Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth


``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


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Letter about Jewish-Catholic Relations 

Skip to: Letter 1  Letter 2  Letter 3


 

The site visitor's words are in bold.

 

Letter 1

 
Question: Who do you recognize as the current Pope?

First, hi, Mr. XXX! Nice to "meet" you : ) I'm a non-sedevacantist Catholic -- i.e, I'm Catholic, period, and I recognize Benedict XVI as our Holy Father (and, boy, did I breathe a sigh of relief when he was elected!)


I was at your website, but couldn't find that.

I did see something that really caught my attention: http://www.fisheaters/jcintro.html. Might I recommend a book from Roy Schoeman, that might address some of your information on that page? It is called "Salvation is From the Jews" and can be found at www.salvationisfromthejews..com. I'd like to know what you think about that website.


I haven't read Mr. Schoeman's book, but remember having read about it at Seattle Catholic a while back -- an article which is linked to at his site now, I see. Because I haven't read his book, and have only just now skimmed his website, I can't really say too much either way. I can say, though, that one thing that worries me is this: there seems to be a conflation of the Old Testament religion, which is usually called "Judaism," with post-Temple rabbinism, when, in fact, they are two different religions. It's one thing to say "Jesus was a Jew," "salvation is from the Jews," and "Jesus practiced Judaism" if by "Jew" one means a member of one of the 12 Tribes of Israel, and by "Judaism," one means the Old Testament religion. But what is always ignored are the Talmud, Kabbalism, what the Noahide laws truly mean, etc. -- and it is these things that constitute "Judaism" today (all the reformed stuff aside). There's Torah, and then there's Torah seen through the Talmud -- i.e., Torah negated. There's "Oh, yes, Jesus was a Jew" -- and there's the fact that post-Temple Judaism is explicitly, vehemently antichrist. I guess my point is that saying "Jesus was a Jew," "salvation is from the Jews," and so on, is true as far as it goes, and is misleading insofar as that's where the sentences stop.

Because Mr. Schoeman is a Catholic, I am assuming that by "Judaism" he means the Old Testament religion, and in that case there's no argument. But when the uninformed reader hears "Jesus practiced Judaism," he'd then expect to find Jesus believing what the typical Orthodox rabbi does today, and that simply isn't true. Jesus wasn't a Talmudist. He doesn't think His Mother was a whore, He knows He isn't boiling in excrement in Hell, He knows it's wrong to steal from the goyim, etc.

What I worry about, in other words, is perpetuating the ignorance of what post-Temple Judaism is, and I believe, as a fellow Catholic, that our not having a true understanding will leave members of our Church wide open for the wiles of the antichrist to come. The "Judaizing" of Christianity was the very first heresy, and I think it will be the last before Our Lord comes again, if you know what I mean. There is a deep Mystery here, a most fascinating and frightening Mystery, and it's being played out on the world stage all the time. Our ignorance of History -- and our fear of speaking the Truth in all charity and humility -- will be the death of souls.


I'd also like to learn a little bit more about you personally. My name is XXX, and I'm a convert from Judaism to Catholicism. My grandmother on my father's side came from Ireland (she was Catholic), and my paternal grandfather came from Germany (he was Lutheran). My mother's side of the family is Jewish, and she is 2nd generation American born. My ancestors on her side are German and Russian. I am proud of both sides of my family, and of all of every part of my heritage. Likewise, I truly feel embraced and respected for who I am and where I come from in the Catholic Church.

You and I have the Irish in common! I'm Irish on my Mom's side, but my Dad is 100% Italian -- first generation -- and it's his side of the family I tend to think of first when I think of my ethnicity. Like you, I'm proud of my heritage, too. People need roots -- a hard thing to hang on to in America. I lament the deracination, the lumping of people together into an amorphous mass lacking in all vitality. I love all the different ethnic foods and aesthetics and lore, and find it sad that now we're all just a bunch of monotone consumers --- thinking, doing, buying the same things, all wondering how Jack-o's trial will turn out LOL Sad, sad, sad...

Most of all, though, you and I have the "Catholic" in common! Christ makes brothers and sisters of all who love Him. The rest is, ultimately, politics -- but this is the beauty of the Church. Her Sacraments work together to make brothers of all men who say yes, while Her social teaching -- esp. subsidiarity -- works to preserve our beautiful differences.


Please tell me about your background and heritage. Were you baptized in the Catholic Church as an infant? When did you first receive the sacraments? What types of feelings, or events in your life do you attribute to leading you to and/or away from the Roman Catholic Church?

I was baptized as a baby, but -- in spite of being Italian-Irish -- was raised outside the Church. I was sent to Protestant schools (I think Vatican II made my parents lose interest; my older brother and sister both went to Catholic schools, etc.). I later became an agnostic, had a wild teenage-hood and young adulthood, but found Christ in my early 30s (or maybe He found me LOL). I'm 42 now (I keep wanting to say 43 for some reason. Strange.). Anyway, I was confirmed in the Novus Ordo rite (sadly), but now attend only the ancient, so-called "Tridentine" Mass (indult/F.S.S.P. -- though I have no problems with the S.S.P.X. whatsoever).

