Israel’s chief rabbinate severs ties with Vatican

I saw this on the wires.

My emphases and comments.

Israel’s chief rabbinate severs Vatican ties     
Jan 28 04:04 PM US/Eastern
By IAN DEITCH
Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s chief rabbinate severed ties with the Vatican on Wednesday to protest a papal decision to reinstate [he is NOT reinstated!  NOT!  The excommunication for something completely unrelated was lifted.  That’s all.] a bishop who publicly denied 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

The Jewish state’s highest religious authority sent a letter to the Holy See expressing "sorrow and pain" at the papal decision. "It will be very difficult for the chief rabbinate of Israel to continue its dialogue with the Vatican as before," the letter said. Chief rabbis of both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews were parties to the letter.  [How unjust are these fellows?  If a person is going to be shown mercy about an entirely unrelated issue, one that has nothing whatsoever to do with them, btw, why deny him mercy on that score simply because you don’t like his views about some completely different issue?]

The rabbinate, which faxed a copy of the letter to The Associated Press, also canceled a meeting with the Vatican set for March. The rabbinate and the state of Israel have separate ties with the Vatican, and Wednesday’s move does not affect state relations[Ohhhh… it probably will eventually…]

Pope Benedict XVI, faced with an uproar over the bishop, said Wednesday he feels "full and indisputable solidarity" with Jews and warned against any denial of the full horror of the Nazi genocide.

The remarks were his first public comments on the issue since the controversy erupted Saturday.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Vatican hoped that in light of the pope’s words, "the difficulties expressed by the Israeli Rabbinate can be subjected to further and deeper reflection."

Lombardi expressed hope that dialogue between the two parties can continue "fruitfully and serenely."

Oded Weiner, the director general of the chief rabbinate’s office, welcomed the pope’s remarks, calling them "a big step toward reconciliation."  [What about their steps?  How about the benefit of the doubt once in a while, relaxing the suspicion that the Vatican or Pope are just looking for way to hurt or insult Jews?]

With his comments, the pope reached out to Jews angered by his decision to rehabilitate bishop Richard Williamson, who told Swedish TV in an interview broadcast last week that evidence "is hugely against 6 million Jews being deliberately gassed." He said 300,000 Jews were killed at most, "but not one of them by gassing in a gas chamber."

About 6 million Jews were systematically murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II. Many were gassed in death camps while others were killed en masse in other ways, including shooting and starvation. About 240,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel.

Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Israel’s quasi-governmental Jewish Agency, denounced the Vatican for bringing a Holocaust denier back into the fold.

The Vatican quickly distanced itself from Williamson’s comments and said removing the excommunication by no means implied the Vatican shared his views[But will that be accepted?]

Williamson and three other bishops were excommunicated 20 years ago after they were consecrated by an ultraconservative archbishop without papal consent—a move the Vatican at the time called an act of schism.

Benedict said Wednesday he had lifted the excommunication because the bishops had "repeatedly shown their deep suffering over the situation."

The German-born Benedict expressed his "full and indisputable solidarity" with Jews.

He recalled his visits to the Auschwitz death camp—including as pope in May 2006—and the "brutal massacre of millions of Jews, innocent victims of blind racial and religious hatred."

The Vatican and the rabbinate launched formal relations in 2000 when Pope John Paul II visited Jerusalem. Since then, delegates from the Holy See and the rabbinate have met twice a year to discuss religious issues. This is the first time ties have been severed.

The Vatican and the state of Israel have had their own relationship since establishing diplomatic ties in 1993.

___

Associated Press Writer Alessandra Rizzo in Vatican City contributed to this report

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91 Responses to Israel’s chief rabbinate severs ties with Vatican

  1. Gravitas says:

    My comment I’m about to make really doesn’t relate to this exact situation, to Jews in particular, etc.

    But I’m wondering if this and other failed attemps will show some in the Vatican that ecumenism, in a true sense, is not what they’ve been practicing since Vatican II and that you can never, ever appease some folks enough?

    What I’m asking is, could this be a blessing in disquise? At least for a while, get some of our prelates worried about Catholics and not just about the other religions down the street?

  2. I have already removed a couple off topic comments.

    If you post something purposely

    1) irrelevant

    2) inflammatory,

    as I interpret it and not even as you intend it, I will toss you off the blog.

  3. Aelric says:

    ^

    Does the suggestion of a “sour grapes” award for the rabbinate count?

  4. Maria says:

    My question to these Jews are as follows: Where are you when
    Isralis are murdering uncountable innocent children,
    women, old people and civilians in general
    in Gaza Strip? Where are you when so many Jewish doctors kills thousads of innocent babies on their mothers’ wombs.

    Just because one single Bishop
    expresses a crazy theory, the whole Church and the Holy Father are to blame?

    Poor Holy Father, poor traditional Catholics, poor Jews.

  5. beng says:

    My comment to the news would be:

    BWA HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!

  6. Andy K. says:

    Not to be too terribly offensive, but…
    Who cares what the Jews think, in regards to what the Catholic Church does with its hierarchy?

    Out of all the hundreds of bishops in the world, there is this *one* bishop, and they latch on him like he represents each and every one.

    And, this comes after all the backwards bending movements the Church has taken.

    Even the 1962 Good Friday prayer wasn’t good enough, *yet* they thank God that they weren’t made Gentiles.

    Could *someone* please tell them to either shut up and mind their own business, or start making some “concessions” themselves?

    Fr. Z: Hopefully that isn’t off-topic or inflammatory.

  7. Gravitas says:

    Father — sorry!

    In no way was that meant to be inflammatory. Just an honest question.

  8. Ed says:

    Pray for the Pope.

    He is standing for us all, and will surely feel the undeserved ill will. My rosary goes for Pope Benedict XVI. Thank you, Holy Father.

  9. David says:

    I’m stepping out on a limb… but I’m kind of confused. Why do we even HAVE ties with the Jewish rabbinate? They aren’t considering converting any time soon are they? Just baffled I guess, I just don’t get it…. Isn’t ecumenism defined as the working towards Christian unity under the one true Catholic Church? Mending the nets as it were? Or am I wrong? It’s not about conversion anymore?

  10. LeonG says:

    Hooray!

  11. ajani says:

    what could they mean by ‘reinstate’ anyway? do they mean ‘reinstate as bishop’? because I thought the original excommunications rejected the idea that they were bishops in the first place — and you can’t reinstate what was never there, right?

    someone please explain :)

  12. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:

    I agree with Andy…it’s not like we’re going to reach full communion with the Jews. And is the rabbinate so incredibly ignorant of Catholic juridical proceedings as to not understand that excommunication is a penalty for mortal sin (gross oversimplification, I know…but for the time being, it will do)? Denying the holocaust, while incredibly stupid and offensive, is not a mortal sin. Certainly everyone should condemn Williamson’s remarks, but what does the Vatican have to do with this?

