Category Archives: Jewish-Catholic dialogue

“I’m a strict segregationalist”

jesus faces

“When I am lifted up [on the Cross], I will draw all to myself,” said Jesus. But the “strict segregationalist” says that Jesus, who is in the least of the brethren, can just go to hell, adding that we don’t want those kind of people here among us.

Jesus asked Saul about the persecution of the new Christians (in Syria):

“Why are you persecuting me?”

Saint Paul Conversion Damascus Caravaggio

And, just to say, about that bit about Jesus going to hell, well, you have to know, Jesus did go to hell. That’s part of the creed we recite every Sunday. He preached to the fallen spirits also about the persecution of the least of the brethren, and that that is why they will be in hell forever.

Still today, ever since original sin, ever since heading out right around the world from the Garden of Paradise, ever since the dispersion after the Tower of Babel, ever since we were arrogant, entitled brats who smash others down to lift ourselves up…

  • … people are still congratulating themselves that they are better than all others, better than all in the past, including Jesus, better than those around them…
  • … people are still protesting, even at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, even in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament –with them, for instance, not being Jews, and Jesus, the Divine Son of the Living God, God Himself, being a Jew — they are still protesting that they are supporters of “strict segregationalism” (a technical phrase that, incorporating all the violence of the crucifixion of our Lord). Go ahead and Google “strict segregationalism”…
  • … people are still being entitled brats, who are the only ones who exist, are the only ones who are important, are the only ones who are the only ones… How to say it?

Instead, Jesus is the One, the only One, who would unite us to Himself as members to a body, He the Head, as Saint Paul says, and we the members. See the painting above. There are a zillion passages, but how about starting with this one (Colossians 3:1-17)? (Can you think of others?)

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,  forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Saint Paul asserts that, though he is the Jew of Jews. He follows Jesus, the Divine Son of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Prince of the Most Profound Peace, Himself a Jew, who nevertheless says that “Salvation is of the Jews,” that is, for all who want it, which is not at all contradictory of what Saint Paul says of the Jews:

“They are Israelites, and to them belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 9:4-5)

In other words, those who have all the rights to be “strict segregationalists” (before Jesus came) are not to be so as regards salvation. But, let’s be real about this. What actually happens with us now that Jesus has come among us?

Anecdote time:

  • When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), a couple came to get married, and so I got out the premarital investigation forms, which, I noticed, on the second page at the top, there was box which small print in it explaining that if was a mixed marriage, the wedding was not to take place without the required permissions of the Vicar for Black People. That’s right, “mixed” didn’t mean something like Catholic and Hindu. No, no. This was “Black” and “White.” I had to look at that a half dozen times, and then I called the Chancery and asked them what the hell that was all about. Then I wrote them a fierce letter like I’m sure they’ve never seen from a priest. No, after that, they weren’t expecting me to contact any Vicar for Black People.
  • When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), any number of people asked me to build a church for the Black People because, you know, like, yeah, you know…
  • When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), a “nice” elderly lady came up to me and described a “N***** who lived just down the road a piece.” She went on and on about how no one is racist because “we treats them N****** just as if they was real people.” I asked her if she understood what she was saying. She tried to her best to look bewildered and all innocent, but could not hide her wry and cynical smile telling me how much I myself was hated for not despising those not just like the “nice” lady.
  • When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account)… well… you get the idea…

Just guessing, but if any of that kind of BS goes on at the gates of heaven by any of the people lining up to get in to those pearly gates, so that “strict segregationalists” are trying to smack down actual believers, throwing, if they could, the true believers out of line, in that case I think the walls around heaven will grow even taller, even more insurmountable, to keep out all those who are proud to be “strict segregationalists.” The believers will be brought in, protected from the “strict segregationalists,” who will find themselves in hell. Ah yes, irony of ironies.

Mind you, it’s not actually that they will so much be excluded as they will not then want to go into heaven, what with all the non-segregationalist attitudes going on there. Hah.

norman rockwell golden rule

Another anecdote:

  • When I was a deacon in another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), I noted that, in the old coal mining town I was in, there were eleven Catholic churches. The churches hosted impossibly different languages of the newly immigrant coal minors, such as Polish and Lithuanian and German and Italian… on and on… But this is not segregationalism, strict or unstrict. It’s just a matter of convenience for languages regarding the provision of the sacraments that would involve preparation and discussion such as with Marriage and Confession. Mass was in Latin for everyone of course. But if anyone from any of the churches would go to any other church… that would be just fine and dandy. It wasn’t about segregation. Not at all. Zilch. Zero. Zip. NOT THAT.

Let’s try it again. Another passage from Saint Paul (Ephesians 2:13-22):

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

2 Comments

Filed under Ecumenism, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Racism

The Necessary Co-Redemptrix

SISTINE MADONNA detail

While preaching this Palm-Sunday on what would be an appropriate meditation for this Holy Week for my parishioners – the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and then the 4th and 13th Stations of the Cross: Jesus meeting his mother after getting smashed down by the cross for the first time and then Jesus being lowered from the cross into her arms, ever so dead – in preaching on all that… well… I mean… I suppose I could put the audio of the homily up… It’s just that it’s embarrassing as I got entirely choked up a number of times, entirely unable to speak for at least what seemed like ten seconds… thirty seconds…

Here’s the deal: Not that it at all came out in what I said necessarily, but it was in preaching on Jesus and His good mom that I “understood” – beheld quite directly, if you will – the dynamic, if you will – by which it is entirely necessary that Mary be Co-Redemptrix. To me this wasn’t just an “insight”, but rather an invitation to behold what’s really going on with our Redemption, ever so personal for Jesus about Mary, the good Son of a good mom. It was like seeing Mary as Mother from the eyes of her good Son.

I asked a specialist in psychology and priests about this fault of mine, getting choked up, which the Brits would call weakness, and even worse. He knows me well, and is my spiritual director. He straight up laughed at me for stupidly even asking the question, saying that Freud would say that it all has to do with an unresolved conflict with my own mom. But, then he said that Freud has been discredited on saying everything like this must be a “conflict,” adding that surely this was, in fact, for me, a valid religious experience. And then he went on to mention some of his own like experiences.

I say all that just to rid some of such unnecessary distraction so that they might pay attention to what is important. Here are some points spelling out a bit what I didn’t entirely spell out in the homily because of my getting choked up:

  • Only Adam was responsible for the “breath of the living ones” which was only given to him with its intention that he and his offspring be alive and then reaffirm this life should he eat from the tree of the living ones, that is, living with good choices, instead of eating, as it were, from the tree of knowing good mixed with evil, a kind of epistemology of dumbed-downness by which the power of his agent-intellect was corrupted not only for himself, but for us. Adam changed the intention of the breath from life to death. We no longer have the wherewithal to keep matter and spirit, body and soul together. We start to drop into the grave the moment we are conceived.
  • Any offspring have a share in the breath of the dying ones, and are dumbed-down, weakened, unable to love that which, the One – God – whom they don’t know, as they otherwise should, and so are immediately in sin, what we call original sin.
  • God creates the soul which is concomitant with that life, that dying life at the choice of Adam, not of God. God is just respecting Adam’s choice for himself, for us. We are created good up to the point Adam chose. And that’s the point: up to the point that Adam chose. Adam chose to descend to the level of where his wife bid him to go, not more nor less.
  • In justice, in our Redemption, Jesus should redeem us, recreate us only inasmuch as, only to the point that one of us would ask for this, Mary’s intercession for us.
  • Mary, free from original sin, and therefore with purity of heart and agility of soul and clarity of (spiritual) vision so that she could see exactly what we needed as she looked upon what sin has ravaged on her Son. She was in perfect solidarity with Son, her Immaculate Heart, His Sacred Heart.
  • Jesus followed up on her intercession for us, and only up to the point she desired this for us, which, of course, was perfectly. She’s the perfect mother. Our mother.
  • That maternal intercession of hers was necessarily for Him. It is this to which He looked. And only this. Jesus had a human nature. In justice, He should use this human nature. It is in His human nature that He received the intercession of His mother for us. He was going to do exactly what she wanted for us (which is, of course, exactly what He wanted for us precisely as her children, with Him).

Just to say it:

Our Redemption by Jesus is equal, not more, not less, to the maternal intercession of Jesus’ good mom for us. He looked to her, the Son to the Mother. Just as Adam looked to his wife as to just how far he should fall, so did the new Adam look to The Woman to see just how far He should lift us back up. Being Immaculate, she saw our need perfectly, and, in perfect solidarity with her Son, interceded for us perfectly. Having said all that, it is she who set us before our Redemption. Jesus would not have done it without her indicating that Redemption. Mary is entirely necessary as Co-Redemptrix for our Redemption.

Academically, the point is entirely valid with all my years of doctoral studies on Genesis 2:4–3:24 (including 3:15). I have much to say on all this, drawing out all the implications, drawing out the incisive ironies. I am overwhelmed with the entirely and very personal dynamic, if you will, of what is happening with our redemption, Jesus looking to His good mom: “Woman! Behold! I make all things new!”

Finally, this provides me the engine – how to say it? – to draw out a popular version of the thesis. I pray that I’m able to accomplish this. I pray that this works toward what has been called the fifth Marian dogma.

Now it’s more personal than it ever was. It’s like a project with Jesus.

I entirely realize that making it personal makes me look to be the fool. Delusional. An idiot. Fine. Whatever. I know what I know. It’s all come together. Whatever authority by which I write anything has nothing do with me. It’s to be judged on consistency with the Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Magisterial interventions of the Church. It’s to be judged on the reasoning. Yes.

