To save or not to save Jews. That is the question suddenly embroiling leading Catholic theologians.
On one side are progressive Catholic scholars who believe that in the 21st century it is no longer theologically acceptable to include Jews in the Church's global mission of conversion. That would mean accepting that Jews have their own legitimate path to salvation.
Rejecting this historic new approach are traditional Catholic leaders who insist that Jews still ultimately need to accept the divinity of Jesus to be saved, and Catholics must continue to proselytize them.
There are two major personnel changes in the world of Jewish-Christian dialogue, even as meetings between representatives of the two religions continue.
On the Catholic side, Pope John Paul II has appointed German Cardinal Walter Kasper to head the Vatican’s Commission on Relations with the Jews – the Roman Catholic Church’s primary representative on Jewish issues.