    Since they are already ticked off, might as well beatify Pius XII. :-D

  13. Baron Korf says:

    Let them throw their little tantrum. We saw what happened when the Holy Father tried to appease them last time. We shouldn’t try to offend or harm them, but to be frankly honest, this is none of their business.

  14. PaulJason says:

    I have a few things that I am very tempted to say but I will reframe out of respect for Fr. Z and the Holy Father.

    I pray and I can do no more…

  15. Vox Cantor says:

    It is time for all of us to stand firmly with Pope Benedict XVI!

    Thank you LORD, for giving him to us at this time.

  16. Ryan says:

    After reading this article and the previous one about Elie Wiesel I think we can say that there are a few Jews who now openly hate the Church. This event just gives them an excuse to come out of the closet. The lifting of the excommunication has nothing at all to do with Jews. If they think it does they have no idea what they are talking about. Even at that it is none of their business whatsoever. They made a big stink about the Good Friday prayer too and it had nothing at all to do with them. And when I say “they” I’m not even talking about all Jews. It is a particular, a very minority group, of Jews that get all excited about this stuff. It is Abe Foxman, the ADL, and a couple other groups. Most of them are irreligious Jews who don’t even observe the law. Some of them don’t even believe in God! Why do we care what they think? They are for the most part political hacks who’s main agenda is to politic for Israel and create media stinks.

    These groups are almost completely isolated outside Israel and America. They have no clout in Europe because of Israel’s agression and all the Arab immigrants there.

    We should reinstate the old prayer for the Jews and pray it in particular for these anti-Catholic bigots.

  17. Son of Trypho says:

    As a convert to Catholicism from Judaism I’ll put in my thoughts – the Chief Rabbinate (both Sephardi and Ashkenazi) are probably in all honestly and fairness not completely appraised of the situation and don’t clearly understand the intracacies of the excommunication process (hence the reinstatement error). We have seen similar misinterpretations by Catholics on this blog as evidenced by the ongoing debate regarding status etc.

    I can understand their outrage with Williamson’s views (which have been clearly repudiated by all sensible people) however I think they are wrong to sever ties over this – primarily because the motivation is most likely wrong and it is mainly symbolic and I suspect that a large part of it is related to political issues also.

    A good point would be to consider how well informed they are of the various repudiations also – bear in mind, the Church admitted that they were relatively unaware of Williamson’s views themselves. Unfortunately, in these situations, once you’ve made the statement public, it is very hard to take the step down (hence the big step towards reconciliation comment).

    This whole situation is unfortunate and made significantly worse by people in the Catholic world engaging in anti-Jewish prejudice and hostility (and Jews reacting defensively and emotionally and with hostility also).

    I implore my fellow readers to not rejoice, celebrate, engage in what-aboutery etc with regards to this controversy – rather, pray for Jews (like myself also) that they may come to the awareness of the Divinity and the Saviour Jesus.

  18. David says:

    Unbelievable!

  19. Steven says:

    Holocaustianity is the last truly believed state religion in the otherwise agnostic West. Auschwitz has replaced the Resurrection as the central ontological event in our history, a substitution easy to prove: no one goes to jail for denying the Resurrection.

  20. Andy K:
    Could someone please tell them to either shut up and mind their own business, or start making some “concessions” themselves?
    Good point, I don’t see any Catholics advising them on Rabbinical procedure
    Baron Korf:
    Let them throw their little tantrum. We saw what happened when the Holy Father tried to appease them last time. We shouldn’t try to offend or harm them, but to be frankly honest, this is none of their business.
    I couldn’t agree more with this statement
    Most Excellent Sledgehammer :
    Since they are already ticked off, might as well beatify Pius XII
    I second that wish Pope Pius XII did much to alleviate the suffering of many targeted by the Nazis

  21. James Capaldi says:

    First it was the furor over a film, “The Passion of the Christ.” Then it was the Good Friday prayer for the Jews in 1962 Missale Romanum after Summorum Pontificum was issued. Now it is over an unfortunate comment made by an SSPX bishop. Certain elements of the Jewish people hate Our Lord Jeus Christ and His Church and they will use ANY excuse to attack it. There is no way to please other than to deny that Jesus was the Son of God. Let us offer our Rosaries now for our Holy Father at this difficult time.

  22. mpm says:

    Son of Trypho,

    Welcome home.
    And thank you.

  23. prof. basto says:

    Of course, the action taken by the Rabinate is stupid, and they should reverse it.

    Not that I consider relations with them essential — the Vatican should not be concerned all the time with what other religions and sects will think about its actions. But restoring relations would be good for both parties anyway, as a means of fostering mutual respect, and also so as not to hinder the Church’s presence in the Jewish State (the Rabinate is very powerful there) and Her discharge of Her Apostolic Mission in Israel.

    However, I cannot but note with regret that the Vatican Press Office has been slow in handling with this issue. The Pope’s comments were just issued today, after days of bashing in the mainstream media.

    In the meantime, many uninformed people all over the world were certainly in good faith misled by incomplete, inaccurate and one-sided press reports, into thinking that the Vatican had done something wrong. The Vatican Press Director should at least have issued an emphatic press statement explaining:

    1) That Bishop Williamson’s excommunication was unrelated to his Holocaust Denial;

    2) That Holocaust Denial is not the position of the Church, and that She condemns all forms of Anti-Semitism, including Bishop Williamson’s Holocaust Denial;

    3) That Bishop Williamson was pardoned of his unrelated excommunication for reasons related with the wider process of reconciliation with the SSPX, and that the 1988 schismatic action was the only reason for the excommunication, so that it could not simply be maintained due to an unrelated matter;

    4) That Holocaust Denial, while absurd and even criminal in some jurisdiction, is not a canonical offense, given that canonical offenses are only related with the Faith and discipline of the Church, not with historical views, however innaccurate and offensive;

    5) That the death of millions under the Nazi regime should never be condemned (something along the lines of what the Pope said today);

    6) That Bishop Williamson, while no longer excommunicated, has not been turned into a Bishop in good standing and

    6.a) that he remains excluded from the College of Bishops of the Church, and posesses no episcopal jurisdiction;

    6.b) that he has not yet returned to full communion pending full doctrinal discussions with the SSPX;

    6.c) that he accordingly remains under the penalty of suspension a divinis from any clerical ministry, given that the Pope has not lifted that other censure at this time;

    6.d) that the decision on wether he will be ever appointed to discharge episcopal ministry or not is the Pope’s and the Pope’s alone, who could decide otherwise (for instance by dismissing him from the clerical state);

    6.e) and that his status as a Bishop in the Church has not been canonically regularized at the present time.