What made me turn to Christ was -- well, ultimately it was grace, of course. On a temporal level, I was (still am in some ways) a very philosophical, semi-artistic, neurotic depressive type who pretty much went through Hell most of my adult life. I was always a Truth-seeker. And the search paid off somehow. There was no one moment, but series of moments -- times when I would be so overwhelmed with "knowing" that it was almost unbearable. A priest once told me I had the gift of tears, if you know what I mean. I just fell in love with Jesus. Then I had to find out how to worship Him. I always had a Catholic imagination, and was intelligent enough to know that the Catholic Church was the oldest form of Christianity, so it was toward the One True Church that I looked. I did the E.W.T.N./Catholic Answers standard route, but kept studying and came to see serious problems with the post-conciliar changes with regard to the liturgy, sacramental rites, and the way in which our Faith is presented by too many of our hierarchs. So, I sort of had to find my footing once again, this time by studying what the Church had always taught, by reading more about our History, by reading older papal encyclicals and such. And now I'm a "trad" who prays very hard that our Holy Father begins the restoration. There's so much work for us Catholics to do! So much for us to learn (or re-learn) and pass on!

So, there's my story!

Again, it was nice to "meet" you! I will try to find Mr. Schoeman's book at our library. I am sure I could get a hold of it via interlibrary loan at the least : ) God's blessings to you and your family!

Letter 2

Wow, thanks for answering my questions. I have to admit that I am surprised you are loyal to magisterial authority, given the content on your Jewish relations page.

Re-hi! What on those pages indicates a lack of loyalty to the infallible teachings of the Church?


My assumption was that if you were onboard with Rome and the Pope, then you're onboard with Nostra Aetate. Nostra Aetate is no hollow apology or attempt at appeasement to “get the Jews off the Church’s back.” To the contrary, it is, in part, a veritable retooling of theology and the way the Church thinks about who She is in relationship to the Jews, as well as other certain religions, which contain elements of truth.

Point one: The Church's teachings are eternal, Truth doesn't change. Our understanding may grow in complexity and clarity, but contradiction has no place here. From Pastor Aeternus, section De Romani Pontificis Infallibili Magisterio of Vatican I: "For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles." If Jews were not fulfilling the obligations of being in a saving covenant when St. Justin Martyr was "dialoguing" with Trypho, they're not fulfilling those obligations now. If, as Romans 11:28 says, Jews "are most dear for the sake of the fathers" (and this doesn't get into the whole intermarriage and Khazaria concepts), then it's also true that, as the same verse says, Jews "as concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake." Truth can't contradict Truth, and one can't parcel out the Bible in bits, picking and choosing as if at a cafeteria.

Point two: Nostra Aetate is not the revolutionary document people want to make it out to be. Here's the section on Judaism, in total, with my comments:

NOSTRA AETATE:

4. As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham's stock.

Thus the Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to God's saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets. She professes that all who believe in Christ-Abraham's sons according to faith (6)-are included in the same Patriarch's call, and likewise that the salvation of the Church is mysteriously foreshadowed by the chosen people's exodus from the land of bondage. The Church, therefore, cannot forget that she received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant. Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild shoots, the Gentiles.(7) Indeed, the Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles. making both one in Himself.(8)


COMMENT:

Marcionism was defeated as a heresy long ago. Nothing new is being taught here. St. Augustine long ago said that "The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New." The mistake that people make here is in thinking that "the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant" are the same as Talmudists. The people of the Old Covenant had priestly authority, offered various korbanot, and faithfully awaited the Messias -- the Messias Whom faithful Israel accepted.

Of the same "root of that well-cultivated olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild shoots," Scripture says this in Romans 11:16-24: "For if the firstfruit be holy, so is the lump also: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken, and thou, being a wild olive, art ingrafted in them, and art made partaker of the root, and of the fatness of the olive tree, Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then: The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well: because of unbelief they were broken off. But thou standest by faith: be not highminded, but fear. 'Thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear'.. We see here that he who standeth by faith may fall from it; and therefore must live in fear, and not in the vain presumption and security of modern sectaries. For if God hath not spared the natural branches, fear lest perhaps he also spare not thee. See then the goodness and the severity of God: towards them indeed that are fallen, the severity; but towards thee, the goodness of God, if thou abide in goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the wild olive tree, which is natural to thee; and, contrary to nature, were grafted into the good olive tree; how much more shall they that are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?"

There's no use pretending, as so many post-conciliar hierarchs do, that there are two saving Covenants in existence, that Christians and Talmudists are working side by side as a blended Light unto the Nations, and so forth. There is one Way, and that Way is Christ.

