“Pope Benedict XVI has made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ, tackling one of the most controversial issues in Christianity in a new book. In ‘Jesus of Nazareth – Part II’ excerpts released Wednesday, Benedict explains biblically and theologically why there is no basis in Scripture for the argument that the Jewish people as a whole were responsible for Jesus’ death” (Decatur Herald & Review, 3/3/2011, A8).
In case the wording of this story might be suspect, in 1965, the Second Vatican Council document, Nostra Aetate, declared that the death of the Lord “could not be attributed to the Jews as a whole at the time or today.” In fact, according to the pope’s study, it was only a few Temple leaders and a small group of supporters who were primarily responsible for the Lord’s death.
And Peter said, “…this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men)…. Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:23 and 36).
What may be said about this? In one respect it is true that the sins of the individual had brought forth our Lord into this world and He, willingly, went to the cross on our behalf as our Savior. On the other hand, let it not be minimized what Peter said occurred. The “house of David” sent our Lord to the cross as a criminal!
If the report in the newspaper is accurate, the Catholic Church is wrong – as is often the case.