    Given the ferocity of the Media, the Vatican Press Office needs to take a more pro-active position to defend itself and to explain its (often complex and highly thecnical) actions.

    After all, many lay people don’t have the slightest grasp of Canon Law, and trully believe that if the excommunication of a consacrated Bishop has been lifted, that now he is fully and canonically able to do what other Bishops do, and preside over a flock.

    Of course I expected more from informed people, such as the people I assume lead the Chief Rabinate of Israel, and that’s why I think that they exploited the inaccurate media coverage to deliver another media blow against the Vatican and make the Pope look bad. Sad that they opted for that road. But the Pope cannot also have his hand tied by other religions. It is not up for Jews to decide what the Vatican does.

    I further lament that, if relations were to be cut, the initative was not taken by the Vatican. After all, we would have good reasons to sever ties. We always treated the Rabinate respectfully, and what do we get in return:

    – They complain about our liturgy;

    – They complain about movies that depict scenes from the Gospels, as if we needed to hide Christ and His salvific sacrifice;

    – They distort the facts and cast offense upon Servant of God Pope Pius XII, who did a lot to save jews, as recognized by several proeminent jews themselves, such as Golda Meir.

    Perhaps the Pope should take this opportunity – now that He doesn’t worry about complaints from the Rabbis, given that they don’t talk to him anymore – and grant his long-overdue approval to the decree on the heroic virtues of Pope Pius XII.

    And, finally, the SSPX should look to this episode and be even more grateful that the Holy Father corageously attracted the indignation of the world in order to grant them mercy, against the opinions of many Bishops and Cardinals.

    The liberal bishops and cardinals will surely claim – now in a veiled manner – and at the time of the next Conclave (may God delay it) in a more open manner, that the conservatives have harmed the Church, and that someone more diplomatic (think of the present Cardinal Dean, huhgh…) should mount the Chair of Peter. So, by attacting (with right, proper and uncompromising decisions) direct media hostility — which Pope Jonh Paul II never did, and that’s why this is so unusual in our times — Pope Benedict risks undermining the future continuity of his own Marshall Plan in terms of what happens to the Church beyond his life. I just pray that the Cardinals be as coragious as they were when they elected Joseph Ratzinger to the See of Peter.

    And the Holy Father risked so much without gaining nothing in return, given that the SSPX has not yet returned to the fold and that the doctrinal discussions may work but also may fail. That’s why Sandro Magister pointed out that this action was risky.

    In the present difficult hour, more than ever before, let us pray for the Holy Father.

  24. Ad Orientem says:

    I understand why the Pope did what he did. For the record I think he was right. But I also can and do understand why Jews are offended by this. For them the Holocaust is not an abstract topic of history. If I had had a significant number of my relatives gassed and then tossed into ovens I would probably be more than a little irked by someone who denied the crime ever occurred and having the Pope seemingly welcoming him with open arms. Yes all of the nuanced and legalistic arguments about Williamson\’s status are all true. But the Jews don\’t understand any of that or really care. And honestly I don\’t blame them. To them this is personal and very emotional.

    I think the Pope was in an untenable position. No matter what he did there was going to be fallout. Ultimately he concluded, rightly I believe, that his first duty was to heal (if possible) a schism within his own church. The Vatican is not completely staffed by dolts. They must have known they were going to offend people with this. But they did it anyway. I think it was an act of courage, but a very painful one for those who are understandably hurt and offended.

    I think that while we are defending (for the most part) the Pope\’s actions we should not be insensitive to the very real and understandable pain this has caused among other people. And I really wish Bp. Williamson would just crawl back under whatever rock he has emerged from and stay there.

    Under the mercy,
    John

  25. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Given the blindness and emotionalism surrounding this matter, perhaps the Holy Father needs to reintroduce the classical formulation for the Solemn Collect for the Conversion of the Jews this Good Friday–in both the OF and the EF.

    I do not say this with any animosity or in an attend to stir this already wild beehive. Rather the old wording seems to fit the current need.

  26. Maureen says:

    Amy Welborn is right — the Vatican needs a decent PR department for moments like these. We have nothing to be ashamed of. Why not explain that?

    For example, one could point out how very hard it is for a Jew to become not a Jew. There are Jews who don’t keep kosher — but they’re still considered Jewish by Jews. Bad Jews, but Jews nonetheless. There are Jews who don’t think Israel has a right to exist, and say so in public. Nobody throws them out of the synagogue or shul, as far as I’ve ever heard. There are Neo-Nazi Jews, for goodness’ sake. They might not be socially acceptable or someone to whom you marry your nice Jewish daughter, but they’re still Jewish if you ask Jews. Would a shul stop these people from coming to Rosh Hashanah if they seemed at all repentant? (Not that I’ve ever heard, though granted, I could be uninformed about such points.)

    So you would think that the Vatican PR department and the Curia ecumenical diplomats could manage to explain that it’s very, very hard for a Catholic to become not a Catholic, and that we let them back in if they seem at all repentant.

    As for the “reinstatement” thing, I think we can thank the uninformed media (and us uninformed Catholics) for making it sound like the 4 SSPX bishops were getting issued dioceses next Tuesday.

  27. Pensionato says:

    It’s the same old song, with new words! Amazing how touchy non Catholics can get over an assumed slight. Inillotempore has it right on. Can you imagine what would happen if we responded to the voluminous attacks on the Church as they occured? We would need a separate department in the Vatican, chaired by no less than a Cardinal to respond. But to what end? Why don’t they take out their frustration on something serious like France and the exponential increase in anti-Semitism occuring there?
    Anyone doubting the extraordinary efforts by Pius XII on behalf of the Italian Jews during WWII needs to read Hitler, the War, and the Pope, by Ron Rychlak. Can you imagine the hue and cry when he is finally beatified?

  28. Dan says:

    It is not clear, at least to me, that this really isn’t about Bishop Williamson. This is about the terrible hatred of the Catholic Church that is pent up in many Jewish communities. They simply look for any chance to attack the Pope and the Church.

    Remember the beating from so many Jewish groups and even liberal Catholic groups ( who care more about “dialogue” with Jews than with ending the liturgical crisis in the Church) that Pope Benedict took when he released Summorum Pontificum?

