Tag Archives: Jewish-Catholic Dialogue

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.]]

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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.]]

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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

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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

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Don’t think I don’t know, oh “Shadow.” Don’t think I don’t care. Death out East.

death gaza boy 2

My “Shadow”, starting at about the time he stole my identity (I think in the late 1970s), has been rabidly, apoplectically anti-Jewish, often going into spittle-flecked nutties which don’t accomplish anything except for bringing more obfuscation to any issues. I think I should say something so he understands where I’m coming from in being proud of being Jewish, albeit a Catholic priest. My “Shadow” follows my blog rather closely. Maybe if he understands me a bit better, he’ll just calm down a bit. He says he spends all his free time analyzing the conflict in Near and Middle East. He wants Syria to take Israel out. He showed me all his computer gear and what he does. Anyway…

First of all, I don’t know the story behind these photos [incorporated into the header of this blog] other than that this seems to be a boy in Gaza who was killed by, I don’t know, the Israeli military. I don’t know if the boy had been shooting a rocket or threw a rock or just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time with those who were getting themselves into trouble or whether he was just minding his own business or learning how to make an IED or suicide vest that went off prematurely. I don’t know. I don’t know who the guy is that shot him if he died in a hale of bullets. Did that guy have a good reason? Quite possibly. But maybe it was just target practice using this kid as a target even though he was, say, just getting a drink of water. Maybe the IDF guy just that second got a phone call that informed him that his entire family had just been blown up by a suicide bomber at a street restaurant in Jerusalem on an otherwise lovely Saturday evening and was now half-crazed, wanting to take out as many non-Israelis as possible. What do I know? And for that matter, my “Shadow”, what do you know outside of the fact that you were unable to manipulate a Jewish kid in the neighborhood when we were kids in the same part of town? What I do know is that all this has affected me deeply over the years. That’s why this kid is in the header of this blog.

death gaza boy 1

What I do know that the survivors of any violence want to do something to bring violence to an end as best we can in this sorry world, either by the “dead peace” of a more prolific violence in which a lot more people of both sides die, or by seeking solutions that will bring understanding of reality to both sides. Whatever about putting into place just measures of self-defense, the understanding of reality bit is done in two ways, by words, by actions.

  • Words are not to be underestimated.
  • Doing something without thinking about what one is doing is not to be overestimated.

Regarding words, in my own little world I’m attempting a number of things.

  • One is a dialogue between Israel and the Holy See on Scripture. I never give up. That started with some key players in the Holy See and Israel now ten years ago. It’s slow going. But the currents run deep all around. This would eventually nuance some of the deepest foundations the notion of the State of Israel.
  • The other bit with words are a few chapters in Jackass for the Hour (we’re about two thirds of the way through as of the publishing of this post). Some upcoming chapters on Islam are rather straightforward about the Qur’an. And more about some things about the preparation for the coming of the Messiah (1st time done, 2nd coming up) that have to be said.

Ideas have effects. I’m sick of those who obfuscate and pander, politically correct, bringing, in the end, only more violence. All of that is a license to kill.

Regarding actions, I’ve been attempting a number of things. Primarily, there is meeting one on one with terrorists. I’ve done that on a number of occasions:

  • sometimes with only a kind of success (one guy took his own life the first second he could without taking anyone else out, and this to make sure he wouldn’t take anyone else out later, people rushing to tell me this, pretty emotional…)
  • sometimes with the success only of a delay (the kid took nine more years to be reconvinced to blow himself up at the Dolphinarium discotheque, killing 21 others)
  • sometimes getting actionable intel that is so incredibly easy to get because of the roman collar I wear. Truly. Easy. Gosh. Get a stopwatch.

People think it’s hard, but it’s not. But you do have to think waaaaay outside the box. Totally. And you can’t have any fear whatsoever, just being matter of fact and super naive. I guess not many are willing to do that. Not many at all. But a field hospital isn’t in a box; it’s in a field, is it not? You don’t always have to have people in GTMO to speak with them. They’re really open, right away, when they’re not under pressure. Really.

Another thing I’ve tried to do but which I haven’t done for years involves baiting funders of terrorism and passing that information along when the bait is taken.

Having said all that, take a look at the header again:

Who’s in the middle of the field hospital. Jesus. He’s Jewish. The Pope, yes, he’s Catholic. The boy? Probably a Muslim. It should be clear what I think is possible. With that in mind, I also say to my “Shadow” what Jesus said to the sleeping Apostles: “Arise! Let us be going! Look! My betrayer (the one who ignores the truth he comes to know) is at hand.”

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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

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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

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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

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Homily 2018 01 25 – Can we really speak of Saul’s conversion to be Paul?

Saint Paul Conversion Damascus Caravaggio

Here’s the first half of the homily for the “Conversion of Saint Paul.”

Can we really call it conversion?

I think Saint Thomas Aquinas, Cardinal Siri, and Garrigou Lagrange, O.P. would hesitate with that kind of language.

I would add that I find it odd that the week of Christian unity centers around this Feast of Saint Paul, who is ferocious with those who do not have the same judgment of the same faith as he calls it. Pretty brave to use him as a patron saint when so many think that ecumenism is about bullying people to rejoice in remaining in our divisions so that we can have whatever doctrine and morality we would like to concoct on any given day at any given hour at any given moment for whatever reason or for no reason.