NOSTRA AETATE:

The Church keeps ever in mind the words of the Apostle about his kinsmen: "theirs is the sonship and the glory and the covenants and the law and the worship and the promises; theirs are the fathers and from them is the Christ according to the flesh" (Rom. 9:4-5), the Son of the Virgin Mary. She also recalls that the Apostles, the Church's main-stay and pillars, as well as most of the early disciples who proclaimed Christ's Gospel to the world, sprang from the Jewish people.



COMMENT:

Romans 9 continues with verses 6-10:

"Not as though the word of God hath miscarried. For all are not Israelites that are of Israel: Neither are all they that are the seed of Abraham, children; but in Isaac shall thy seed be called: That is to say, not they that are the children of the flesh, are the children of God; buy they, that are the children of the promise, are accounted for the seed. For this is the word of promise: According to this time will I come; and Sara shall have a son. And not only she. But when Rebecca also had conceived at once, of Isaac our father."

Galatians 4: 21-31 makes clear the traditional understanding of any use of the phrase "elder brother" vis a vis the physical descendants of Father Abraham:

"Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, have you not read the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, and the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman, was born according to the flesh: but he of the free woman, was by promise. Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from mount Sina, engendering unto bondage; which is Agar: For Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem, which is above, is free: which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he, that was born according to the flesh, persecuted him that was after the spirit; so also it is now. But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free."

NOSTRA AETATE:

As Holy Scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize the time of her visitation,(9) nor did the Jews in large number, accept the Gospel; indeed not a few opposed its spreading.(10) Nevertheless, God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle.(11) In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and "serve him shoulder to shoulder" (Soph. 3:9).(12)


COMMENT:

God does not repent of His Covenant and did not break it. The unfaithful of Israel failed (and fail) to live up to the obligations of that Covenant, and God made a New Covenant -- fulfilled the Old Covenant -- with the faithful of Israel. Jeremias 31:31-34:

"Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda: Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: the covenant which they made void, and I had dominion over them, saith the Lord. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

NOSTRA AETATE:

Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is thus so great, this sacred synod wants to foster and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit, above all, of biblical and theological studies as well as of fraternal dialogues.


COMMENT:

Nothing wrong with "dialogue" in the typical use of the word. Mutual understanding is always good. Respect for all human beings has always been demanded.

NOSTRA AETATE:

True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ;(13) still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today.



COMMENT:

From the 16th c. Catechism of the Council of Trent: "In this guilt [of the death of Christ] are involved all those who fall frequently into sin; for, as our sins consigned Christ the Lord to the death of the cross, most certainly those who wallow in sin and iniquity crucify to themselves again the Son of God, as far as in them lies, and make a mockery of Him. This guilt seems more enormous in us than in the Jews, since according to the testimony of the same Apostle: If they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory; while we, on the contrary, professing to know Him, yet denying Him by our actions, seem in some sort to lay violent hands on him."

The idea that you can't blame Joe the Bagel Salesman for personally killing Christ is not some new teaching, and it astounds me that people go on as if it is. What is also true, though, is that if Joe practices classical post-Temple Judaism, then he worships in a religion that exults in the death of Christ, that teaches Christ deserved to die, that Nero was a hero, that Christ's mother is a whore, that Jesus is boiling in excrement in Hell, that the goyim are cattle, etc.

NOSTRA AETATE:

Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.

Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.



COMMENT:

This is nothing new either, depending on how "Jew" is defined. If "being Jewish" is defined as a biological matter, as it is in the Talmud, by Hitler, and by Eretz Israel's "Law of Return." then the idea that "Jews" are not under a curse is true. If "being Jewish" is a matter of religion, as I believe it is and as the Church had always taught, then it's not quite true -- or not fully true. One who worships in a religion that explicitly and forcefully rejects Christ is cursed -- but that same person can walk away from that at any moment. It's a curse he brings on himself, not some unjust, inescapable thing that comes from the Heavens with no rhyme or reason.

NOSTRA AETATE:

Besides, as the Church has always held and holds now, Christ underwent His passion and death freely, because of the sins of men and out of infinite love, in order that all may reach salvation. It is, therefore, the burden of the Church's preaching to proclaim the cross of Christ as the sign of God's all-embracing love and as the fountain from which every grace flows.