All I can say is that, right now, at the start of Holy Week, I’ve been shaken to the core of my being before God that Mary, our good mom, is necessarily Co-Redemptrix. It has to be that our Redemption in entirely involved with Jesus looking to His good mom. And, yes, she was singled out in Genesis: “I will put enmity between you [Satan] and The Woman [in context, the future Mother of the Redeemer].

In saying that, what is left to say? Just this:

Jesus, Immaculate Mary’s Divine Son, has done all things well.

10 Comments

Filed under Immaculate Conception, Jesus, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, John Paul II, Mary

07 Priestly Celibacy Series – Fulton Sheen

fulton sheen preaching mass

This series on priestly celibacy began with a guest post. That was Ignace de la Potterie, S.J. And now we have another, this time on something noted by the Venerable Fulton J Sheen, this being recalled by a priest friend, a past student of mine, who has far surpassed his teacher in all things. For that, I rejoice.

That priest is presently across the pond. He’s been been distracted by this blog from time to time. He has gone to the point of sending in some Flowers for the Immaculate Conception from the patio-rooftop from which he can see the Vatican. It’s rare for him to make such an intervention. But in following this series on Priestly Celibacy he couldn’t help but rejoice in recalling what the Venerable Sheen had said. Behold:

Dear Father, [I’m always happy to see the spelled out version instead of the abbreviation “Fr.”, and “Father” instead of “Reverend” or “Rev.” Priests need to know they are Father. We need to remind priests of their fatherhood of their parish families. This is all part of priestly celibacy. Don’t use nicknames or merely names with your priests, like “Skippy” or “Jim Bob.” Remind them of their calling, especially if you think they’ve lost the plot.]

A blessed Lent to you! [Lent is about the blessings of deepened friendship with the Lord Jesus.] I have been ever so grateful for your recent celibacy posts. It is refreshing to see faithful, truth-preaching priests amidst the chaos of these days. [Thank Jesus’ good mom for dealing with the awful likes of me.] May my own donkiness* be as simple and humble as yours one day! [Already done, my friend. Already done.]

I also wanted to send along an interesting bit I heard from Ven. Fulton Sheen today. [“heard”… In other words, he’s listening to the shows and retreat conferences and talks given by the Archbishop. I think I wore out all the little cassette tapes of his talks back in the 1980s. Good memories.]

He was talking to priests about celibacy and started with the Old Testament. He said there were only 3 instances when a “temporary celibacy” arose:

[1] before theophanies (e.g. Moses commands this before ascending Sinai);

[2] in wartime (David and his men when they receive the show bread from the priest);

[3] and at the dedication of the Temple.

How applicable these are to us, no?

[1] For as priests we are constantly in the Divine Theophany of the Eucharist and the Sacred Liturgy—[3] we are constantly in the Temple of the Church, and are temples of the Holy Spirit. [2] And if it isn’t clear to all and sundry that we are at constant war as priests, then they haven’t been paying attention! Spiritual warfare, war with the spirit of the world. But we have angels on our side.

Anyway, I know you refer to the good Fulton Sheen every so often, so I wanted to send this along. I look forward to the future posts about “making room” and celibacy. Know of my prayers for you. I will offer Mass for you tomorrow morning. God bless! [I am very humbled by you’re offering Mass for me, dearest Father. Thank you. I shall return the favor in just a few hours, at the parish’s Noon Mass at Holy Redeemer.]

Pax,

Father […]

* Donkeys are always in the midst of the Holy Family, from Nazareth to Bethlehem to Egypt and all the way back to Nazareth and, years later, bringing Jesus into Jerusalem for the Last Supper and His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

Leave a comment

Filed under Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Priesthood, Priestly Celibacy, Priestly Celibacy Series, Vocations

Rafi Eitan! May you rest in peace. I hope to meet you in heaven. Your legacy lives!

screenshot_20190323-1643123998759908646503003.png

screenshot_20190321-165030~24132290128470579857..jpgRafael “Rafi” Eitan was the head of the Mossad operation which brought Nazi extermination camp organizer Adolf Eichmann from Argentina to Israel to stand trial and be hanged.

Born: 23 November 1926 // Died: 23 March 2019.

Let’s see… What’s the greatest compliment one might give to someone? I know!

Rafi, it would have been an honor for me to serve in the Mossad under your leadership in the operation that took down the monster Adolf Eichmann.

At another funeral in Israel recently – that of Shimon Peres, the prayer Avinu Malkeinu was sung. The singer makes it the prayer of all who died in the extermination camps, as if he were singing their very souls while they were dying. You can hear it…

Remember:

“They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 9:4-5)

Thanks, Rafi.

Leave a comment

Filed under Intelligence Community, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Missionaries of Mercy

Truth about Immaculate Conception?! Genesis 3:15?! Damn you Father Byers!

LOURDES-GROTTO

It’s now been 12 years since I defended my thesis on Genesis 2:4–3:24 in Rome, and ten years since I completed my foreseen sojourn as a permanent chaplain at the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes, France. It seems I am to be damned because of that thesis. What’s in the thesis is criminal according to the prevailing political correctness. Let me play Saint Jerome and rant about this a bit:

  • I am to be damned because this thesis sets up a dialogue between the Holy See and Israel such as has never been seen before, blowing out of the water as irrelevant all previous dialogue, and that’s according to the chief rabbi for dialogue with the Holy See, who spoke to me at length in the King David Hotel about setting up such a dialogue. Why did he say that? Because the thesis actually takes religious matters seriously, and not as a flippant occasion to make ever so magnanimous and therefore condescending dialogue that all sides despise but tolerate for the sake of the curriculum vitae involved. What has taken place up to this point with dialogue initiatives are “themes”, which, of course, are an invitation to do up manipulation of religion for whatever motivation one wants at the time. The thesis is disturbing as it inescapably places all parties before the inspired text.
  • I am to be damned because of the brutally unrelenting and inescapable scientific analysis of the text – with an emphasis on historical philology reaching into cuneiform impressions – which analysis leaves no wiggle room for escape into more comfortable reading of self into the text. That latter bit of merely reading oneself into the text is an affront against the Holy Spirit, who wants to introduce us to The Word of God, and does not want us to replace The Word of God.
  • I am to be damned most of all because by the time the analysis runs its course, all that which is Jewish is all that which is Catholic, or better, all that which is Catholic is all that which is Jewish. Jesus said “Salvation is of the Jews.” Saint Paul says: “I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kin according to the flesh. They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
    theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 9:1-5) Just because Catholics and Jews call each other brothers doesn’t mean we are leading each other to Auschwitz. No. We stand together, also in Auschwitz. Count the priests who were exterminated with our brother Jews. So very many.
  • But even more than this, I am to be damned as it is demonstrated from the Hebrew text just how it is that the transmission of original sin is by propagation, not by imitation. This drives all involved around the bend. Why? This sets up the need for redemption, for the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the One who is to come into the world, and has come, and will come again to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen. Everyone hates that. And this has never been done before. It has up to this very day been mocked as childish myth. “Original sin is an invention by those damned Fathers of the Church”, they say. So, let me repeat that: everyone hates the demonstration in the text of how it is that original sin is by propagation, not imitation. It’s never been done. The hatred one encounters is so very great. Truly. In all my years in Rome and Jerusalem I didn’t meet even one academic actively teaching who accepted the reality of original sin. Not one. Not even one. Instead, I was mocked and ridiculed at every turn. Fully six Pontifical Universities were closely examining the progress of the thesis, chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph. They all knew what it meant to have such a demonstration. Not one, no one, could come up with arguments against what is provided in the thesis. And this is over years.
  • But even more, this brings us to the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of the Redeemer in Genesis 3:15, she who is apart from original sin, and that, my friends, it is the final motivation of why I should most of all be damned, for the thesis and a subsequent conference demonstrate how it is that she is free from original sin, that is, immaculate. There is much hating on Jewish Jesus, but even more at who is considered a soft target, His Immaculate Mother. But why this rage from anyone?

As one Rabbi, perhaps the most famous in the world said to me after reading the thesis: The problem is that, you know, we rabbis, we don’t look at the Scriptures as any kind of primary text. They are historical creations of the communities of their day. We look to other things, you know, rabbinic exhortations and the like, through the centuries and we use religion in conjunction with the politics of the day to get what is needful at the time. And that attitude is parroted entirely and wholeheartedly and with enthusiasm by those in the upper echelon of the Catholic hierarchy and generally the machine of dialogue. It’s gotta be all about us, not God dealing with us, only us alone, all relative to us: damned be anything else; damned be those who would have us look to God; damn you, Father Byers!

Here’s a PDF of the thesis. Note that footnote number one, as published and as it stands in the volume in the general stacks of the Genesis section of the general stacks of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, needs severe revision. I’ve only understood more recently all that which Jacques Marie Vosté, O.P., was getting at. That note has been revised in the PDF of this link below. Explicating that note, as I say elsewhere, is my next life project. That will, please God, be published as a volume all on it’s own. I am now indebted to Vosté for his gentlemanly sarcasm.

GENESIS THESIS GEORGE DAVID BYERS June 2007

IVE GENESIS IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CONFERENCE 7 FEBRUARY 2013

To those who are interested in citing these, do it with full references. You’ll be black-listing yourselves. But – Hey! – that’s the only way to more forward with the truth, indeed, with Him who is the Living Truth, about whom the thesis was written. That truth will one day be seen, “videbitur”, as it is said. That’s a “not yet”. But it will come about. The thesis was only privately published according to the rules of the University. The PIB is afraid to publish it. That fact alone requires a volume all on its own.

