems I am invited by my Catholic friends to become Irish for the day. I have friends from Mexico who invite me over each Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos for a fiesta every year.
But I can’t be an Irish or Mexican or Japanese or Italian Catholic. I’m a Roman Catholic who happens to be Hebrew, of Jewish origins.
Do I practice Judaism or am I considered a member of Judaism. No.
Do I have Jewish customs and observe Jewish holidays. Yes, but because it’s my culture. I don’t have another. Do I have permission from the Church to observe such practices and preserve my culture as I do now? Yes. I follow a liturgical calendar in the manner that Catholics in Israel do who are associated with the Saint James Vicariate for Hebrew Speaking Catholics in Israel.
But again, this is because I am Roman Catholic whose culture is that of a Jew.
Now while the Church doesn’t frown upon a Catholic Gentile from attending a Passover Seder or a Chanukah celebration as a learning and ecumenical experience (even for some fun and good food), these practices are associated with a people, the children of Israel. They are not secular holidays that can be picked up and performed at will for the fun of it, and neither are the customs of my people fashion choices that others can adapt or pick and choose from as if visiting a cafeteria.
While your interest in Jewish culture and Jewish life can enhance your Catholicism, Catholics would want to avoid mixing the two. Just as Americans could be offended if people of other countries mishandled the American flag, picking up Jewish customs at whim could cause similar feelings and even become sacrilegious if done incorrectly. Because of the common origins of our faiths, one can show disrespect for Catholicism by mishandling Jewish customs just because they seem fashionable or attractive. Our Jewish customs are connected to our covenant with God, so they should not be viewed as playthings.
But I wish to reiterate that you can associate with Jewish Catholics in such a way as to see how they live out their Catholicism. For myself I view being Catholic as the fullest expression of what it means to be a child of Abraham, and I am certain my fellow Catholics from the “Tribe” feel the same way.
The Messiah fulfills what it means to be a Jew. Being a Torah-observant Jew is only complete in my eyes by living a true sacramental life as a member of the Catholic Church. And in a spiritual sense if you are a Catholic you have become already become a Jew:
One is not a Jew outwardly. True circumcision is not outward, in the flesh. Rather, one is a Jew inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit, not the letter; his praise is not from human beings but from God.–Romans 2:28, 29.
This is correct about those who identify themselves as “Messianic Jews.” This is a fundamentalist evangelical group and not merely a group of Jewish people who accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.
The Association of Hebrew Catholics is a great source of information and association. However not all Catholics of Hebrew background call themselves “Hebrew Catholics.” Since I am considered to be of the tribe of Judah and the name “Jew” is actually a reference to people from my particular tribe, there is nothing wrong with my calling myself a Jewish Catholic or a Jew.
Several Orthodox and Reform Jews agree. Rabbis and other Jewish educators have asked that I never shy away from identifying myself as such. Pastors and educators in the Church have referred to my family as a facet of the “Jewish voice” that still remains in the Catholic faith.
I personally am not a member of this apostolate because I am already associated with the Vicarate in Israel, but the Association of Hebrew Catholics are faithful Catholics who use the term “Hebrew” out of deep respect for those Jews who might find offense to their use of the term Jew. In my case it just doesn’t apply, and therefore should not be a basis for judgment as to how “Catholic” a Jewish person is or a sign that one’s theology is not 100% in line with the Holy See.
I have Jewish ancestors who lived in Russia, Poland, and Turkey. Though not raised Jewish (many of my Jewish ancestors converted to Catholicism) and not in Jewish culture, I have an interest in Judaism and Catholicism as the fulfillment of Judaism.
Here are two great books I recommend about Judaism and Catholicism:
- “Salvation is from the Jews” by Roy Schoeman
- “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist” by Brant Pitre
There’s also the book “Honey from the Rock” by Roy Schoeman, which I have not read. But it contains the testimonies of many Jewish Catholic converts. I think it’s important for Catholics to know more about “our roots,” knowing that the Catholic Church is the fulfillment of Judaism. There’s no need to “leave” the Church to convert to Judaism. It certainly doesn’t hurt to learn about Judaism and its relation to the Catholic faith.
I am an Orthodox Jewish lady who converted to Catholicism, most serious Jews always change to be Catholic, some might in the beginning be a Protestant as they don’t understand Christianity, but when they do they go from being Protestant to Catholic as did Sr. Miriam who has been on EWTN a couple of times.
Jewish people do not accept Jesus as the Messiah, so if you changed to be Jewish you would have to deny the Lord, it all ends at the Old Testament and they are still awaiting the Messiah. As for myself I know that He has come, hence my family except for myself are all Orthodox Jewish from the tribe of Levi, and I feel very sorry for them, as Christ came for Jew and Gentile, this is what the Old Testament is all about awaiting for the Messiah, telling us about the Messiah, forecasting the Messiah, so all Catholics are by definition Jewish already as they are following Jesus who is a Jew and Our Lady, and St. Joseph, He came for all of us to give us Redemption, we follow on from the Old Testament that is why we are 2000 years old.
If you have further questions you are most welcome to send me a private message… I on my part are quite happy being a Catholic the continuation of the Jewish Religion which I can see in so many things of the Catholic Church.