COMMENT:

And it is this teaching that is being lost, especially with documents like "Reflections on Covenant and Mission" from the USCCB -- a work that has lines like:

  • "The post-Nostra Aetate Catholic recognition of the permanence of the Jewish people’s covenant relationship to God has led to a new positive regard for the post-biblical or rabbinic Jewish tradition that is unprecedented in Christian history" and "According to Roman Catholic teaching, both the Church and the Jewish people abide in covenant with God." -- totally ignoring that though GOD did not break the Covenant, the faithless of Israel did, and that a New Covenant was made and that there is no salvation outside of Christ, Whose Mystical Body is the Church. The text is correct only insofar as it goes -- but it leaves out the rest of the story, thereby leading to false conclusions such as dual covenants, and the idea that the Gospel doesn't need to be preached to Jews;
     

  • "From the point of view of the Catholic Church, Judaism is a religion that springs from divine revelation." -- totally ignoring that the Old Testament religion is radically different from post-Temple Judaism, an Historical fact summarized by the Jewish Encyclopedia: "... and with the destruction of the Temple the Sadducees disappeared altogether, leaving the regulation of all Jewish affairs in the hands of the Pharisees. Henceforth Jewish life was regulated by the teachings of the Pharisees; the whole history of Judaism was reconstructed from the Pharisaic point of view, and a new aspect was given to the Sanhedrin of the past. A new chain of tradition supplanted the older, priestly tradition. Pharisaism shaped the character of Judaism and the life and thought of the Jew for all the future.";
     

  • "Thus, while the Catholic Church regards the saving act of Christ as central to the process of human salvation for all, it also acknowledges that Jews already dwell in a saving covenant with God." Utter heresy insofar as it intimates that what post-Temple Jews are doing is perfectly fine. It's utterely uncharitable to deprive Jews of the Gospel message.

Anyway, there it is. Nostra Aetate, the document that is supposed to have "changed everything." I don't get it, but the newspapers insist it's true.


As for the Jews, the reference is explicitly to Judaism of "our time," not what you call a "conflation" or an "explicitly, vehemently anti-Christ" concoction.

Are you saying that Judaism is no longer anti-Christ? The Mel Gibson debacle is a little too fresh in my mind to believe that! (Before you pull Rabbi Lapin out of a box, be assured that he's pro-Evangelical Dispensationalist, but very anti-Catholic. I can show you his writings. He can cope with Christians who are hyper-Zionist and who will send money to Eretz Israel, but he considers "medieval Christianity" -- i.e., Catholicism -- to be one long "anti-semitic" nightmare. Insofar as post-conciliar hierarchs leave Catholicism behind, they are deemed kosher, too.)


Were not the Chosen People throughout the Old Testament a constant "prodigal people," like the Prodigal Son? Was not their waffling in their earliest practices, and lack of faith as a People Israel, something that in Sacred Scripture God called into question and rebuked, over and over?

Definitely. But the Church is "the people of God" now, as Nostra Aetate would say (did say), and our lack of fidelity to the Church's eternal teachings is what God is punishing us for now.


They were and still are a microcosm of the HUMAN condition and God's special love for ALL of His people. They are not a degenerate, evil race.

Unlike racists and Talmudists, I don't believe that Jews are a "race" at all. They are an ethnic group, like Italians and Lebanese and the Swiss. Most of them are also tied together by religion, even if a watered-down version of it such that the only things remaining of that religion for most of them (who think of themselves as "secular" or "Reformed") are a sort of particularism and Zionism. Some put aside even the particularism and Zionism, and others away from all religious aspects entirely, calling themselves "Hebrews" instead so as to make clear they've cut all ties to Judaism (the religion).


If one can move past this fact, and accept that the Jews, as the People of Israel, live in our time, one might realize that post-conciliar attitudes toward Jews are to be reverential, full of respect, and even grateful. It is not only "enlightened," or “modern” thinking that calls for this attitude of more than just tolerance, but the Deposit of Faith within the Church Herself, i.e. the teaching to Catholics that anti-Semitism in all its forms are wrong.

I imagine you didn't intend it, but what you wrote is blasphemous (and "racist" if one considers Jews a "race.").

"Reverential"?

1 : expressing or having a quality of reverence <reverential awe>
2 : inspiring reverence

"Reverence"?

1 : honor or respect felt or shown : DEFERENCE; especially : profound adoring awed respect
2 : a gesture of respect (as a bow)
3 : the state of being revered
4 : one held in reverence — used as a title for a clergyman

"Deference"?

: respect and esteem due a superior or an elder; also : affected or ingratiating regard for another's wishes

Christians should show "profound adoring awed respect" for those who believe that Jesus Christ -- the Messias and King of Kings, the Creator of the Sun, Moon, and Stars -- is boiling in excrement in Hell? We should consider them our "superiors"? That is madness. It is the Pharisees who should show "profound adoring awed respect" for Christ, and who should enter into His Church with gratitude and humility, becoming one with His Body and not aspiring to be a chosen sub-set of the Chosen (who are chosen not because of who their biological mothers are, but because of grace-inspired humility, and whose chosen-ness is not a license to steal and lie and lord over the out-group, but a yoke of service and love). Galatians 3:26-29 "For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise."

I will not bow to a Jew, and I do not want a Jew to bow to me. But I will preach Christ so we can bow together as brothers and sisters before Christ, "That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10-1).

"More than just tolerance"? If we were any more "tolerant," there'd be no Church left.