1 Comment

Filed under Genesis 2-4 to 3-24, Jewish-Catholic dialogue

Pius XII archives to be opened: Anti-Semitic cover-up in the making?

Emmanuel Célestin Suhard

First of all: THANK YOU POPE FRANCIS for announcing the opening of the archives in March 2020. THANK YOU! But we’ll see what the underlings do. Here’s the AP news story:

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Declaring that the church “isn’t afraid of history,” Pope Francis said Monday he has decided to open up the Vatican archives on World War II-era Pope Pius XII, who has been criticized by [some] Jews of staying silent on the Holocaust. Francis told officials and personnel of the Vatican Secret Archives that the archive would be open to researchers starting March 2, 2020.

Yours truly has been seeking a copy of a certain letter forwarding a certain matter to Pius XII. It was sent in to Pius XII directly by the Archbishop of Paris, Emmanuel Célestin Cardinal Suhard. Meanwhile, Pius XII gave this letter of the Cardinal to the Secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission of the day, which, back when, was part and parcel and had the authority of the Holy Office (the Sacred and Supreme of that name), what we now call the CDF, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Holy Office did offer a ferocious response to the matter which is now published. That response is perhaps an example of sarcasm against the stupidity of anti-Semitic “biblical scholars” that hasn’t been seen before or since. The problem is that the matter itself is not published, only the answer to it.

holy officeHaving gotten a bishop to back up my request for a copy of this letter, a recent Prefect of the CDF (now already some ten years ago) responded to say that the letter of Cardinal Suhard relating the matter was not to be found in the archives of the CDF, but were possibly to be found in the personal (and therefore secret) archives of Pius XII himself. Those archives, he said, are to be found in the Secretariat of State. What he could have done, of course, and as is the practice, is to send the inquiry directly to the Secretariat of State. What he did is an evasion. But I digress. The opening of the archives is only a year away. I look forward to it.

From what I can gather, the matter forwarded by Cardinal Suhard detailed the anti-Semitic attitudes of some French biblical “scholars” who, immediately after WWII and the closing of the horrific concentration camps, wanted what they considered to be the idiocy of the Jewish Scriptures smacked down, you know, all the usual hatred that the Jews, wandering about in the desert, couldn’t possibly have copied mythology correctly as they simply didn’t know what they were doing and perhaps belong in concentration camps even today. I want names. “Never again!” means knowing what was going on at the time, right? But we’ll see if the cover-up continues. If it does, I will not be happy. Here’s a video I made, upset with the violence. It’s a reading of the names in the children’s memorial at Yad vaShem (The Power and the Name Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem):

I’d like to make this my next major project, even though there is a realization that there are another couple dozens major projects on the back burners. It’s just that when opportunity hits a strike has to be made. This may have to involve any number of bishops. This may take multiple trips to Rome. I’m just as determined as I ever was. Never give up. Be relentless. Anyway:

THANK YOU, POPE FRANCIS, for announcing the opening of the archives!

6 Comments

Filed under Holy See, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Shoah

JBS: Yaron Svoray & Simon Wiesenthal [Jesus sweat great drops of blood]

Mr Yaron Svoray, thank you. Having said that, a warning: Yaron doesn’t give details to this audience. Thank God. But what he says about Neo-Nazis today put me into what I wouldn’t rightly call a deep depression so much as an overwhelmingly clearer awareness of the evil that we can and do find anywhere around us and with the most unsuspecting people. This story is NOT for the innocent and naive. It contains things you can’t unhear. My recommendation: Don’t subject yourself to it. I put it here as a proof of the point made. Having said that, again, thank you, Mr Svoray.

Mr Yaron Svoray mentions that he thought he was going to simply die, not being able any longer to stand in the presence of such terrible evil, the pressure being too much. Just listening to his story I understood exactly the feeling he had. I know that feeling. I’ve experienced it. It’s not a depression thing, as people might describe as one’s insides being gripped by a darkness which drags one down. No. This is instead like one’s soul is trying to leave one’s body so as to escape the evil… the evil… The pressure of the evil, the feeling of inescapability from the evil, is just too much, as if one is going to get a heart attack. One feels like one is going to drop to the ground, dead. Don’t listen to Yaron, lest you die. It took me days to somehow be extracted from that feeling that one’s soul is trying to escape the evil, so close, I guess, to having a heart attack, enough for this to be noticed by others. Uggh.

Having said that, I profusely thank Mr Svoray for his presentation. He, a Jewish guy, having worked with the great Jewish educator and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal (31 December 1908 – 20 September 2005), has, in this way, led me to the wounds of Jesus. In seeing those wounds, like Thomas the Apostle, one realizes that there is nothing that should surprise us. Jesus saw it all, already. But we are weak. Like Yaron, who knew all the horrors of the holocaust, and who was about to die just for being in the presence of evil… like Yaron, we are just so weak to behold any more evil in the present moment. What do we really know about evil? And if we do not have the wherewithal to withstand the evil, what, therefore, do we really know of God’s love, God who, in beholding all the evil, nevertheless so loved the world that He… ? Again, Yaron, thank you.

Having said all that, Jesus, in His human nature, also had this experience in the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, when He sweat great drops of blood. All of hell and hell’s evil and all the sin of all had come upon Him. Uggh! As the “Doctors of Calvary” tell us, in their examination of the Gospels and the Shroud of Turin, Jesus did indeed have a massive heart attack breaking the pericardium. Jesus died more of this heart attack before 24 hours would pass than He did from the torture and crucifixion. Remember that Pilate was surprised that Jesus had already died, the process of the effects of the crucifixion usually taking a few days. Jesus faced all the evil. Uggh.

The question then before us is this: Do we become cynical in the face of any and every bit of evil that we see, or do we allow ourselves to have our eyes opened however painfully right throughout our lives, and therefore do we allow ourselves to help others who are being subjected to the evil?

It is in seeing how far Jesus had to reach to get us, into our darkness, into the evil, knowing what it would cost Him to show us His goodness and kindness and truth… It is in seeing just how far Jesus had to reach to get us – and He coming among us anyway – that we can turn from the darkness to thanksgiving to God for Jesus coming among us.

For those of you who choose to watch that video… uggh… Just know I’ve warned you.

Having said all that, it is listening to this story a certain statement of a certain person who told me that he wants to “kill Jews” comes to mind.

I’ve never been one to say “Never again!” because it is too easy to think that in saying that one has already done enough. If you see something say something. But just like the tragedy at the school shooting in Florida, no one is listening. Too bad, that.

4 Comments

Filed under Intelligence Community, Jesus, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Shoah

FSSPX Nazis and Paul Touvier: neo-Nazi hunters get a photographic hint

auschwitz

The FSSPX will not praise this post. I know. I know. They will say that Paul Touvier was just a simple, innocent, poor, homeless man to whom they provided shelter in all Christian charity, nice guys that they are. First of all, they will surely mock me because I suppose I’m what they call a Novus Ordo “priest.” So, let me establish some street cred with all that which is Traditional. Maybe that will help some to listen to reason.

Street Cred?

Immediately after 7/7/7, when I was a “permanent chaplain” in Lourdes for a couple of years, already in August of 2007, before the official “start date” of Summorum Pontificum, I was able to reintroduce the Traditional “Tridentine” or “Gregorian” or popularly called “Old Latin” Mass – becoming the “Latin Mass Chaplain” as they called it, an office which has remained even after my two year request to be chaplain came to an end (so that I could go back to teaching in seminaries, which I did). The FSSP took over. Great! Here’s a picture of my replacement and a younger version of myself.

lourdes traditional mass chaplains

August 15 2008 was the high point, a Solemn High Mass in the Pius X Basilica with more than 7,000 people assisting. The deacon and subdeacon are both priests in the FSSP, NOT to be mistaken for the FSSPX:

Mass Lourdes Pius X Basilica

I would also assist others with the Traditional Mass. Below is soon-to-be Raymond Cardinal Burke in the Upper Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

cardinal burke lourdes

As I’ve said elsewhere, I think I could count on one hand those who have suffered more for the promotion of the Traditional Mass as desired by then Pope Benedict XVI. My interest in bringing all that is traditional back to Lourdes had devastating consequences for me.

The only comment I saw from the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists for all this was that, of all things, I was to be condemned because my French accent wasn’t what the French would like to hear. Really? Really? See: Chaque fois que j’ouvre ma bouche il est demandé «Est-ce que vous êtes Belge?»

lourdes

Father Byers is a Jew and therefore has no credibility?

The other thing that the FSSPX will dismiss me outright for is that my mom is a Jewess as was her mom and grandma. Who know’s what happened with any relatives in Treblinka. Would the FSSPX put Jesus the Jew and the Immaculate Conception, a Jewess, in the ovens, or gas them, or put bullets in their heads? Jesus asked Saul: “Why are you persecuting ME?”

FSSPX Nazis?

The video above is… is… eye opening.

So… naive, stupid, whatever negative you want to say, that was me at that time, really until quite recently, like just the other day when I was disabused of my idiocy. I saw something – that video above – that shocked me to the core. I didn’t know this. It’s been in the news forever. I guess I just don’t pay attention. All I had heard during those years until now about Nazis in France came through the filter of the rationalizations that the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists in France had all lined up in support of the Régime de Vichy as headed up by Maréchal Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain.

lourdes market and

[Now, why would I include that picture just above? The Vichy-ites know, don’t they? I mean, I don’t know. I haven’t been in Lourdes for ten years. I know nothing.]

