The Consultation on Common Texts meeting in Toronto, Ontario, April 15-16, 2013, and in direct conversation with The Rev. Susan Auchincloss, creator of this petition, has offered the following response:
The Rev. Susan Auchincloss
Faith not Fault
Dear Rev. Auchincloss:
At our recent meeting in Toronto, Canada, the members of the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT) discussed the concerns of you and others regarding the references to “the Jews” in the gospel of John, especially in the passion account used on Good Friday, as well as other references included in the Revised Common Lectionary.
The CCT is an ecumenical organization composed primarily of representatives of the various Christian churches that prepares and proposes liturgical materials for adoption and use by the member churches and other ecclesial communities. Although from time to time the CCT may propose the revision of the materials it has prepared, it is up to the churches to accept or reject any revisions.
The members of the CCT wish to note that your concerns should, first of all, be addressed to the particular churches using the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), as they have the power to modify or suggest alternatives both to the citations for a particular day and the biblical translation to be used for the pericopes. In addition, it should be noted that many of the churches using the RCL have issued statements regarding references to the Jewish people in the liturgy. Several give specific directions about how these texts are to be pastorally handled.
The members of the CCT also discussed the possibility of their own review of the citations in the RCL which are of concern in the near future. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a number of biblical, theological and pastoral issues involved in changing or modifying these pericopes.
Thank you for bringing these concerns to our attention and know that we will take them into consideration during our review.
With all good wishes,
Chair, The Consultation on Common Texts
As an added note to this response, we would like for you and all signers of the petition to know that we are in the process of seeking to organize a forum on this topic with noted leaders and scholars in the Jewish community as part of our 2014 meeting in New York City. It is our thinking at this point that at least part of that forum will be open to the public. We are in the very early stages of organizing this event at this time and will be providing details as more become known.