Finally, how are you defining "anti-semitism" here? As things are, it can mean anything from making a Catholic movie about Christ's Passion, being against Zionism (a sentiment in which practically every 19th c. rabbi shared), being against some of the policies of Eretz Israel, knowing and pointing out what the Talmud teaches, mentioning uncomfortable facts of History -- or even raising questions about certain aspects of History, knowing that Jews (as opposed to Catholic Hebrews, for ex.) are not in a "saving Covenant," infection with a mutating "virus" that afflicts "Gentiles" of all times and all places for no reason at all -- to being a racist Nazi or anything in between. Unless "anti-semite" is used to indicate someone who thinks that anyone born of a Jewish parent is inferior in some way, automatically damned, needs to be held in contempt or subjection, etc., I think it's pretty much a worthless term. Aside from that, Catholics should be much more worried about the rampant anti-Catholicism out there (much of it stemming from Semites).


Furthermore, we are to learn from, and make use of, some of the God-given truths of Judaism, Islam, and even Buddhism, within Church context.

There are no theological truths in Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism that are not taught by the Catholic Church. Anything that is theologically true in them is true in the Church and taught by the Church. If a Jew says "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord," and it is true, then so does the Church. If a Muslim says "Jesus was a great Prophet," and it is true, then so does the Church. Everything that is needed for salvation is offered by the Church, and anyone who is saved is saved by the grace of Christ alone, through His Church which is His Bride.


As children, we are taught that hatred breeds hatred and lies beget lies. "Grown-up" Catholics must believe this too.

What is this talk of hatred? Where is there hatred at my site? Where is an untruth, let alone a "lie"?


Pope John Paul II apologized for the sins of Catholics who were remiss in this lesson. It is a lesson that has always been a Truth throughout history, a lesson of Truth that always will be, but one that has only further been elucidated by Vatican II. Call it naivety if you will, but I wish the spirit of Pope John Paul II and his relationship with the Rabbi of Rome to the very end of the Holy Father's earthly life would hold a higher place on your Jewish relations web page.

I don't know what his relationship with the Rabbi of Rome was exactly, but his praying in synagogues was sacrilegious. There's another Pope who had a relationship with another chief Rabbi of Rome, though. Rabbi Zolli took on the name "Euguenio" at his Baptism, in honor of Pope Pius XII -- a man who saved 800,000 Jewish lives, but who is now routinely kicked and slandered as a Jew-hater, apparently because in spite of extending Christian charity to Jews (as should be extended to all men), he didn't preach a false gospel. Instead of preaching a false Gospel, he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Rabbi Zolli was saved by it and by the example of his charity. For this, he is reviled. This is the sort of hatred against which a Catholic should expend his energy.


I will continue on... Praying faithfully for you and your website, hoping for the spirit of charity and the conversion of souls to Christ. You may be an instrument of peace -- however God sees fit, that's up to Him. On a personal note, the real Catholic charity that I have seen towards Jews by clergy, and several lay and religious, helped bring true conversion about in me.

Thanks for the prayers for the site!

Obviously charity is a required thing on the part of Catholics, but it can never come at the expense of Truth. If it does, it isn't charity at all; it's mere sentiment. If we love Jews (as we must), we will preach Christ to them, without watering it down, without lying about our History to make them feel better about theirs, without bowing and scraping in undeserved shame or in some gesture designed to appease the unwillingness on the part of some to let go of the idea of having that Super-Sacred D.N.A. before which all must stand in awe, as if all of us don't have fascinating histories stemming from Adam and Eve and Seth and Noah, et al., and as if all of us don't come from cultural groups about which we can find something to be proud (and ashamed, if we're honest).

Just as obviously, prudence is called for in this endeavor since there is so much misinformation out there. I pray I've been prudent, though I know saying anything unpleasant about Judaism or Jewry is bound to sound "anti-semitic" in our excrutiatingly philo-semitic culture -- a culture in which just being an orthodox Catholic is enough to get the "anti-semite" label. But I know there are too few people who are willing to defend Holy Mother Church and to speak very clearly that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life for everyone, Jew or Greek. So I must.

At any rate, God's blessings to you, friend.


Letter 3

I do believe we have reached an impasse, and so I offer these last words to you attached in Adobe (to preserve their integrity), as well as in Word, for you to shred as you will.

Peace in Christ,
David 'ben XXX' XXX. AKA Andrew.
Jewish Catholic.
Descendant in the faith and blood of Abraham,
(as are you through the spiritual adoption of Baptism and the Body and Blood of Christ)



We may have reached an impasse, sadly. I will read the attachment and reply as I go along.



Attachment:

Dear Vox,

I pray that you be well in heart and spirit through the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly, your web page and response to my comments, maintain an awfully bitter antipathy towards Judaism (and as can be logically inferred - towards Jews), engendering unequivocal anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, as author and/or endorser/disseminator of this hate speech, you fail to see or openly admit that.