But now I hear the rest of the story. The FSSPX had been immersed in protection of Paul Touvier while he was on the run from the courts, from justice. In the end, despite their efforts, Paul Touvier was found with the FSSPX, was brought to trial, and was convicted of many crimes against humanity, helping the Nazis to accomplish the “Final Solution” of killing all Jews everywhere. He was unrepentant to the end, and lived as a monstrous full-on Nazi and his entire family with him.

And to think I wanted to help the FSSPX out in being regularized with Rome back in the day. Bloody hell. I simply didn’t know. After my stint in Lourdes, one of the greatest philosophers gaining fame in France at that time wanted to offer me a full month or two or three of bringing me, at his expense, all around France, to all the monasteries, which, I’m quite sure, would have included the building owned by the FSSPX, including where Paul Touvier had been housed before he was finally arrested. I should have said yes. I wouldn’t have continued in my naive ignorance until now. I’m sure I would have heard all the stories.

Instead of these FSSPX guys being arrested for aiding unrepentant criminals, what did they do? As it is said: A Tridentine Requiem Mass was offered for the repose of Paul Touvier’s soul by Father Philippe Laguérie at St Nicolas du Chardonnet, the Society of St. Pius X chapel, in Paris. I have nothing against prayers for anyone, but I have to wonder if this was accompanied by a statement of the FSSPX condemning themselves for protecting an unrepentant genocidal racist and ultra-violent death monger from going to trial. I wonder if the FSSPX recommended at that Requiem that some of their own members should be tried for conspiracy, for aiding and abetting.

I would like the names of anyone still alive who aided and abetted Paul Touvier in the FSSPX. I want the names of the priests. I want to see them tried in a public trial by the Holy See, and, if found guilty, I would  like to see them dismissed from the clerical state. And then I’d like to see them go before criminal courts, however old, however sick.

A reader might be tempted to remind me that I am a Missionary of Mercy and shouldn’t be such a hypocrite, that I should extend mercy to such people, and that I only do this because, although being a Catholic priest, I am also Jewish on mom’s side. Instead, here’s the truth about mercy: it is founded on justice. Forgive them in sacramental confession? Sure. But that doesn’t preempt the tribunals from carrying out earthly justice.

Here’s the deal: If you just “let it go,” what happens is that the message is sent that no one cares about murder, no one cares about genocide, that killing at will is just fine and dandy. Just “letting it go” invites the disgusting, filthy, neo-Nazis to do it all over again.

So, I want names.

Anyone?

Crickets…

Yep.

You can drop comments with names and proofs. Don’t worry, I won’t let them through moderation.

And if you’re tempted to just send me a link to the WayBackMachine which has an archived copy of the Angelus commentary, don’t bother. I’ll put it here as illustrative of what I have said above.

Arrest in Priory Reopens Debate on Catholic Aid to Nazis

(RNS) — The arrest of a pro-Nazi French militia leader in a priory operated by followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre has touched off new debate about the role of Roman Catholic clergy in protecting war criminals.

Paul Touvier, 74, was head of intelligence for a pro-Nazi militia in Lyons during World War II. He was arrested when France was liberated in 1944, but he escaped. He was convicted in absentia and sentenced to death for war crimes in Lyons in 1945 and in Chambery in 1947 but managed to hide out until those sentences expired in 1967.

French President Georges Pompidou pardoned Mr. Touvier in November, 1971, but the public outcry was so great that the alleged war criminal again dropped out of sight. He was formally charged in 1973 with crimes against humanity, an offense to which the statute of limitations does not apply in France. The search for Mr. Touvier began again, and he was arrested May 24th at the St. Francis Priory in Nice.

Charges of Catholic collaboration to protect Mr. Touvier were aired at the time of his presidential pardon in 1971. Several prominent French people, including Christian existentialist philosopher Gabriel Marcel, had signed petitions for Mr. Touvier’s pardon as a result of a nearly 20-year campaign coordinated by Monsignor Charles Duquaire of Lyons.

Pierre Merindol, a journalist who has specialized in the history of the Lyons Resistance, has alleged that Cardinal Pierre-Marie Gerlier, the wartime archbishop of Lyons, may have been involved in hiding Mr. Touvier. According to the journalist, the cardinal helped to shelter Mr. Touvier in fulfillment of a promise to aid anyone who helped to prevent the shooting of 42 French hostages by Nazi soldiers who wanted to retaliate against a Resistance attack.

Today’s hierarchy has claimed no involvement with Mr. Touvier or with the priory where he was being sheltered. Cardinal Albert Decourtray of Lyons said the matter “is not within my purview but within that of my country’s judicial system, in which I have confidence.”

Comment: [[ Their comment ]] Despite the fact that most newspapers made a link between Mr. Touvier and the Society, there was in fact no connection. It is true he was taken prisoner at our priory, but he was merely let in by the prior as an act of charity to a homeless man. Since Archbishop Lefebvre’s father died at the hands of the Nazis in a prison camp, that should be evidence enough that the Society does not and has not ever condoned the practices of the Nazis.

On the other side of the question, I for one am tired of this Jewish conspiracy to wipe every living former Nazi off the face of the earth. Why don’t they just leave them to die in peace? It’s been about 45 years since World War II and still they hunt them down, as if they were guilty of ongoing crimes for all those years.

https://web.archive.org/web/20070928040757/http://www.angelusonline.org/print.php?sid=831

=============

As I say, it’s that kind of dismissive attitude that invites more violent genocide: “All those millions of Jews? Who gives a crap? Let’s do it again!”

No, no. These monsters should be brought to trial wherever we find them, even if they’re with the FSSPX.

I have no doubt that ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists everywhere will be scornful and mocking, but, truth be told, I’d like to put their faces in the corpses of all the millions and millions and millions who were exterminated, you know, one by one. I’d like to see if they survive in their haughtiness that proclaims… you know… that since it’s been a while, it’s all good.

Let me tell you, hell is for eternity, and not a moment of it is good, ever, not even after  a while.

Moreover: “Salvation is from the Jews” – Jesus

Moreover: Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

3 Comments

Filed under Intelligence Community, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Terrorism

The real blasphemy behind Ronald McDonald crucified

Oded Balilty / AP

This is in an Israeli Museum, whose disclaimer is that it was just part of a loan from another museum in another part of the world. Of course, that rather singular piece may well have been the purpose of getting a loan of lots of stuff from that other museum. It’s surely not a mistake, like they didn’t know about it. There have been some protests.

But let’s think about this. Whatever of some of Jesus’ followers throughout the centuries, Jesus, at the very least, for Jews, is a Jewish good guy, right? Spectacularly truthful, spectacularly good and kind, spectacularly forgiving, spectacularly in-your-face in the correction of hypocrites while NOT being a hypocrite Himself.

So, I don’t think the artist has anything against Jesus. I do think that there is a protest about the hypocrisy of some individuals who call themselves Catholic or Christian for that matter. Indeed, there are those like Martin Luther, whose anti-Jewish ideology was arguably as bad or worse than that of Hitler. For Luther to use the Cross to smack down Jews is the ultimate hypocrisy. I agree.

However, I think that using Jesus Himself, who is innocent of the hypocrisy, as the object of one’s scorn, is to take on the very hypocrisy that one says one despises.

So, let’s do a test – and mind you, while I’m a Catholic priest I am also Jewish – what if the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and say, the one is Washington, D.C., were to transform their museums and paint all pictures of victims as Ronald McDonald, because, after all, they were innocent and Jewish, like Jesus, right? I would be outraged if anyone did that. That would be horrible. A travesty. Sooo very disrespectful. Uggh. So, what about the treatment of the Jewish good guy, Jesus, tortured to death by the Romans because of…. wait for it… because of the sins of us all, from Adam until the last man is conceived?

As I say, those who take on the hypocrisy of the hypocrites are as hypocritical as those they despise as hypocrites. How about leaving the innocent out of it, and offering a critique of those who are hypocrites? I have. I do. At risk to myself, mind you. And with great effect, mind you. How is that? Because I say all the time that I am a repentant hypocrite, just another of all of us. Without Jesus, I myself am just another hypocrite. Hypocrites, repentant or not, know other hypocrites.

Having said all that, what’s going on? I think the artist and museum and whoever agrees with such blasphemy in all laughter and high five-ing BUT – unbeknownst to themselves, are looking for deeper realities in the followers of Jesus. They have already seen the hypocrites and dismissed them. Great. But they want to test and push and see if anyone anywhere has anything of Jesus about them. Whether they realize it or not, they want to see all the love and truth and goodness and truth and kindness and truth and forgiveness and truth that our Lord has to offer also in His followers. They are fascinated by Him, drawn in by Him, want with all their hearts and souls and minds and with all the strength they want to know if Jesus is the One, the only One, the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the Divine Son of God coming into the world to take away our sins by standing in our place, the Innocent of the guilty, so that He might have the right in justice to have mercy on us. And we all – all of us – obliged. We all pushed Him right to death.

Here’s the deal:

  • All people on earth have the right – the absolute right, mind you – to have the fullness of the love and truth of Jesus proclaimed and demonstrated to them, for, after all, Jesus did redeem all of us and wants that we be saved.
  • If we do not witness, people are absolutely going to push and shove, baiting, until they find that it’s all true, that Jesus lives and is with His true followers who are NOT hypocrites. But push and shove they will.
  • How can we blame anyone for such “art” when at the same time we are not witnessing to Jesus as we should and as we are indeed able by Jesus’ grace… should we choose to take that up and live as Jesus’ good friends.