    Bishop Williamson was no part of that and yet, Jewish groups slandered the Pope for weeks. So, Bishop Williamson has become the whipping boy, but he’s just nothing more than another chance for certain Jews to attack the Pope and the Church.

    You know…maybe some of us were a bit too hard on Bishop Williamson because the attacks were going to come with or without his interview.

    Of course, we won’t admit that because the sad truth is that we want to attack Bishop Williamson as much as Jews want to attack him.

  29. prof. basto says:

    Maureen,

    Agreed completely.

    I totally support the Pope’s decisions. It was bold, it was risky, it wasn’t strictly imperative (given that it was an act of mercy and not of justice), but still was done as a way of discharging His responsability of promoting Catholic unity and going after the sheep who are astray. It was not only a corageous act, but also the right thing to do.

    Yet, the Pope could and should have been aided by a more effective PR staff, including the Diplomats at the Secretariat of State, the Ecumenical Experts and Liasons under Cardinal Kasper and especially the Holy See Press Office. I’m sure they are good people who want to do what is best for the Church, but they should be more prepared and should have done a better PR job. They were so inneffective that now everybody is casting stones on the Pope.

    Had there been a proper explanation by the Press Office, the Chief Rabbinate wouldn’t have had the opportunity to make the Pope look bad.

  30. prof. basto says:

    CORRIGENDUM:

    In number 5 of my first post in this thread at 6:08 p.m it should read:

    “5) That the death of millions under the Nazi regime should never cease to be condemned (something along the lines of what the Pope said today)”;

    The original version contained an omission due to fast typing that altered the intended meaning of my words. Sorry.

  31. David Kastel says:

    lol

    How are people on this blog saying that the Jewish Rabbis do not understand the legalities of the Williamson/SSPX case and that’s why they can’t distinguish between the ‘Great Denial’ and the excommunication.

    Jewish Rabbis don’t understand the law? Puh-leez!

    The Jewish Rabbis and the secular, non-religious, Jews oppose Our Lord and His Church…Williamson just provides them with a convenient target.

  32. prof. basto says:

    Mr. Kastel,

    In my post (6:08 p.m) I have drawn a distinction between:

    1) Uninformed laypeople who could have understood this better had there been a proper explanation by the Press Office (after all, that’s one of the reasons why the Office exists).

    2) Those who are well informed but who are seeking to make the pope look bad. Those are mean-intentioned people; (but had the Vatican Press Office acted promptly to explain the situation and the Pope’s action, it would have provided the Church with a pre-emptive defense in the wider media circus against those attacks).

    This situation is not simple. The Pope is not wrong. He is being attacked also by well informed people who want to hurt the Church, but anyway why can’t the Holy See Press Office do its job properly and provide the pope with a strong defense of his position?

  33. Paul Haley says:

    It simply boggles my mind how Jewish groups feel they have a right to interfere in an internal matter of the Catholic Church and lecture the Pope on what he should not have done. Once again, it appears, the more attention we give them the nastier they become. And this guilt by association tactic – associating Bishop Williamson’s private views with the FSSPX as some sort of right-wing fanatic group just won’t wash.

  34. prof. basto says:

    Regarding the media debacle and the innefficiency of the Vatican Press Office to deal with modern speed of comunications and to be more pro-active in anticipating reactions, Amy Welborn hits the nail on the head:

    http://amywelborn.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/lefebvre-part-ii/

    We are talking here of effective apologetics of the Church’s position.

  35. Nancy Roberts says:

    God bless the Holy Father. Shame on Bishop Williamson for embarrassing him, all of us, this way, and just at a moment of great hope and benefit to all Catholics. Shame on the Rabbinate for encouraging dissent. It’s a time for prayer, I guess… (when isn’t?)

  36. Clinton says:

    I’m perplexed by the way the staff of the rabbinate handled this. According to the AP article, the rabbinate faxed the Associated
    Press a copy of the same letter they sent to the Vatican severing relations. It seems to me that if I was having difficulties with
    another party, and I respected that party and honestly desired to reach an understanding, I would 1) hear their side of the story
    before severing relations and 2) give dialogue a chance before trying the case in the press. I don’t think the rabbinate is treating
    the Holy See with the same respect and goodwill they would like to receive. Their behavior is low. I hope things can be ironed
    out, but I’m sure that the rabbinate’s preference for grandstanding over diplomacy will be remembered for a long time.

  37. TNCath says:

    Once again, the lifting of the excommunications was a gamble. I support the Holy Father and fully understand what he is trying to do, but I also see how the Jewish rabbinate would be offended and confused that the Church would even recognize someone with such bizarre ideas as Richard Williamson just as many people were equally confused and exasperated that Cardinal Law was appointed archpriest of St. Mary Major after the disaster in Boston. I realize the Holy Father’s actions are not based on public opinion or consensus, BUT, at the same time, you can’t help but wonder if the Holy Father always gets the “rest of the story” on some of these issues before he makes a decision.

  38. chironomo says:

    Strangely, I find myself agreeing with Gravitas (no offense intended!) in that this could well be a blessing in disguise. I too have wondered what the point of “ecumenism” is when it cannot possibly result in anything except Catholics giving ground. (It is much like the current wrangle over being “bipartisan”… which seems to mean little more than Republicans giving in and going along with Democrats.) I would rather see ecumenism redirected towards groups like the SSPX, the Russian Church and other Orthodox Churches where there is the eventual goal of reuniting.

  39. Carlos Palad says:

    There can be no mutual respect in any relationship where only one side gives
    demands and the other side never makes any.

    I think that Jewish institutions have become so used to dealing with a meek
    and gentle Catholic Church that they have come to think they can get away with being
    disrespectful towards the Holy Father himself and with spreading all sorts
    of lies and slanders against Catholics.

    I think that the time has come for the Holy See to put its foot down and put
    down tough preconditions of its own for any dialogue to continue:

    1) Respect our faith. Stop making demands that amount to forcing the Catholic
    Church to deny its own doctrines

    2) Respect our Popes. Stop lambasting a Pope who saved hundreds of thousands
    of Jewish lives.

    3) Respect our internal affairs. Stop acting as if Jewish rabbis have any right
    to even make suggestions to the Holy See on how to conduct its affairs.

    4) Show some reciprocity. Excise those vile prayers that say such nasty things about
    us Christians.

    Then, make it clear that unless Jewish representatives were to agree to abide
    by these conditions, there will be NO MORE dialogue. None whatsoever!

    Let’s see who will be the first to blink: the Holy See or the Jewish rabbis.