If you see no difference between being a descendant of Jews and exalting Judaism (or any other ideology or religion, for that matter), then you speak as Hitler does. I don't think that just because a person has a Jewish parent means he must believe in or be protective of post-Temple Judaism, but you seem to. Even as a self-proclaimed Catholic, you defend that explicitly antichrist religion, ignoring even what the Jewish Encyclopedia says about its radical differences from the religion of the Old Testament.


Furthermore, you make claims as to your website's Catholicity and pledge loyalty to the teachings of the Magisterium. You seem to attempt to back these claims vis a vis your interpretation, or simple presentation, of Church documents and Sacred Scripture. Yet at the same time, you defame the Papacy, bishops, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, citing their infallibility only when it suits your cause.

You'd have to give specific examples in order for me to know what you're alluding to here.


In your e-mail, you labeled our departed Blessed John Paul II, (and soon-to-be called "Saint John Paul the Great") as a heretic, based on his visiting and worshipping in a Jewish Synogogue!

I never said John Paul II was a heretic (and such a thing wouldn't be my perogative as a laywoman even if he were); I said his praying in a synagogue was sacrilegious (as was his kissing the Qur'an).


You tried to bash the Church "Hierarchs," thereby establishing your own special authority over the USCCB.

Even the Association of Hebrew Catholics found great fault in that document by the USCCB -- a document that was so radical and wrong, that the USCCB took it down from their website almost immediately after the uproar ensued. But the bigger point is this: infallible teaching is infallible teaching. What has always been taught everywhere from the beginning is what Catholics must believe. If a Pope were to come out on his balcony tomorrow and say that Jesus is not God, we must not believe him. We're not legal positivists; we're Catholics bound to Scripture, Tradition, and the infallible Magisterium (with regard to the assent of faith. We are to obey the fallible Magisterium, too, unless doing so leads to sin or harms souls).


Also, it appears you assert authority over the Catechism of the Catholic Church. For example, on your website, you imply in several places that Jews are not a race, and "race is not the issue," seemingly as a way to skirt the issue of racism and/or of being called a racist. CCC 839 refers to the Jews as a race. In your e-mail to me you said "Unlike racists and Talmudists, I don't believe that Jews are a race at all." Therefore, in addition to whomever you have the audacity to call 'racists', and in addition to your handy scapegoat of the Jew himself, whom you libelously vilify and caricaturize as a 'Talmudist', you have also implicated the Magisterium, who allowed the Catechism to be printed. Maybe the Church should have consulted you first?

First, I'm not sure what "Jew" you're referring to when you assert I'm handily scapegoating "the Jew," but I don't believe that all Jews or even most Jews are Talmudists. I don't think the "average Jew" has a clue as to what's in the Talmud, at least not on a conscious level -- that is, not in any way such that he could say to himself, "The goyim are cattle? That's from the Talmud -- Yebamoth, I believe!" To the average Jew, the Talmud is the work, written by long-ago "sages," that Babs gazed at rapturously in "Yentl." I think that most Jews would be revolted if they faced what it contained, for that matter (though I think, too, that most wouldn't even admit it to themselves, let alone to any so-called "Gentile"). That doesn't mean that the Talmud doesn't affect Jewish culture, however. For ex., America's entire culture is based on radical individualism, and any American could tell you all about how he has his rights, but that same American couldn't name those rights enumerated in the Constitution's first 10 amendments to save his life, and most probably couldn't even tell you what the "Bill of Rights" is.

Second, as to Jews being a "race," they are only in the same sense that one hears of "the German race" or "the Irish race," which is, I'm sure, how the Catechism was using the term. As a matter of fact, I read something within the past week that referred to "the Catholic race." But whatever the case, neither Jews nor Catholics are a separate biological category of man in the same sense that classical anthropology had distinguished among caucasoids, mongoloids, negroids, austroloids and what not (all of whom come from Adam, Eve, Seth, Noah, etc., all of whom are blended together to a great extent anyway, and all of whom are equally beloved by God and made in His image). And even if Jews were a separate "race," who cares?

Third, the only reason the concept of race was brought up by me at all was in response to your words, "They were and still are a microcosm of the HUMAN condition and God's special love for ALL of His people. They are not a degenerate, evil race." To this, I replied "Unlike racists and Talmudists, I don't believe that Jews are a 'race' at all. They are an ethnic group, like Italians and Lebanese and the Swiss." But, as already asked, even if Jews were a separate "race," what would we make of it? Does God love the Jew more than, say, the Black man? And how would Ethiopian Jews fit in all that anyway? What does being a Jew mean anyway? Is it a matter of "race" to you? Nationality? Religion? It seems to be a shell game, generally speaking. It's all of the above and none of the above. One day it's "race," the next it's "religion." Per Eretz Israel's law of return, one must have a Jewish mother and not be a Christian. You can have a Jewish mother and be a Buddhist, Wiccan, or atheist, but if you convert to Christianity, you're out. Think about it: according to the laws of Eretz Israel, being Jewish is, in part, a matter not of what you are religiously speaking, but of what you are not: you can not be a follower of Christ.