So, does this artwork make me angry? No. I am saddened by it, saddened that there are those who do not know His love and His truth and His goodness and His kindness, noticing that we need salvation so much as not to see the Savior Himself. What I am angry about is that there are those who are in a position to witness widely but choose not to present the truth, but rather only political correctness. If you want to know what the real blasphemy is, that’s it, right there. Do you think Jesus is upset with the Ronald McDonald crucified thing in Israel? I think rather that He is angry that some of His own priests and bishops are total F***-ups. What? Not nice of me? Here’s what’s not nice, if you’ve forgotten:

When I published the following linked rant, I thought surely I would be silenced and worse. But, no, that didn’t happen. It’s hard to argue against the truth.

Update: Martin Luther: “We are at fault in not slaying the Jews.” The Holy See: “Let’s celebrate his life!” J’accuse!

Permit me to put up the video I made some ten years ago in Jerusalem. Don’t think I don’t know. Don’t think I don’t care.

6 Comments

Filed under Jesus, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Shoah

Homily 2018 12 26 – Jews and the Holy Trinity

saint stephen stoned to death

References to the Most Holy Trinity are to be found throughout the Jewish and then the newly Catholic Sacred Scriptures from Genesis to the Apocalypse. When I was a seminarian in the bad old days, as bad or worse than today, when heresy was everywhere to be found among seminary profs, any references to the Most Holy Trinity in any of the Scriptures was simply denied, as if this were something palatable to, I don’t know, Jews, maybe Muslims. Maybe it was just lust to deny anything that was a teaching of the Catholic Church just to do it. One was then “hip” and “groovy” and “up-to-date”, but really just a thief who was stealing the truth away from the children of God.

Let’s take a timely example of the Most Holy Trinity in the Scriptures. Right after Christmas we have the feast of Saint Stephen, Deacon, the First Martyr. Let’s take a look at the Lectionary entry for the first lesson (ACTS 6:8-10; 7:54-59).

Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit [the Holy Spirit: see “filled with the Holy Spirit” below] with which he spoke.

When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, filled with [1] the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and [2] Jesus standing at the right hand of [3] God [the Father], and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together. They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

The Holy Spirit, inspiring the Sacred Scriptures, say that the Jews cannot withstand the Holy Spirit that filled Saint Stephen. They perceive the Holy Spirit even while Stephen speaks of Jesus and the Father.

Is the Holy Spirit being rude in pointing out “the Jews” like this? No. This is presented in the sense of even the Jews cannot withstand the Holy Spirit (so, much less us, the non-Jews). As the “young man named Saul” would later write as Saint Paul about the Jews:

“They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God, who is over all, be blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 9:4-5).

We are all the Jews who attacked Stephen. But only the Jews have the promises and patriarchs. But we’ve all crucified the Son of the Living God with our sin. And we are all redeemed. To be saved, well, that involves the free will of us all.

Let’s be up-to-date not be rejecting the Triune God who is Truth and Love, but by being lifted up into the timelessness of He who created time and entered into time, drawing all to Himself across time, across Calvary, when He was lifted up on the Cross, He who born to die, whose birth we celebrate even as we honor the first martyr for Him.

Leave a comment

Filed under HOMILIES, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Saints

Yom ha-Kippur-im for a Catholic Priest

Yom Kippur 2018 begins at sunset on Tuesday, September 18 and ends at nightfall on Wednesday, September 19. For the long explanation of this Day of Atonement the Jewish Encyclopedia has a pretty exhaustive article.

English language translation and centuries of derivative pronunciation produced what we pronounce today: a-tóne-ment. , as if a piano is being tuned. Let’s change the pronunciation to something more original for the translation and you’ll get the idea: at-óne-ment.

It’s a day that sets everything in proper perspective. We are sinners before God and man, and should we have a humble, contrite heart (honest integrity in this sorrow before God and man), begging forgiveness and a new beginning with a firm purpose of amendment, then conditions are right for being at one with God and neighbor. This is a day which, appropriately, follow in the wake of the Jewish New Year.

For this Catholic priest (with Jewish lineage), my Yom Kippur takes place every time I go to Confession. Indeed, every time I offer Holy Mass, it being that Jesus is, in Himself, both God and man, making at-one-ment ever so available in Himself.

Unfortunately, in 1973, another aspect of this day was added to living memory. On Yom Kippur a bunch of Islamicist countries attacked Israel when all of Israel was busy with fasting and praying and going to synagogue. Early on, those multiple unprovoked attacks claimed some “victories”, but Israel ended up with even much more. Israel, in a long process with the Camp David Accords, exchanged land for peace. But that, mind you, is an accord, a contract. No peace, the land goes back. It’s more like paying rent. Egypt dumped Russia altogether. Don’t mess with someone in the moment they are trying to make at-one-ment with God and neighbor!

And, by the way, whatever our non-Catholic Christians have to say about it, those who condemn Jewish interpretation of Yom Kippur (a collective noun), this day is not only about institutional atonement on so many levels and in so many ways (note the plural), not only about atonement for the people as a whole as it were, but also and in all of these other ways it is about personal atonement before both God and neighbor. It is honest, with integrity.

I have an idea: How about brainstorming about starting a project whereby Catholics, meaning ALL Catholics, laity, priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, the pope, all go to sacramental Confession on Yom Kippur regardless of Easter duty and regardless of any other Confession practice. This would not only be a statement about the gravity of the necessity of Atonement but also a huge move in demonstrating the oneness of the faith between Catholics and Jews, regardless of any veil mentioned by Saint Paul.

If everyone is going to Confession regularly do you think we would have the crisis we have today which went hand in hand with NOT going to Confession for decades. No, we wouldn’t.

For some reason, ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists on the Catholic side freak out about friendship with the Jews, but I should like to remind them of what I believe to be the greatest exclamation regarding atonement made by anyone anywhere, seriously:

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. (Romans 9:1-5)

Try to top that for anguish for atonement. This is stunning. And this is the Apostle to the Gentiles. Awesome, that.

SUBARU DECALS

Leave a comment

Filed under Confession, Jewish-Catholic dialogue

Basic Law: Israel Nation state of the Jewish people [Catholic priest favors tweaking it for stability and clarity]

jewish yellow star jude

[[A Jewish friend of mine, a close friend, who is the dialoguing face of Israel, all quite officially, he often saving the day when, during the visits of Popes, those popes were attacked with Islamicist violence, he who is the consummate insider, string puller, the power in the background, answered my request for a comment on the newly ratified Basic Law of Israel as The Nation State of the Jewish People by saying that “It’s unnecessary.”

That’s it, ambiguous as to whether such an assertion is for or against the ratification of the law. It’s something you just repeat with disgust or delight depending on your interlocutor no matter what the pushing for more information happens to be. Convenient.

What “It’s unnecessary” does assert is that what the new Basic Law manifests is what is and has been and will be the state of affairs in this region of the Near East for a very long time, just not in print thus far. It changes absolutely nothing of the reality of the situation regardless of what actually has been in print up to this time. For all these reasons it is very useful indeed for instruction for the rest of the world. While there certainly was a flurry about all this in the Jewish world and among Arab countries, very little commentary hit the news, say, in these U.S.A. Things are said in the Basic Law which change everything inasmuch as the reality has finally been put in print. This draws a line in the sand as nothing else, for it frankly says that it’s all in the sand, and is erased just that quickly so as to morph to the changes it envisions as happening forthwith.]]

Basic Law: Israel – The nation state of the Jewish people

1.  The State of Israel

a) Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people in which the State of Israel was established. [[But “homeland” borders have never been accepted by the Knesset in favor of ever-expanding temporary borders. Deals made with Egypt and others more recently are not about borders, but about contracts: land for peace. That can be judged to be a broken contract broken on the other side at any time, right? Anyway, what we’re talking about here is “historic”; thus, we recall the borders, say, in the time of the partitioning of the land to the tribes, and then in the time of David and Solomon, much, much more expansive than anything today. Here’s just one snapshot in history (there are many):]]

img_20180802_095345542_ll~22730885934989492428..jpg

Levi doesn’t get a territory but is otherwise taken care of, while Mannasseh and Ephraim were adopted by Joseph. David’s kingdom, much more than this, took in most of today’s Syria, up to the “Great River”, the Mesopotamian. So this is quite the “Basic Law” filled with instruction to the entire world about the land of Israel.

b) The state of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, religious, and historic right to self-determination. [[Historic right? O.K., but in which year in history? It makes a difference. Is there a natural right of conquest from Ur of the Chaldeans (the Babylonians). That would be a blasphemous rejection of the supernatural calling of Abram by God himself. The assertion of a natural right makes God’s calling of Abram redundant, stupid. Mere natural right of conquest makes it a right to kill everyone else in conquest just to do it, a monstrous ideology of power for the sake of power. The reference to “religious” might have something to say about that, from the time of Abram’s call from God onward, throughout what the Israelis call the BCE times (Before the Common Era, meaning Before the Era of Christ). And that’s fine. A religious conquest directed by God as they are to be the chosen people whose history is to be a pedagogy for others and for themselves as they themselves know also with their own eventual dispersion of the north and the exile of the south. But Abraham is not the Messiah, the Savior, the prophesy of whose coming pre-dates Abraham all the way back to Genesis 3:15. That divine King of kings is to be Jewish, yes, but He will be the redeemer of all of Adam’s sons. His arrival changes everything. Suffice it to say here that this paragraph of the Basic Law, 5.b, needs some tweaking. Sometimes punctuation and an extra word here or there can work wonders regarding clarity and purpose. Cannot Catholics, for instance, who believe that the Jewish Messiah said that Salvation comes from the Jews, be Israeli citizens?]] 