  40. prof. basto says:

    Chironomo,

    I agree that the bulk of the Ecumenism efforts should be directed towards the Orthodox and the SSPX.

    No substantial good ever came from Ecumenical teological discussionswith other groups. The “minimal common denominator” approach does not work and is not acceptable form the Catholic standpoint, as Card. Ratzinger himself noted during the last Sede Vacante.

    Yet, even with those other groups it is good to maintain cordial relations, for purposes other than teological discussions. To promote common charitable initiatives; to advance topical common goals (such as respect for religious liberty in secularist nations; the condemnation of things that both religions see as wrong, etc).

    Yet, it seemed that in Catholic-Jewish relations only the Catholics were under pressure to make concessions; to be sensitive, etc., etc. The unacceptable bashing of the memory of Pius XII is a case in point.

    But still, considering the worldwide reaction, even among Catholics, I believe that damages could have been avoided by more effective PR on the part of the Holy See Press Office.

    The unofficial work of Catholic blogs, etc, is great and helpful, but ultimately, the Church needs to present its case and defend its actions via its official authorities at the Vatican, and they could have better handled this issue (by giving a press briefing, or issuing a more complete explanatory note outlining the many aspects of this question, several of which I attempted to outline at my 6:08 p.m. post). In the end, there was not adequate official Press Office action to explain the Church position.

  41. prof. basto says:

    Carlos Palad,

    Your suggestion is excellent. The dialoge needs to be re-shaped with due respect shown to the Catholic side.

  42. Steve K. says:

    You know, this just has me scratching my head in puzzlement. I can’t imagine what they intend to achieve by this – they will not get the Holy Father to go back on this under any circumstance, and it will only alienate Catholics. John (Ad Orientem) I understand what you are saying, but surely they realize that there is zero chance of Catholic violence against Jews, and they are already embroiled in an existential struggle with a certain other religion, don’t they realize they are rather thin on friends at the moment and the last thing they should do is alienate what few friends they have left? What is there to gain? I have been a supporter of Israel as long as I can remember, but the last few years I have been getting increasingly bitter over their behavior towards the Church – the constant stream of slanders against Pope Pius XII, the shenanigans over the Good Friday prayer, Jewish congregations making common cause with Church dissenters and rebels (those “womynpriest” “ordinations” held in the synagogue) and now this. I’ve about had it, and I imagine many Catholics feel the same way.

  43. David Kastel says:

    Great. Amy Wellborn and basto say the Vatican should concern itself with participating in the media frenzy, like one side in the Hannity-Colmes show or the McLaughlin Group, shouting over top of their opponent.

    The Church would be better served by Rome telling Catholics not to pay any attention to the secular media, since they are liars and very anti-Catholic.

  44. Mark says:

    I stand with the comments made by Son of Trypho.

    Catholics should not go on the counter-offensive. The Jewish reaction is perfectly understandable – we, as a Church, have caused a breech in their confidence in us as friends. The fine points being made about the technicalities of lifting this excommunication are entirely beside the point. Loss of confidence is the point.

    Rather than focusing on the Jewish reaction to what we have caused, let’s us be silent and introspective now. Enough already.

  45. Boko "Otter" Fittleworth says:

    I put it to you that anything other than a strong condemnation of the rabbinate, and of Wiesel, is anti-semitic! These are grown men. Intelligent men. Men who, if they so chose, could quickly become informed on the issues involved here. Informed intelligent grown-ups would defuse this situation, condemning Williamson’s views but pointing out that the lifting of the excommunications was in no way a Vatican endorsement of holocaust denial. Informed intelligent adults would go on to point out the many kindnesses of BXVI (and, yes, Blessed Pius XII) towards the Jewish people, thank him for those kindnesses, assure him of their mutual affection and esteem, and close by wishing BXVI well in his pursuit of Christian unity. Anything short of a condemnation of this petty bitchery is a tacit statement that Jews are by nature immmature whiners who cannot be expected to conform to the norms of intelligent adult conversation. I, for one, am not going to sit here and listen to anyone badmouth jewry by making excuses for this b.s. Gentlemen!

  46. gsk says:

    At the risk of alienating the readers, I would say that the overall tenor of these responses is discouraging. The triumphalism seeps through and one might even detect a “so what?” attitude that is very troubling. I’m gratified to see that Ad Orientem has a measured response, but otherwise very few seem to empathise with the very very poor timing of the Williamson comments. We must remember that they were spoken in tandem with the unfortunate remarks made by Card. Martino that accused Israel of establishing a concentration camp in Gaza, which gave an overall anti-semitic tone to that news cycle.

    Ultimately, accusing the Jews of missing the point and being obtuse about How Things Really Work in the Church is really rich when the blogosphere has been awash in invective (amongst the Catholic Elites) who cannot even agree on the status of sacraments, status and standing of this whole SSPX episode.

  47. Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese says:

    Is this the “fruit” of 45 years of ecumenism? To have Jews rant and rave over one obscure bishop living in Argentina. Can we please put an end to ecumenism once and for all?

    Thank God the Pope didn’t involve Cardinal Kasper.

  48. Steve K. says:

    Mark –

    “The Jewish reaction is perfectly understandable – we, as a Church, have caused a breech in their confidence in us as friends. The fine points being made about the technicalities of lifting this excommunication are entirely beside the point. Loss of confidence is the point.

    Rather than focusing on the Jewish reaction to what we have caused, let’s us be silent and introspective now. Enough already.”

    No.

  49. Michael Thoma says:

    Outside of the misunderstanding of the Rabbinate, the State of Israel will severe ties with the Vatican very quickly – not because of offense at lifting Williamson’s excommunication, although that is what will be stated publicly, but because Israel has yet to rectify their violation of Vatican and Ecclesial property rights in the Holy Land. It will be based strictly on economic motives, but publicly stated that it is because of the Vatican’s “anti-semitism”.

  50. Clinton says:

    I have the feeling that there are many Jews who are mortified by the ill-considered and inflammatory acts of
    their fellows regarding the Holy See, just as we are mortified by Bp. Williamson’s views. Surely they cannot all
    share the same addiction to umbrage as groups like the rabbinate. The Holy See has a disadvantage in its
    relations with Judaism in that they don’t have an equivalent to the Vatican — Rome has to deal with several
    representative bodies, not just one. Evidently some of them are less interested in working to achieve some-
    thing positive than others.

  51. Matt Q says:

    Father Z’s comments in the text speak exactly how I feel about this. The sentiment of the issue though speaks louder. It’s “Me, me, me–all about ME!”