Whatever. But all I'm concerned about are religion, ideology, and culture. I don't give a rat's tuches about race.


You also denied Jesus' forgiveness of the Jews who arranged and/or called for his murder. CCC 597 clarifies for the Catholic Faithful, (apparently you excluded), that His forgiveness was intended for both Romans and the Jews, and that the Jews "knew not what they did" lest they would not have taken part in the Passion and death of our Lord. A paragraph from your website: http://www.fisheaters.com/jc3.html: "It has become even less fashionable to point out the obvious: Jews are the ones who wanted Christ dead. I know that it's politically correct to bash the Romans on this account, but the Romans had no issue with Jesus and "only" acted as instruments to carry out the Jews' wishes (which is culpability and cowardice enough, to be sure). The Jews, however, did want Christ dead, and used Roman power to make it happen. The Russians didn't want it, the Poles didn't want it, the Ugandans didn't want it, Pilate washed his hands of the matter: the Jews wanted it."

It is up to Christ as to whom He wants to forgive or not and whom He'll hold as invincibly ignorant or culpable for any given act (and, by the way, I said nothing about Jesus' forgiveness in this regard one way or another, though, in contradiction to your assertion that the Catechism's words are lost on me, I cited the 16th c. Catechism of the Council of Trent, which I will do again with new emphasis: "In this guilt [of the death of Christ] are involved all those who fall frequently into sin; for, as our sins consigned Christ the Lord to the death of the cross, most certainly those who wallow in sin and iniquity crucify to themselves again the Son of God, as far as in them lies, and make a mockery of Him. This guilt seems more enormous in us than in the Jews, since according to the testimony of the same Apostle: If they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory; while we, on the contrary, professing to know Him, yet denying Him by our actions, seem in some sort to lay violent hands on him.")

Nonetheless, it's still a fact that it was 1st century Palestinian Jews who wanted Jesus dead, while other Jews remained faithful and followed Him to the bitter end -- bitter because they were persecuted by faithless Jews and, later, Romans (especially Nero, whom religious Jews claim as a convert). One wouldn't have to speak of this Deicide at all except in passing, but apparently we have to point it out because too many modern Jews keep denying it when they are among those they consider the "goyim" -- bringing into question the historicity of our Gospels, all in spite of the fact that their own "holy books" gloat over that truth. During the Mel Gibson vs. the World debacle, who was making a big whoop out of that Gospel fact? It wasn't the Catholics. If it were up to us, we'd prefer to be able to, say, make movies without having to go on publicity tours defending the very basics of our religion against lies. Mr. Gibson made that movie so Christians could meditate on Christ's Passion, but it was turned into a big circus revolving around Catholics' supposed "anti-semitism." It was ridiculous, and the page you refer to was written at the height of that nonsense. There is nothing there that is factually incorrect.


In the end, most of your rebuttals in your e-mail response were a part of a giant red-herring that feebly dissected my simple points. You did this with copious amounts of Sacred Scripture and doctrine of Sacred Tradition which I don't deny, i.e. "you were preaching to the choir." Of course, the dubious Talmud references, coming from you could at best be considered as slanderous, however, there's no denying that "lies beget lies," and Jews of 1500 years ago in some circles were not beyond reproach, nor were certain of Christians who killed "in the name of Truth," be it that they were Roman, Czarist, Spanish, etc. So, your numerous quotes of Catholic teachings and Scripture argue against nothing I said, and when the dust clouds settle, you still leave me believing that you absolutely hate Jews and that you foment this hatred rather than charity.

The Talmud references are real, so they are not "slanderous" in the least, and the Talmud is still the lens through which practicing Jews (some "Reformed" types aside) see Torah. It is to your credit that you apparently don't want them to be real (I didn't want them to be real either when I first encountered them), but they are real nonetheless.

My motive isn't hatred; I hate no one. My motive is to protect Holy Mother Church against constant defamation. How can one explain the Spanish Inquisition -- something that is always exaggerated beyond all recognition and held against the Church -- if one can't explain the power certain insincere "conversos" assumed in the Church, how they cooperated with Muslims to take over Spain, and the usury practiced by Jews -- a usury that impoverished those Christians you claim to be brothers with? How can one explain "Christian anti-semitism" without talking about that impoverishment by usury and about Jewish anti-Christianism (the spitting on Crosses, the mocking of our religious processions, the anti-"Gentile" Talmud, the air of superiority that many religious Jews exhibit, etc.)? Why is it if we point these things out to defend ourselves, we are "anti-semites," but when Jewish leaders accuse us of irrational hatred or of being infected with some "virus of anti-semitism," when they blaspheme our Lord and Savior as a lying usurper, when they blame Christian theology for the pagan Hitler's rise, etc., they get a free pass while we are supposed to sit silently by and do nothing for fear of more of the same name-calling (printed in newspapers across the land if we're famous enough)?