You should investigate how your family was converted to Catholicism. Were they forced under penalty of death or exile? Then you have to decide if you want to remain with the religion forced upon your ancestors. Contrary to what other posters have said, Catholicism is not the fulfillment of Judaism. Jews are still waiting for the arrival of the Messiah. They believe Jesus was not that person. You are not a more fulfilled Jew by believing in Jesus. That is what Catholics say, but not Jews. That may be Rosalind Moss’s belief but that doesn’t make it true. That is her personal belief. Jews have their own agreement with God about their salvation. Christ is not involved in that even though the church may teach it.
If your maternal grandmother was Jewish then you are too. Even an Orthodox Rabbi would say that. If that is true for you then you are Jewish. If that is the case you shouldn’t practice both religions. Choose one.
And that’s where you’re wrong. The poster you are referring to, judging by what he said, is a Catholic, but in the ‘Jewish’ ethno-religious group. This makes him a Hebrew Catholic. Hebrew Catholics are officially Catholic and Jewish, in a sense, but do not adhere to rabbis and other Jewish scholars, because religious-wise, they are Catholics. Ethnic-wise, they are Jewish. Notice the ‘Ethno’ and ‘Religious’ parts of the word. Not to mention that your post is singed with personal bias, given your ‘not Catholic’ religious status.
Catholics do not teach that Jews say their religion is fulfilled in Catholicism. Some Jews who still hold to the concept of a personal messiah believe that their hopes and the promises of God will be fully realized once Messiah comes, but Jews do not believe that their religion is incomplete until then and neither does the Church teach this. And there are many religious Jews who do not believe a messiah is to come at all, that the concept has to do with a future era or even the current republic of the State of Israel.
My mother’s family are Conversos. of the tribe of Judah. Many Conversos were pressured to accept Catholicism to preserve their lives. What the Spaniards did to them under the cloak of the Church’s faith was evil and criminal. There are even documents preserved with the names of my ancestors in my direct line who were tortured and falsely accused during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. (Some say that none of my particular family members, the Campos, were actual Conversos. Oral family history and that of some researchers suggest that many Campos actually became Catholic years before the Inquisition but were targeted due to their ethnicity when persecution broke out against the Jews at large.)
The other side of my family, my father’s side, are Jewish Christians who claim to trace themselves back to the days of the apostles. They escaped the attack of Roman armies upon their city of Jerusalem, stopped in Italy shortly after before continuing on the way to Sepharad (modern-day Spain) to join the rest of their family who stayed there after the days of the Babylonian deportation. They too were targets of the Spanish government who hid behind the name of the Church in the 1400s to expel Jews from their land even though my family had been followers of Jesus of Nazareth before any Gentiles had.
Both sides of the family claim to be of the Jews mentioned in Obadiah verse 20. Though expelled from Sepharad (Spain) in 1492, both sides of my family kept their faith as Jews and Catholic Christians intact up to the day I was born.
My life is that of a Jew who believes the Messiah has come. Not all Jews believe like I do, but I follow in the footsteps of my family. We are Jews who believe that our hopes and the promises of God are fulfilled in Messiah. So our worship and allegiance to our King from our tribe of Judah is very personal. Being Torah-observant for us, in particular, is fulfilled in our faith in Christ Jesus. Being Catholic is what our Jewish faith in Jesus now is during our day and time.
Do I speak for all the Jews? Of course not! Do I believe my people are lost without the Messiah and cannot be saved now? Of course not. Catholics as well as most Christians teach that God will not forsake his people, regardless if the majority of Jews do not now or have in the past accepted Jesus as the Messiah. We trust that God loves the Jews and that he will never abandon the seed of Abraham.
I cannot abandon this God who will not abandon the Jews, whether they be Jews who believe in Jesus like my family or not. So therefore I spoke as I did. You say I am not more of a fulfilled Jew because I believe in Jesus. So then do you mean that I am less of a Jew because I do? If I am less of a Jew, why was my family sent from Spain and why is the Law of the Right of Return being extended to us today? If we are less Jewish for our belief in Christ why did this not stop our blood from being shed during times of persecution or save our family from the dark days of the Shoa? If there are secular Jews who can deny belief in God and a messiah and still gain citizenship in Israel am I less a Jew when I still believe in God and Messiah?
But no one has ever claimed that all Jews believe this way that I do. If they did we would not be having this discussion here.
And besides, this is not the subject under discussion. The subject is can a Catholic who is a Gentile become a “Jewish Catholic”? It is not “who wants to tell Hebrew Catholics that they are less Jewish for being Catholic?” If that is what you want to discuss, start a new thread about that.
I changed to be Catholic as I felt it was the only correct Religion, all my family are still Orthodox Jewish, that is there choice to be a Catholic is mine, we at the end of the day have to answer to God for our actions, and thoughts, The Catholic Church is my first Love until the day I die and my family know this, even though they did not talk to me for ten years I did not care, I had to do what I had to do, don’t regret one minute of it.
If the Jewish people feel they are correct then keep on being Jewish, but its not what I want nor a lot of Jewish people around the world as they feel the Messiah has come and Jesus is who we follow, for us the Religion does not stop at the Old Testament if you feel it does so be it.
I assumed you were Irish from your handle name.