    We understand what happened during the War and can sympathize with them about it yet they play this victim bit a little too much. They weren’t the only ones who went to their deaths in the camps. They weren’t the only ones who were singled out just for being whatever. Catholic priests went first to go when Hitler came to power. The Church was the first victim. The Church always is when evil comes to power.

    Bishop Williamson’s comments were out of line but has nothing to do with this internal matter. This is none of their business.

  52. Johnny Domer says:

    I guess there’s one real question that’s most crucial here: Did Benedict’s decision actually put souls in jeopardy? Were these Jewish groups going to become Catholics had Benedict not lifted the excommunication from Williamson? Probably not–I think they are, honestly, not very much further away from accepting Catholicism than they ever were. Would the SSPX reconcile if Rome didn’t lift the excommunications? No, not even maybe. I think in the final analysis, no matter what these hypersensitive and irrational groups of Jewish rabbis might say, this was for the good of souls. God reward Pope Benedict for his bravery in making such a difficult decision.

  53. Matt Q says:

    Johnny Domer wrote:

    “I guess there’s one real question that’s most crucial here: Did Benedict’s decision actually put souls in jeopardy? Were these Jewish groups going to become Catholics had Benedict not lifted the excommunication from Williamson? Probably not—I think they are, honestly, not very much further away from accepting Catholicism than they ever were. Would the SSPX reconcile if Rome didn’t lift the excommunications? No, not even maybe. I think in the final analysis, no matter what these hypersensitive and irrational groups of Jewish rabbis might say, this was for the good of souls. God reward Pope Benedict for his bravery in making such a difficult decision.”

    )(

    Good take, Johnny. Yes, the Holy Father is courageous. People ultimately are responsible for their own souls. The Holy Father did what was right for the Church as a whole. The Jews even carried on when the Tridentine Mass was freed up. What, stop living because of human respect? If people are going to flop off the seat just because some one does something which in this case is truly correct, that’s their problem.

  54. The last 2 comments by Johnny Domer & Matt Q are good.

    Bishop Williamson made unjust statement. But the chief rabbinate’s statement is also unjust: unjust to the Holy Father.

    After reading about such extreme statements, I feel more grateful that we belong to the true Faith which is founded on Solid Rock. We should keep our Holy Father in our prayers. May his courageous efforts have good results.

  55. I think I went through all the reactions of others here. It is certainly disturbing to see how out of hand this has become.

    Why should we care what the Jews think?

    I guess cuz that’s probably what our Lord, having been a Jew, would do. Probably, St. Paul, who made it pretty clear that the Jews were still important, would care, too. I’m thankful that our Holy Father, vicar of Christ, cares and has done what he can to communicate that (and probably will continue to).

    At the same time, our Lord did not let what the Jews of his day, his fellow people, stop him from carrying out his mission. Again, our Holy Father, being the vicar of Christ, is not allowing fear of what they will say and think keep him from carrying out his mission of restoring the liturgy and unity in the Church. And as with our Lord, carrying out the mission does not come without cost.

    I guess the best thing to do is to wait and pray, as our Lord asked his disciples to do in the Garden.

    May God continue to grant our Holy Father strength and courage to carry out his mission, and may we live to see it come to fruition.

  56. Scott says:

    Fr, here is a link to a nice video about the excommunications being lifted:

    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=7pOBTFcHub4

  57. LeonG says:

    A letter of apology has been sent to Pope Benedict XVI by Bishop Williamson. A good example of humility. Perhaps, discerning from many recent events in The Church there are some NO bishops out there who ought to do the same thing.

    References
    http://remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2009-now_also_bishop_williamson.htm

    http://remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2009-now_also_bishop_williamson.htm

  58. Adeodatus says:

    I surprised and saddened by the Anti-Semitic comments on this blog. I also wonder why Father Z has so many Anti-Semitic readers?

    Jesus Chris our God is a Jew. And yet so many people feel such hatred for the Jews… do they not know that Christ is of David?

  59. Anne says:

    Hours before Father Z posted this older news about the Chief Rabbi, the latter had already welcomed Benedict’s address:

    >>The director general of the Chief Rabbinate, Oded Wiener, later told ANSA that the pope’s words were ”a great step forwards in resolving this question”. ”His statements were very important for us and for the whole world,” he added.

    http://www.ansa.it/site/notizie/awnplus/english/news/2009-01-28_128312585.html

  60. matt says:

    Adeodatus,

    could you cite this hated for the Jews? I see some degree of disrespect perhaps, but nothing approaching hatred…

  61. Martin says:

    I wonder how one can possibly reconcile adeodathus (the blogger ID, whence the lower case):

    Jesus Chris our God is a Jew.

    with Saint Paul:

    as concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake

    Does anyone have a clue?

  62. Martin says:

    Michael Thoma dixit:

    […] the State of Israel will severe ties with the Vatican very quickly – not because of offense at lifting Williamson’s excommunication, although that is what will be stated publicly, but because Israel has yet to rectify their violation of Vatican and Ecclesial property rights in the Holy Land. It will be based strictly on economic motives, but publicly stated that it is because of the Vatican’s “anti-semitism”.

    Amen. And, one may add: the Williamson story is useful to generate a big, dense, opaque cloud of smoke designed at hiding the recent Israeli atrocities over Palestinian civilians. But of these ones, the mainstream media could not care less.

  63. Martin says:

    gsk dixit:

    the unfortunate remarks made by Card. Martino that accused Israel of establishing a concentration camp in Gaza

    Why unfortunate? This is the horrible truth.

  64. Clinton says:

    Adeodatus, I disagree with you AGAIN. Your comments here are as wrongheaded as the comments you made about Fr. Z.
    at Curt Jester. I cannot see how the overall tone of this thread could be considered anti-Semitic by a reasonable person.
    “Obey the Roman Pontiff and tone down the language” — still seems like sage, sane advice.

    http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/archives/2009/01/another-move-to.php

  65. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Perhaps the Holy Father is, again, being quite canny.

    He made his Regensburg address while planning a visit to Turkey that then healed wounds and was regarded, in the Catholic and secular press, as a success.

    He lifts excommunications from the SSPX while planning a trip to Israel that……

  66. Hoka2_99 says:

    Can I please come out of hibernation now? Yawn!!!! This matter has nothing to do with either Jews or non-Catholic Christians and everything to do with an attempt to heal the schism in the Catholic Church brought about by the SSPX people. Those four bishops are NOT in Communion with the Holy See – yet! Our wonderful, thoughtful, highly intelligent Holy Father has worked all this out. If he can bring these Lefrebvrists[spelling? I’ve never been able to get this word right] back into Communion with the Church, he will have achieved a victory that his predecessor was unable to do.
    Thank God for Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI!!!!!!!!!!!!
    From a grateful and fervent English Catholic.

