How do Catholics address circumcision?

BibleAsk TeamPosted on

Today, most Christian denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church, are neutral about biblical male circumcision, neither requiring it, nor forbidding it.

Since we are no longer under the Mosaic Law as Christians, circumcision is no longer a symbol of salvation. This is brought out in a number of New Testament passages, among which are the following: Acts 15; Galatians 2:1-3; 5:1-11; 6:11-16; 1 Corinthians 7:17-20; Colossians 2:8-12; Philippians 3:1-3.

As these passages proclaim, being saved is received through faith in Christ who saves us from our sins, and it is this act of turning from our sin and self-righteousness to reliance upon Christ’s finished work on the cross that makes us “circumcised of heart” and that the works of the flesh accomplish nothing.

In Acts 16:3, Paul had Timothy circumcised so that his being uncircumcised would not be a hindrance to them as they sought to reach out to the unsaved Jews on their missionary journeys. Thus, although the Bible gives Gentile (non-Jewish) believers the liberty of not being circumcised, it was a liberty that Timothy was willing to give up for the sake of reaching out to unsaved Jews.

Today, many physicians recommend circumcision for reasons of health and cleanliness. The American Academy of Pediatrics favors Circumcision and states that the health benefits of circumcision in newborn boys outweigh the risks. The influential physicians’ group says the latest scientific evidence shows that circumcision can reduce the risk of urinary tract infections in infants and cut the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, syphilis, and human papillomavirus or HPV, which causes cervical cancer in females. The procedure can also reduce the risk of penile cancer.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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