c) The fulfillment of the right of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people. [[On face value, this is a rejection of interference from, say, the United Nations. But it also denies full citizenship status to non-Jews, even if they have that status up to this time. My question is this: If a Jewish citizen of Israel becomes Catholic does he lose his voice in the public square? The Basic Law could have said “citizens”, but instead it says “Jewish people”, which, as I understand, may rule out a Jew who loves that Jesus was a good Jewish guy from back in the day. Anyway, if this is really just about rejecting interference of the United Nations, that’s all fine by me. This does need some tweaking, but I’m quite sure this was purposed phraseology. The ever present question is about one being Jewish because of faith, you know, like the non-Jewess who became a Jewess and indeed the grandmother of King David…]]

[[The above video, published just months before the publishing of this post, is an interesting historical artifact about the way things were at one time. But it’s not like this at all anymore. The promulgation of this Basic Law changes everything.]]

img_20180404_164211738~22685802136461419765..jpg

2.  National symbols of the State of Israel

a) The name of the state is Israel. [[This is a name which points more to citizens being so because of the faith. Otherwise, we would be talking about Judah (via King David and Jerusalem). Interesting. Catholics should be allowed to be citizens because of faith. Meanwhile, say a Catholic priest had a mother, grandmother and great grandmother who were Jewish. Would he be disqualified from becoming a full Israeli citizen?]]

b) The flag of the state is white, two blue stripes near the edges, and a blue Star of David in the center. [[It’s interesting how very much this has to do with Jesus, the Son of David, a good Jew.]]

israeli flag-.png

c) The symbol of the state is the Menorah with seven branches, olive leaves on each side, and the word Israel at the bottom. [[All of which is entirely acceptable and is to be praised by any Catholic.]]

menorah nation state of israel

d) The national anthem of the state is “Hatikvah”

[[Here’s the long history of the Hatikvah. ]]

[[Transliteration: Kol od baleivav penimah / Nefesh yehudi homiyah, / Ulfa’atey mizrah kadimah, / Ayin letsiyon tsofiyah; //// Od lo avdah tikvateinu, / Hatikvah bat shenot al payim, / Lihyot am hofshi be’artzeinu, / Eretz tziyon veyerushalayim.

Translation: As long as Jewish spirit / Yearns deep in the heart, / With eyes turned East, / Looking towards Zion. //// Our hope is not yet lost, / The hope of two millennia, / To be a free people in our land, / The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

Original:  

כל עוד בלבב פנימה 
נפש יהודי הומייה 
ולפאתי מזרח קדימה 
עין לציון צופיה. 

עוד לא אבדה תקוותינו 
התקווה בת שנות אלפיים 
להיות עם חופשי בארצנו 
ארץ ציון וירושלים

]]

e) [Further] details concerning the issue of state symbols will be determined by law. [[I would love to see the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.]]

3. [The] unified and complete [city of] Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

[[The borders of the city of Jerusalem, including the old city, can be made to be extensive, say, an eight mile radius whose center is the Temple Mount. Cairo-Giza to the South or Amman to the East or Damascus or Beirut to the North are all just as massive in extension. This is a matter of security. I wouldn’t complain about this at all. The claim of Islamicists over against Jerusalem is that the heretic Mohammad had a dream. That’s it. So, nothing.]]

jerusalem

4. The Language of the State of Israel

a) Hebrew is the language of the state. [[Countries do have a right to have a common language for security purposes. I like Hebrew. People say I have an Israeli accent when I speak Hebrew, not that I’m great at it, as I have few with whom to practice.]]

b) The Arabic language has a special status in the state; the regulation of the Arab language in state institutions or when facing them will be regulated by law. [[Regulation will be regulated by regulation… I like that. But, how about saying: “Regulation of the use of the Arab language in state institutions or when facing them will be enforced.” “Facing them” refers to obligations or not regarding logistics when Arab speakers who don’t speak Hebrew are attempting to communicate with state institutions.]]

c) This clause does not change the status given to the Arabic language before the basic law was created. [[I dare anyone to figure this out. This is actually so convoluted that it cannot be known what this means, and this is, obviously, by design, so that any presumed status quo can be held to be fluid, so that, I guess, Arabic can be phased out. It is what it is. I don’t think it’s a big ask to have Arab speakers learn Hebrew as the languages, the roots of the words, the whole right to left thing, are very similar.]]

5. The state will be open to Jewish immigration and to the gathering of the exiled.

[[So, being open to Jewish immigration is to be expected and doesn’t on its face exclude all others. And I don’t think for a second think that this is necessarily directed at Jewish over against non-Jewish immigration. It also and perhaps primarily refers to Jewish immigration over against, wait for it… Jewish immigration. Already some thirty years ago, when I lived in Israel and studied in the “West Bank”, I overheard conversations between young Israeli immigrants who were practicing a bit of one-up-man-ship by smashing down their fellow Jewish Israelis for not having already given up on their dual-citizenship, not already having gone into the Military (having been there only a short time), not already having been there as long as whoever other Israeli was with them. You would almost think that Israel was only for those Jews who had been there before other Jews. Don’t think that some Jews are not looked down upon by other Jews. The arguments about assistance to be given to some arrivals and perhaps not so much to others can be extremely heated. So, good! Make it a law: The state will be open to Jewish immigration (no matter the provenance of those Jews, no matter how long ago someone else has immigrated).

The second half of law number 5 is that the state will be open to the gathering of the exiled especially in adverse situations. This refers to Israeli funded military operations which seek to transfer entire Jewish populations of whatever increasingly adverse countries to Israel, such as we have already seen with the transfer of the entire Jewish population of Ethiopia to Israel, which was an entirely amazing operation. And if there is violent anti-Jewish sentiment in various countries, and this is all about safety, and people are willing, what could possibly be wrong with this? This is a great service to humanity, the defense of the vulnerable. When Russia because increasingly hostile, getting Russian Jews to Israel was also a priority. ]]

6. The Diaspora

a) The state will labor to ensure the safety of sons of the Jewish people and its citizens who are in trouble and captivity due to their Jewishness or their citizenship. [[This is not only wrought through diplomatic means, but also through intelligence and military means, also by special operators, effected in countries around the world, as is only right. Security is a top priority. Don’t mess with an Israeli! I would expect friends around the world would help with this. I would do whatever I could.]]

b) The state will act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious legacy of the Jewish people among the Jewish diaspora. [[Well, I don’t like the language here. Maybe it’s just the miserable translation. I don’t know. But in common usage, the word “legacy” is used for that which is quaint, cute, nostalgic, but definitely useless, out of date. The word “legacy” enforces the idea that everything cultural, historical or religious among Jews is of course to be abandoned in life. Instead of saying “legacy of the Jewish people”, why not say “life of the Jewish people”?]]

7. The state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.

[[Here we go. Just to be clear, basically, the Basic Law has just put the remaining land up for grabs regardless of any international or Israeli law whatsoever. This is about ethnic cleansing. This does not rule out bulldozing entire towns to rebuild as Israeli villages. Thus, to give you a shocking example, this law takes in, say, for example, the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, so that its occupation and destruction is entirely within the bounds of the law and such action is to be encouraged and promoted by the State on behalf of settlers. I just wanted to put that in perspective for you. That’s what it means. This is a declaration of all out war with non-Jews, that is, not just with Muslims. But no one in the world is saying a peep about any of this. It is stunning. This confirms my interpretation of the borders of the city of Jerusalem that I gave above. I cannot agree with the sweeping nature of this law. I cannot agree with ethnic cleansing.]]

8. The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state and alongside it the secular calendar will serve as an official calendar. The usage of the Hebrew calendar and of the secular calendar will be determined by law. [[This seems to ready the construction of another Temple and the reintroduction of Temple sacrifices. I dread that this will bring with it much more human bloodshed than that of any animal sacrifices.]]

synagogue of capernaum star of david

9. National Holidays

a) Independence Day is the official holiday of the state. [[Great.]]

b) The Memorial Day for those who fell in the wars of Israel and the Memorial Day for the Holocaust and heroism are official memorial days of the state. [[Yes, perfect. I would even add other days and specific places of commemoration.]]

10. Saturday and the Jewish Holidays are the official days of rest in the state. Those who are not Jewish have the right to honor their days of rest and their holidays. Details concerning these matters will be determined by law. [[Of course. Expected.]]

11. This Basic Law may not be altered except by a Basic Law that gained the approval of the majority of the Knesset members. [[I’m glad they had eleven laws here instead of ten! I’m just guessing that a Basic Law needs an ultra-super-majority. If not, the volatility would be more hurtful than helpful.]]

star of david

[[I should remind all what Saint Paul says of the Jews: “Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory and the covenants; theirs the giving of the Law, the temple worship, and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them proceeds the human descent of Christ, who is God over all, forever worthy of praise! Amen.]]