  67. Father Renzo di Lorenzo (TRILOGY) says:

    (1) Jesus, our God, is a Jew. I rejoice.
    (2) By His wounds, the many are healed.
    (3) As the Master, so the disciple.

  68. I am not Spartacus says:

    The great John Zmirak had the best response to this impenetrable Jewish rhetorical boilerplate:

    The NY Times has taken this opportunity to rake up the dying controversy over Pope Pius XII—whom everyone agrees saved hundreds of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust—and his decision to criticize Nazi persecutions in a guarded way.

    Well, I’d like to turn the tables: How forthright were Jewish organizations in the 1920s in denouncing Stalin’s genocide in the Ukraine? Where are the statements by Zionist groups decrying the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico in the 1920s, in Spain in the 1930s? Can anyone point to action by Jewish groups that saved hundreds of thousands of Catholic lives? I’d be happy to hear of them.

    But in their absence, I’m not going to blame “the Jews” for Bolshevism any more than they should blame the Catholic Church for the Nazis. And I won’t hold a grudge against Jews or Jewish groups because they didn’t risk their own necks to help save ours. We are none of us perfect. We all have our crackpots, and must learn to forgive each other.

    http://www.takimag.com/sniperstower/article/where_are_my_ninjas/

  69. Sunny says:

    I love Ratzinger. He is right. The jews re just fulfilling the projphecies about them. Let them go on. Their destiny will not change – they were the chose people to breed the Messiah. He came and was killed bythem. So, He, the Light of the World said – you will be scattered, you will have no peace – etc. They are the cains of our day. Let us pray for our most special pope, Benedict, let us pray for the victims of the jews and let us give to them the importance they have for our church: none at all.

  70. Great sarcasm woefully aimed at the less discerning, who won’t get it, making for a self-fulfilling prophesy just about oneself. Now isn’t that an irony?

  71. Just in case Sunny doesn’t get it, my comment was aimed at you.

  72. Ellen says:

    I find my goodwill very strained right now. I think Williamson is a nut – period. I abhore anti-Semitism and I am a firm believer in Israel’s right to exist. But come on Rabbis – lifting an excommunication has nothing to do with you. We’ll take care of our own nuts.

  73. more than trivia says:

    Semites are not just Jews.

    Semites are people who speak semitic languages, like Arabic and Ethiopian.

  74. Mitch says:

    When do we Catholics get left alone? Why is there so much imput from other religious entities into the Catholic faith? This seems like over-reaction to the extreme. As if trying to punish this generation of Catholics for all the wrongs of history. It takes two sided to end conflict and bitterness. I think the Catholic side has laid down their weapons long ago. How about the other sides??

  75. LeonG says:

    ” Lefrebvrists[spelling? I’ve never been able to get this word right]”

    There is no such phenomenon as Lefebvrism. This only exists in the minds of those who feel antipathy towards or who have never understood, nor read fully what Archbishop Lefebvre stood for. He was a Roman Catholic first and foremost and had the courage to defend and hand on all that he had been taught as a Catholic. He had no expressed intention of starting up a new church neither did he ever attempt to do this. He was no anti-semite either. I have read most of his writings and those about him that are not rabidly biased against him. He gives sound advice on how to remain Catholic and faithful in our extremely confusing era. So confusing is it that even Cardinals and other hierarchs do not understand The Faith anymore. If you doubt this then read about Our Blessed Lady of Akita’s message concerning a divided hierarchy and the scandal of compromises made by the modern church. The division does not stem from adherence to tradition but compromises to The Faith by our shepherds and certain lay leaders.

    Furthermore, Williamson has apologised to the Pope, merits forgiveness on those grounds and he is definitely not a nut nor is he a crank. We may not agree with what he said but current social democratic hypocrisy pretends freedom of speech but has legal structures to curb it and media amplification to persecute it when it does not agree or is in some manner offended by it. Then, social democrats resort to name calling and accusations of insanity. Thus, we are slipping back into a left wing form of fascism in Europe and USA. Normally, in natural and social science, we examine all perspectives and then evaluate them as objectively as we are able. If we were really true to our scientific principles then we would allow public debate to expose the invalid hypothesis. We can test for falsehood. However, this is no longer the case in strategically selected politically correct situations defined in political arenas. Hence, we are not too far from the time when significant portions of The Bible will become proscribed for their political incorrectness. Be warned!

  76. Ellen, my good will is also very strained. I grew up in an area where the Jewish population is in the majority. As Catholics we were often ridiculed and made fun of….not by all, but by enough. For a kid those things leave a lasting impression. It took a long time for me to put that behind me and realize that it wasn’t Jew against Catholic, but rather bullies using an acceptable form of prejudice, perhaps the only one left: anti-Catholicism. And they didn’t learn it from their parents, many of whom had fled the horrors of the Communists and Nazis and who told of being helped by priests and nuns. Additionally, they were truly righteous and loving people who went out of their way to help people. They destroyed the stereotype of the “Jew.” The anti-Catholocism was learned right here in the good old USA where it was and is an acceptable prejudice, just as it is throughout the world.

    It’s extremely hard for me right now as a priest and a Catholic to be of good will in the face of the accusations of anti-Semitism against the Church. I, like so many others, am deeply hurt and angered at the injustice, ignorance, and knee-jerk reactions of Jewish leaders and the press in their biased reporting. I really want to react in kind. However, I throw myself at the feet of the Martyrs and beg their help in dealing with this issue. We, like them, are suffering for the Faith. This is a cause for rejoicing, for if we were not of the One True Faith, satan would not be working so hard to foment hatred against us and division amongst us.

    All you holy Martyrs, pray for us.

  77. As a side note, has anyone ever written a book on the history of the Vatican and the Media?

    I think that would be an interesting read…

    This “storm” is directly linked to the mainstream “drive by” global media machine.

    That said, it is a shame that Bishop Williamson has chosen to color what truly is a wonderful work of the Holy Spirit and to turn it into a media circus.

  78. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    Very well said, Father Bailey!