But, of course, you believe you are "teaching about Christ's love." In this endeavor, you claim to be "in partibus infidelium" - ("i.p.i.") - in your closing salutation. If I may be so bold, this suggests to me, at least, an arrogance and a belief in yourself that you are more Catholic than the members and bishop of your diocese (Where is it? Is it that much of a spiritual wasteland, or are you that spiritually isolated as a Christian?) I wonder what the bishop would have to say about your "charity" works. Still, I'll keep praying for you to really love the Jews and to see their gloriousness as we are called to do by the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

As to my sig line, America is a Pagan-Protestant-Judeo-Masonic country filled with infidels. It's no commentary on the quality of Catholics in my diocese, whose judgment I leave in the Hands of Jesus and whom I imagine to be more pleasing to God than I.

As you pray for me to "really" love the Jews (even though I've spoken with a number of Hebrew Catholics and other Hebrew Christians without any problems until now and don't go about confronting or encouraging hatred against non-Catholic Jews), I will pray for you to really love all men as being made in the image of God as we are called to do by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Everyone is a part of an ethnic people, and everyone wants to love and should love that people. Every people I can think of has things to be proud -- and not so proud -- of. But it is foolishness and ugliness to exalt one's people as superior in some existential sense, as marked by a "gloriousness" before which men must fawn, and that is exactly what I am sensing you advocate. And if you think Jews are a "race," then that also makes you, de facto, racist.

Now, earlier you wrote, "In the end, most of your rebuttals in your e-mail response were a part of a giant red-herring that feebly dissected my simple points. You did this with copious amounts of Sacred Scripture and doctrine of Sacred Tradition which I don't deny, i.e. 'you were preaching to the choir.'" Do you agree then:

  • That most of Old Covenant Israel failed to live up to the obligations of their Covenant with God (Who remains faithful on His end of the bargain and doesn't repent of His gifts) and so God made a new Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Juda (Jeremias 31), thereby fulfilling the Old Covenant, and that this New Covenant was also for the Gentiles (Matthew 2:21-32, Matthew 12:21, Acts 13)?
     

  • That it was through the Passion of Jesus Christ that this New Covenant was consummated? (John 19:30)
     

  • That Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life and that no man cometh unto the Father but by Him? (John 14:6)
     

  • That we are to go and teach all nations -- baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost -- teaching them to observe all things whatsoever that Christ has commanded? (Matthew 28:19)
     

  • That some branches were cut off from Israel and others were grafted in, and that anyone may be grafted in (and grafted in again) by repentance and faith that works in love -- and that anyone may be broken off if they boast against "the branches" or lose their faith? (Romans 11)
     

  • That in Christ, there is no Jew and no Greek? (Galatians 3:28)
     

  • That Catholics are as much the sons and daughters of Abraham as any self-proclaimed physical descendant of Abraham? (Matthew 3:7, Galatians 3:7-29)
     

  • That Ismael is a type of the faithless Jew and that Isaac is a type of the fulfilled Jew and other Christians? (Galatians 4:21-31)
     

  • That, as concerning the Gospel, religious Jews (i.e., practitioners of post-Temple Judaism, not just "anyone with a Hebrew parent") are enemies for our sake? (Romans 11)
     

  • That Catholics are to love their enemies? (Matthew 5:44)
     

  • That Catholics are called to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves? (Matthew 10:16)

That is what Scripture says and that is what the Church has always infallibly taught, and if you agree with that, then what is your argument with me? It seems to boil down to the fact that I don't show the same enthusiasm for your ethnic group as I do for my own, but why should I? Can't you see how absolutely arrogant it sounds to tell someone that they should show "reverence" before the "gloriousness" of the Jewish people? Can you imagine if you weren't Jewish and someone said that to you? What would you think? Let's try it out:

"David, you should show reverence before the gloriousness of the Italian people!"

If I were to say that to you in a serious manner, wouldn't it make you want to ask me just who the Hell do I think I am? And why would you, who claim to be Catholic, say that to anyone? What is your goal?

David, come on, man, you are obviously proud of being Jewish. Fine. I'm glad for you. And I'm proud of being Italian. But just as Italians have dirty laundry to face up to (those ancient Romans were swell fellas, eh? Does the name "Gramsci" ring a bell? How about Mussolini? Capone?), so do the Jewish people with regard to anti-Christianism, the teachings of the Talmud, usury, the political realities of fulfilling Zionist goals, and revolutionary politics in general. Be proud, but be honest with yourself , look at History, and sort through Jewish culture -- keeping the good and leaving the bad behind without pretending it isn't there and, especially, without accusing fellow Catholics of "anti-semitism" for pointing it out in order to defend Holy Mother Church. To paraphrase a Clemenza line from "The Godfather," "Leave the particularism, take the rugelach."


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