7 Comments

Filed under Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Missionaries of Mercy, Politics

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (“New” day lilies edition)

img_20180803_140900067_hdr~23756091622025142775..jpg

These were donated from the neighbor across the street. Very healthy even after transplanting. Right next to the statue of Mary, Jesus’ good mom. I always but always notice the Star of David, the three petals overlapping the three petals. And then, with the yellow color and all, I recall what I always carry with me:

jewish yellow star jude

Don’t think this is morbid or only something dark and depressing. Instead, I also always carry this hope, as should we all:

star of david

Leave a comment

Filed under Flores, Jewish-Catholic dialogue

Ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists & the Jews

auschwitz

A priest just finished giving a six day “traditional” retreat recently in Virginia. Nice guy, I’m sure. Traditional Mass. Traditional Confessions. Traditional talks. Great. Except for the last day. Traditionally, that day is reserved not to the most unimportant matters, but to the summit of the spiritual life as exemplified by Jesus’ good mom, the ever virgin Immaculate Conception. Call to mind that she’s the highest honor of the Jews, and that Jesus is a Jew, and that, as the Divine Son of God said, “Salvation is from the Jews.” After all, as Saint Paul said:

“They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.”

I’m sure he had great stuff to say about Mary. Great stuff. Sure. Stuff, like, to say. But, just to say, the last day of the retreat was given over to insisting that the Jews – you know: “the Jews” – are conspiring to take over the world through banking, one world government and control of Hollywood. Protesting too much, he said that he is NOT anti-Semitic. Of course he’s not. He’s just lumping all those, you know, those… those… those Jews together, piling them up in a big heap. Hey, I know! Let’s include the kids too! Here’s a video I made at Yad vaShem. It’s important to get to know some of them by name…

What to do with such a priest? Prejudice is all about fear of self. Fear casts out all love. How to overcome fear when one has no love? There’s this Jewish guy I know who says that love casts out all fear. Where to get love? Acquire it? Steal it? Control it? Manipulate it for self? Or, maybe that kind of religious plan is as good as one’s sin. See Romans 7. Wretched man that I am! Who can save me from all of this? Thank God for Jesus Christ who saves me from all of this. Dang it! Jesus is a Jew!

By the way, as a good Jew, typical Divine Son of His mother, Jesus is in fact taking over the world. He wants those in banking, those in governments, those in Hollywood. Yep. He loves us all just that much. And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Jesus is the Lord of History. He draws all to Himself from all of time as He’s lifted up on the Cross.

N.B. To the very popular and widespread group to which this priest belongs: If you don’t smack this jerk down, correcting him and lifting him up into charity and truth, you’ll likely be the next group to bite the dust. Too bad, that. But that’s how things work in this world, you know, lumping people together, that kind of thing. So, hey! I know! Do it. Do it now.

BTW: To all the individual priests I know who congratulate themselves as being “of Tradition” and who are as anti-Semitic as the day is long, as long as the night endures: Tradition doesn’t mean you have to be jerks. In fact, that means that you know nothing of Tradition at all. Take care that Jesus, that Jewish guy, doesn’t say to you: “I don’t know you.”

2 Comments

Filed under Jewish-Catholic dialogue

RE-POST: IT’S APRIL 8 – A MOST GLORIOUS DAY

COUNCIL OF TRENT

HEY! It’s the [472nd] anniversary of Sacrosancta, the first decree of the fourth session of the most sacred and ecumenical Council of Trent in 1546. This is my most favorite of all magisterial interventions. Be awed by the syntax in Latin. Be awed by the breadth, the heights, the profundity, the glory emanating from this decree. Let yourself be wrapped up it’s reverence before the Most Holy Spirit. Let yourself be brought to your knees. Unfortunately, rebel Martin Luther, ex-Catholic priest, would die just months before this was published, though I have to think that he was kept up to date on the ruminations for the first drafts, not easy if one is in bad health.

First the Latin…

Sacrosancta oecumenica et generalis Tridentina synodus, in Spiritu sancto legitime congregata, praesidentibus in ea eisdem tribus apostolicae sedis legatis, hoc sibi perpetuo ante oculos proponens, ut sublatis erroribus puritas ipsa evangelii in ecclesia conservetur quod promissum ante per prophetas in scripturis sanctis dominus noster Iesus Christus Dei Filius proprio ore primum promulgavit, deinde per suos apostolos tamquam fontem omnis et salutaris veritatis et morum disciplinae omni creaturae praedicari iussit; perspiciensque, hanc veritatem et disciplinam contineri in libris scriptis et sine scripto traditionibus, quae ab ipsius Christi ore ab apostolis acceptae, aut ab ipsis apostolis Spiritu sancto dictante quasi per manus traditae ad nos usque pervenerunt orthodoxorum patrum exempla secuta, omnes libros tam veteris quam novi testamenti, cum utriusque unus Deus sit auctor, nec non traditiones ipsas, tum ad fidem, tum ad mores pertinentes, tamquam vel oretenus a Christo, vel a Spiritu sancto dictatas et continua successione in ecclesia catholica conservatas, pari pietatis affectu ac reverentia suscipit et veneratur. Sacrorum vero Librorum indicem huic decreto adscribendum censuit, ne cui dubitatio suboriri possit, quinam sint, qui ab ipsa Synodo suscipiuntur. Sunt vero infrascripti. Testamenti Veteris: Quinque Moysis, id est Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium; Iosue, Iudicum, Ruth, quattuor Regum, duo Paralipomenon, Esdrae primus et secundus, qui dicitur Nehemias, Tobias, Iudith, Esther, Iob, Psalterium Davidicum centum quinquaginta psalmorum, Parabolae, Ecclesiastes, Canticum Canticorum, Sapientia, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Ieremias cum Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, duodecim prophetae minores, id est: Osea, Ioel, Amos, Abdias, Ionas, Michaeas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggaeus, Zacharias, Malachias; duo Maccabaeorum, primus et secundus. Testamenti Novi: Quattuor Evangelia, secundum Matthaeum, Marcum, Lucam, Ioannem; Actus Apostolorum a Luca Evangelista conscripti; quattuordecim epistulae Pauli Apostoli: ad Romanos, duae ad Corinthios, ad Galatas, ad Ephesios, ad Philippenses, ad Colossenses, duae ad Thessalonicenses, duae ad Timotheum, ad Titum, ad Philemonem, ad Hebraeos; Petri Apostoli duae; Ioannis Apostoli tres; Iacobi Apostoli una; Iudae Apostoli una et Apocalypsis Ioannis Apostoli. Si quis autem libros ipsos integros cum omnibus suis partibus, prout in ecclesia catholica legi consueverunt et in veteri vulgata latina editione habentur, pro sacris et canonicis non susceperit, et traditiones praedictas sciens et prudens contempserit: anathema sit.

Now my own slavish translation… NOT the usual translation!

The Most Sacred Ecumenical and General Tridentine Synod, convened legitimately in the Holy Spirit, with the three Legates of the Apostolic See presiding over it, is itself proposing for perpetuity in plain sight, so that, having cast down errors, the very purity of the Gospels may be conserved within the Church… [The purity itself of the Gospel…] which, before promised through the prophets in the holy Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by His Apostles to every creature, as the fountain of all, both saving truth, and moral discipline; and seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten Traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Spirit dictating, have come down onto us, transmitted almost as if by hand… [The Synod] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament — seeing that one God is the author of both — as also the said Traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ’s own word of mouth, or by the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. [At this point, the list of books is provided. See the Latin.] If anyone, however, will not receive as sacred and canonical these same integral books with all of their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as are had in the Old Latin Vulgate edition, and will hold in contempt the aforementioned Traditions knowingly and with considered judgment: let him be anathema.

Note “almost as if by hand” since this is all about the Holy Spirit!

This is THE Counter-Reformation assertion by the Sacred Magisterium of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church against the heretics who reduce revelation to theology and inspiration to feelings, the dark arrogance having them rewrite and remove things from the Sacred Scriptures so as to assert merely themselves. This decree is CATHOLIC!

On a personal note, I was ordained a deacon on this day in the Twelve Apostles Basilica in Rome. Also, this decree became the center piece of the beginnings of a doctoral thesis (the first chapter being 256 pages), the story of which needs to be told one day, reaching as it does into the very heart of the intrigue of ecclesiastical politics and stirring the pot so much that… well, I’ll leave that for another day. Just note that this decree is still THE engine driving any true ecumenical dialogue, that is, which brings unity in truth and charity those who sincerely follow Jesus.

11 Comments

Filed under Ecumenism, Holy See, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Spiritual life, Vulgate

Jackass for the Hour: Two chapters

Jewish ghetto tempio maggiore san gregorio della divina pieta

Looking from across the Tiber River in Rome you see part of the Jewish Ghetto with the Tempio Maggiore. The (in)famous church of San Gregorio della divina pieta is on the lower far right of the picture. That church has a facade that is important in Chapter 28: Perfidious Jews.

It’s been a while since a chapter was published for Jackass for the Hour. Chapter 27 was just put up. That was just now followed by Chapter 28 (Perfidious Jews). The two go together. It would be good to see Rabbi Shelomoh ben Yishaq in all his glory.

5 Comments

Filed under Jackass for the Hour, Jewish-Catholic dialogue

Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 28 – Perfidious Jews

palestinian donkeyJackass for the Hour: Chapter 28 – Perfidious Jews

“My dear Cardinal Froben,” said the Rabbi, “there is a difference between Redemption and, then, its reception in grace unto justification which saves. Human-sacrifice, as a bribery of appeasement of bloodthirsty gods, is from hell, and those who do it deserve hell. Placating gods with one’s ‘generosity’ and ‘submission’ is not religion, but blasphemy, a self-deluding congratulation of oneself. A merely human child, because of Adam’s sin, is not worthy to be a sacrifice of vicarious atonement. Instead, the Messiah, the Suffering Servant – and I speak as a Jew – must be innocent of all consequences of Adam’s sin, then freely take on those consequences, so that, taking our place before the judgment of the Most High, taking upon Himself the justice which awaits us as sons of Adam, and offering our Heavenly Father communion in Charity, in innocence, in goodness, He then has the right in justice, so to speak, to have mercy on us, to ask God the Father that we be forgiven. This Child-Sacrifice – fulfilling all righteousness – makes true religion possible. It reveals what religion is. The would-be sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham pointed to this truth emphatically. Since we are to be children of God, the Suffering Servant must be God, as Genesis 3,15…”

“But is your own work of assent to the Faith not also your justification?” interrupted the Cardinal, trying to win points with both Jews and Protestants.