    One has to keep in mind the role of “Spirit of Vatican II” Catholics in all of this. For years they’ve been telling both Catholics and Jews that, until Vatican II, the Church was profoundly misogynistic, bigoted and anti-semitic; that the collective responsibility of Jews for Christ’s death was part of Church doctrine; and that the traditional teachings of the CHurch were a major cause of the Holocaust. Some even went as far as to claim that the Tridentine Mass in some way caused the Holocaust (If my memory serves me well, Father Z. fisked a letter of protest, published around the time of the Motu Proprio; it was written by an American priest, and he made the link between the EF and the persecution of Jews by the Nazis.) All of this the liberal Catholics did in order to consolidate their power: in order to persuade people that their “spirit of Vatican II” approach was the only way to redeem the Church and guarantee the acceptance of Catholics into the mainstream. Having been told this for decades by prominent Catholics, it’s not surprising that Jews are now reacting with hostility and suspicion to the revival (“rehabilitation”, to use the MSM’s favorite word) of tradition. Unfortunately, a not insignificant portion of the SSPX has helped the liberal Catholics immensly in their calumny of our Church.

  79. Kradcliffe says:

    Anne, thank you for the link to that update! I am glad to hear that they’re receptive to the Holy Father’s statements. There will always be pot-stirrers and trouble makers, but I have to hope that there are many leaders with the same sincere intentions as our Pope who just want to seek harmony and mutual understanding (which may someday lead to conversion.)

  80. Allan says:

    Fr. Z wrote:

    “…why deny him mercy on that score simply because you don’t like his views about some completely different issue?”

    Father, I disagree with your choice of words. Two words to be precise: “like” and “issue.”

    In the former case, “like” has nothing to do with it. To Jews (and most everyone) the Shoa is not ice cream; it cannot be liked or disliked – same for reprehensible views about it. In the latter case, to describe the holocaust as an “issue” is to minimize it (eg. one more issue amoung many). It is no such thing. The holocaust stands alone as a historically recent abomination that cannot be compared to other “issues.”

    I am stunned that so many supposedly well-informed Catholics fail to understand the depth of Jewish feelings on this subject.

  81. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    Allan,

    The CHurch does not excommunicate pedophiles, mass-murderers, or any other sort of evil-doers on account of their sins. Christ died for sinners and the Church exists for sinners. Bishop Williamson’s sins do not and cannot preclude him from communion with the Church. What would the victims of Timothy McVeigh have said about the attempts of a priest to get him to repent for his sins before his execution? On the other hand, it is perfectly normal to use measures other than excommunication for a Bishop like Williamson. Indeed, Bishop Fellay has silenced him. If the SSPX were to take further steps toward full communion with the Church (I hope that’s the right way of putting it), I’m sure that the issue of Williamson’s inflammatory statements will come up–not to exclude him from possible communion, but to determine whether he can continue being an active Bishop while also playing the role of amateur historian and skilled provocateur when dealing with the media and his flock. Father Charles Coughlan’s last years might be a possible model for Bishop Williamson.

  82. brian says:

    These Jewish spokespeople were incredibly silent when the Israeli arm were butchering innocent civilians in Gaza recently.
    The Catholic Church needs to stop bending to the will of these people over the Good Friday Prayers, The Passion of the Christ etc etc.
    Jesus was the awaited Messiah of Israel – he is the Divine Lord and only Saviour.
    The Church needs to proclaim Jesus the Christ to the Jewish community and prayer for their individual and collective conversion. Doing this it is being faithful to her calling.

    Good Friday Prayers( 1962):
      Let us pray also for the Jews: that our God and Lord would remove the veil from their hearts: that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ.

       Almighty and everlasting God, who drivest not away from Thy mercy even the Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people: that, acknowledging the light of Thy truth, which is Christ, they may be rescued from their darkness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

  83. Alan F. says:

    Why do we need religious dialogue with the Jews anyway? It’s a different religion, I don’t see what dicussions there are. What are the desired ends? Do they hope to reach an agreement? That’s just silly, we can’t compromise our Faith with other religions.

    Also, about state relations: I though Vatican City doesn’t recognise Israel as a nation.

  84. Elastico says:

    I disagree with this statement by Alan (1/29, 9:54 am): “The holocaust stands alone as a historically recent abomination that cannot be compared to other “issues.””

    The Ukranina famine and other deaths of innocents caused because of the Soviets, Mao’s atrocities, and Pol Pot’s too, are all abominations of recent history that have resulted in death to tens of millions. The 20th century was a very bloody and tragic period.

    Regarding Father Z’s point: Say an employee is put on warning for non-performance. The employee rectifies the situation, but then the employer says he will not remove the warning because he did not like the employee’s stance on abortion. It is obvious that not removing the warning would be unjust and unfair since abortion is totally unrelated to whether the warning is removed or not.

  85. Sunny says:

    I repeat what I said above, let us pray for Benedict, let us forget the jews who have noimportance to our church at all. Yes and let us pray for their victims.

  86. Our Lord does not forget the Jews.

  87. Ottaviani says:

    Our Lord does not forget the Jews.

    Yes – this is very true. Our Lord will remember them, even if his churchmen has forgotten them as of 1969.

  88. Ottaviani… are you referring to the still pretty much unresolved issue in the blogosphere, an analysis of the 1969/1970 Good Friday mention of the Jews? I think we’ve only gotten as far as saying that the 1962/2008 Good Friday prayers for the Jews are great. That’s a big step. But there is one more to take. It would behoove us all to try do delve into this matter of the 1969/1970 mention of the Jews. Now is the time to make the push. Lent is almost upon us. And the world is looking for some well thought-out distinctions in this regard.

    But that might not be what you meant, and this might be a rabbit hole.

  89. paul says:

    I am troubled by some of these comments- so much hatred- very sad.
    To those who hate I say how would you feel if your entire family was wiped out by Hitler? Not only were millions of Jews killed during the Holocaust but many Catholics as well. To deny the Holocaust is stupid as Pope Pius x1 stated “spiritually we are semites”. Also as a traditonal Catholic I wish to state I believe there is nothing wrong with praying for the conversion of the Jews- it is nothing but an act of love to want people to come to Christ and His Church.

  90. Angelo says:

    Is it really true that these Rabbinic Jews pray for our deaths? Now that I would think is sad.

    My understanding is that Judaism which is the mother of Christianity transformed into Christianity 2000 years ago. No temple, no priests, no sacrificial offerings. Catholics are the only ones to do that now. That the Biblical Judaism of our religious fathers transformed to Christianity when they all converted. These folks seem to be a religion apart from their own history and one that began in the first few centuries after the Resurrection. So who are these guys anyway and what are their intentions? Why do they bother with us so much and why do we care?

    I got Jehovah’s Witness neighbors who pray for my conversion. Am I expected to sever ties with them? Of course not. I can still recognize and appreciate their charity even if they are off their rockers. Where is the brotherhood, folks? Are Catholics the only ones who have it?

  91. The Lord does not stop caring.