“Please, do not insult us, your Eminence.”

“I did not intend that anyone should feel insulted. I am sorry,” said the Cardinal.

“But why are you sorry?” asked the Rabbi. “Are you sorry because you think I feel badly about something which you regret only because it makes you feel badly? Do you feel guilty because you had something to do with these feelings? I’m sick of the emotionalism of blinded consciences.” Many in the crowd applauded. They were also tired of this kind of apology-by-way-of-accusation, of belittlement of the supposed over-sensitivity and lack of intelligence of the other.

This reprimand was a new experience for the Cardinal. No one in his office had the bravery to correct him when he attacked them for his own inadequacy, and then insulted them further with the unbounded condescension of blaming them for the ‘bad feelings’ he guessed they had. “I only meant to say,” the Cardinal continued, “that it was Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Jackass for the Hour, Jewish-Catholic dialogue

Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 23 – So, that’s your problem?

palestinian donkeyJackass for the Hour: Chapter 23 – So, that’s your problem?

As Father Alexámenos and Rabbi Shelomoh continued to speak, the Muhammadan, no longer listening, sent his email to Shaykh al-Husayn, a member of what had for a long time been Europe’s largest Mosque and Cultural Centre, built with Saudi oil money near the Vatican so as to spit on Pope Saint Pius V’s ‘Rosary Victory’ over the Muhammadans at Lépanto, during the height of the Ottoman Empire, just after Elizabeth I of England was excommunicated.

Shaykh al-Husayn was well placed, being Albanian by birth, Catholic by Baptism, Muslim by apostasy, and ‘advisor’ by professional history in the Arabian peninsula. He was a ‘trophy convert’ on show. Brilliant at public relations and proselytism, he gave school children praying-tours of the mosque, delighting in ‘catechising’ them in Islam as they bowed down to Allah. His belligerently anti-Catholic attitude upset Catholic students of interreligious dialogue, which is not easy to do.

Shaykh al-Husayn read the email which he had just received from the flight to Rome. He would have deleted it had it not confirmed what was just coming on the television screen in his office. The news report included the images of Father Alexámenos, complaining that he was already on a flight to Rome. He was being accused of fleeing justice. The email was from a member of the mosque, and gave the details of the flight number, something the television reports had not yet done. The email mentioned the news report about Haïti, but centred on the discussion Father Alexámenos was having with one whom the Muhammadan had mistakenly taken to be the Chief Rabbi of Rome. “Can you not do something about the interference of this priest?” asked the Muhammadan in his email. “He is inciting Jews and Catholics to declare war on Muslims, as if we all lived in Jericho when it was taken more than three thousand years ago. Since Italy and the Holy See treat Islam nicely, it’s easy to put pressure on them, especially for you. He’s to be punished for his crimes in Haïti, and then suffer the punishment for his words against Islam.”

Shaykh al-Husayn clicked on the audio file sent with the email. He knew Hebrew better than the Jews, he thought. He listened in disbelief as he heard the priest describe his understanding of the Qur’anic version of Abraham’s would-be child-sacrifice of his son and, then, the Rabbi’s question about whether or not the continuing slaughter of the Palestinians was divinely mandated to this day. Shaykh al-Husayn sat back in his chair. He decided not to respond to the email. He did, however, like the idea about making an official protest. This had to be handled by diplomats in Saudi Arabia in conjunction with the other Arab states. Involving the one they thought was the Chief Rabbi of Rome was too dangerous to ignore, especially since this Rabbi was such good friends with Pope Tsur-Ēzer, also a Jew. “After all,” he thought, “if Jews and Christians want another crusade…” A wave of anger overwhelmed Shaykh al-Husayn, which was followed by a wave of regret, for so many might die fighting a crusade.

That Father Alexámenos had stayed in the Catholic Nunciature made matters worse. Even a CIA agent was volunteering information on the television about Father Alexámenos. Shaykh al-Husayn thought it looked like preemptive damage control. The agent called Father Alexámenos stupid for having taken the liquor he gave to him, which was only meant to pry information out of the priest about the priest himself. Despite it being past midnight, Shaykh al-Husayn rang the diplomats in Saudi Arabia, now his longtime friends. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Interreligious dialogue, Jackass for the Hour, Jewish-Catholic dialogue

Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 22 – Sag niemals nie! Never say never!

palestinian donkeyJackass for the Hour: Chapter 22 – Sag niemals nie! Never say never!

Before Father Alexámenos answered, the Rabbi continued with an intensity his priest friend enjoyed so much it all almost set him to laughing, wishing all his interlocutors had the intelligence and, he suspected, the streak of mischievousness of the Rabbi. “The Old Covenant must effectively be replaced by the New Covenant inasmuch as the Old is to be fulfilled and transformed in the New. The Old Covenant cannot be salvific on its own, even before any Messiah comes, for the Old had to look forward to the New, which fills it with Life back in the day. Time is not a barrier to its Creator. If the view is that the New has come, the Old must necessarily become sterile, even if it is not purposely cut off from the New, and no matter how much God respects the sincerity of Jews who do not even know what Christianity is. In that case, God gives grace to the Jews simply as His gratuitous gift, but not because God makes valid what cannot be made valid in the Old Covenant except in its present day fulfilment in the New.” Since Father Alexámenos did not interject, the Rabbi continued: “Your Cardinal Froben, nevertheless, gives us the lowest common denominator of no one having any covenant, telling us, absurdly, that both the Old and the New Covenant can be salvific at the same time. If the Old Covenant doesn’t look forward to the New, it is not actually the Old Covenant we are talking about, and if the New Covenant doesn’t fulfil the Old, it is not actually the New Covenant we are talking about. Two independent, salvific covenants are two other religions, neither Jewish or Catholic. Froben and his kind must stop insulting our intelligence. Tell me you understand!”

“Rabbi, I know exactly what you are…”

“Do you?” pressed the Rabbi.

“I regret,” said Father Alexámenos, “that Cardinal Froben has scandalously claimed that our aim in a dialogue is not to come into any kind of communion or unity, but simply to improve constantly those relationships and to work together. What he says is not what the Church nor I believe. I’m for unity in Charity and Truth. Saint Paul goes out of his way to say that…”

“I wonder about your regret,” interrupted the Rabbi, “Your Saint Paul makes it clear that he loves the Jews,” said the Rabbi, “but Froben and those like him do not seem to know who Paul of Tarsus is. They take every opportunity to send us to Auschwitz again. Take that document on the Shoah…”

“In reading that document, I just couldn’t believe that…” Father Alexámenos began to say.

“You Catholics,” interrupted the Rabbi, “speak of Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Interreligious dialogue, Jackass for the Hour, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Missionaries of Mercy

Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 21 – They burned them in a raging fire

palestinian donkeyJackass for the Hour: Chapter 21 – They burned them in a raging fire

Although Father Lia-Fáil had received the fax from père Jacques and had alerted the Holy Father about the contents of the web-site, he hadn’t heard from anyone else, including Father Alexámenos. Pope Tsur-Ēzer had don Hash and padre Emet summoned.

✵ ✵ ✵

As the plane kept its course to Rome far off the coast of New York City, many in the plane were glued to the windows on the port side of the plane, leaning over the passengers in those rows of seats, who were themselves trying to get a glimpse of the Tribute in Light, two beams of light piercing high into the night skies from where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center had once stood, now One World Trade Center. The Port Authority finally understood that a memorial was not meant to facilitate one to look merely ‘at’ something, but to gaze ‘toward’ Someone. Every year on September 11 the memorial was lit up, and was being tested with some new technology on this evening. The plane’s distance from the Big Apple, more than three hundred kilometres, made the effect of the light piercing many kilometres into the heavens all the more dramatic. They were high enough in the plane so that the beams of light were able to be seen over the curvature of the earth.

Thousands simultaneously ‘burned at the stake’ by Islamic fundamentalists raised strong emotions in the viewers, regardless of their nationality or religion, especially since they were flying. The cabin crew knew that they had to delay the main meal until New York was behind them. Father Alexámenos was impressed that the years had not meant the usual out of sight, out of mind.

A Rabbi in his seventies had been sitting a few rows in front of Father Alexámenos. He was returning to Italy after visiting Bard College in New York – where he debated the interpretation of the Talmud – and then The Shoah Memorial in Miami Beach, where living anguish reached up to Heaven. After he caught a glimpse of the beams of light, he saw that Father Alexámenos, obviously a Catholic priest, was still asleep next to the window and had no one sitting next to him. He had also noticed that the gentleman seated immediately in front of Father Alexámenos had not bothered himself about the Tribute in Light, and still looked upset that everyone had made such a fuss. He was wearing a taqiyah and Thawb, traditional clothing for a Muslim. The Rabbi chuckled with such an opportunity for entertainment and, perhaps, according to the will of the Most High, an advance in what was otherwise the murderous intrigue of merely interreligious politics. The Rabbi took the seat next to the aisle leaving the middle seat of row between himself and Father Alexámenos empty. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Interreligious dialogue, Jackass for the Hour, Jewish-Catholic dialogue