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Trent, Kryptos, coriolis, treasure maps, religion, analysts, security, strategy

trent session 4 treasure map

Why is it that analysts ignore that which is the context for the key, for text without context is pretext. Ideology over reality? A bit of power, self-congratulation, no humility before the massive sweep of history?  While everything seems to blow apart what is the one thing that stays the same? Crux stat dum volvitur orbis. Where to find that? The context, the coriolis effect, as it were, can be found in the introductory bits of the first decree Sacrosancta of Session IV of the Council of Trent of 8 April 1546, that is, the bits before the list of books and the laying out of the treasure map. If one doesn’t know what the treasure is, in finding it, one won’t even know one is looking at it, and will bypass it.

The arrogance, impatience, spitting cynicism, bitterness of the rejection of all that which is important while calling it irrelevant and sheer idiocy is astounding, and should put on guard those who don’t have so much baggage to deal with. Purity of heart and agility of soul and humble thanksgiving before the Most High is the only way. It’s not mathematics, encoding or decoding, statistics or any other mind games so available to manipulation. It’s the reality of what is actually happening. And there are those who are open to this, also analysts. They need to be encouraged. For the long game. And the short. But life is difficult. There are bullies. So be it. That’s O.K. The coriolis effect plows through all that. ;-). Anyone want to analyze the introductory bits of the first decree Sacrosancta?

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Most emotional * Way of the Cross * “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”

I made this set of videos (about 20 minutes all told) during my time living just over the cave of Elijah on Mount Carmel, Israel, back in 2009. Seems like yesterday. The O.C.D.s had invited me to stay there for an entire month during the years that I was a chaplain at Lourdes. I must say that these videos are very emotional for me to watch to this day. What a fright! But… Jesus, Mary’s Son, is just that good and kind! Even though in watching these you don’t move from station to station yourself, I’m sure your heart will be transported to be right next to Jesus, to be with Him in solidarity, and to be right next to His dear mother as she accompanies our Lord, again in all solidarity.

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Lion’s Gate: Preparing the 4th Temple with the blood of the peacekeepers (This Jewish Catholic Priest’s opinion)

lions gate

Islamic terrorists like any other criminals simply ignore the fact that crime is always counter-productive. Just a little while ago, some Israeli LEOs were assassinated at the Lion’s Gate, right next to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The LEOs weren’t expecting the unprovoked attack and were exactly where they were supposed to be.

The immediate visceral reaction to this kind of violence at the Temple Mount (where you also find the ultra-vulnerable because basin-like Jewish prayer area at the Western [wailing] Wall), is to remove the Islamicists definitively, destroy the mosque, rip out the Dome of the Rock, and build the 4th Temple. Proof of this is that the immediate statement put out by Prime Minister Bibi is that the Status Quo of the Temple Mount will simply remain the same. In other words, if this was the instantaneous answer with no question being asked, the presumed question is whether the Status Quo will finally change, as it is soon expected to be changed within the foreseeable future. In other words, the tension is so much at fever pitch that anything could bring about a major change. It’s just a matter of time, sooner than later.

So, what’s this opinion of this Jewish-Catholic Priest? I think that whatever about the status of Jerusalem as an international city desired by some, blah blah blah, it is intense insanity to have more than one group contending to have ownership of the same place at the same time anywhere at any time for any reason. That’s simply not how fallen humanity is able to maintain peace.

Is it not better to have, say, the Israeli Defense Forces control the Old City of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and then allow visitors with controllable security measures in place for each visitor? I think so. That doesn’t mean anything is any less international if whatever about that “international” issue were to be decided. One group in control just means greater security. If it’s the first most holy site for a group, shouldn’t that group be in charge? The Temple Mount is the first most holy site for the Jews.

The Church of the Resurrection is Catholic from the beginning. I think the entirety of the Church of the Resurrection, including Calvary and the Holy Sepulcher, should be given over to the Franciscans at the Custody of the Holy Land exclusively. The extreme violence of some of the groups there is simply unacceptable.

Take an example. Should Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Basilica be given over to Islam? I mean, after all, they’ve raided and pillaged Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Basilica (of the time) a number of times (the reason for the massive defensive walls around Vatican City). I don’t think so.

The easy largesse of those who shout “BE NICE!” and don’t lift a finger to help keep the peace and who don’t take account of ongoing horrific violence caused by the insistence on that easy largesse.

// (begin sarcasm) — Hey! Let’s make the Swiss Guard in charge of the Temple Mount! –(end sarcasm) //

This opinion does not have anything to do with what I think about the fulfillment of the covenants in Christ Jesus our Lord and God. No, I do not believe that any building of any 4th Temple is productive in any way on any level.

Further disclaimer: I’m Catholic. I’m Jewish. I lived in Jerusalem for a good while, arriving when Jewish pilgrims were stoned at the Western Wall from the Mosque above, and when, then, 19 Palestinians were killed. I walked from the U.N. compound South of Jerusalem back to Jerusalem down the length of the Silwan valley into Silwan and back up to the Temple Mount. That was the day after fake “Christians” went into the town of Silwan to celebrate the death of the Palestinians. Those fake “Christians” say that “ethnic cleansing” (genocide, really) of all non-Jews throughout the Holy Land is the only way for Jesus to come back again. Those fake “Christians” are simply monsters. My saying that the Jews should have control of the Temple Mount has nothing to do these fake “Christians”. It’s the other way. What I’m pushing for would save many lives on a day to day basis.

Of course, there are those who would say that this would start a war. My answer to that is, “Where have you been?” I’m guessing that when the USA takes out North Korean nuclear capabilities, the Israelis will do the same for Iran, which is perhaps the best time to take peaceful control of the Temple Mount.

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Republished: John the Baptist’s birthday, because he was sanctified in his mother’s womb

visitation from peregabrielcom.png

[The painting above is from peregabriel.com. A very cool site!]

Remember that the easiest way to pray the rosary is to recognize that Jesus and Mary and Joseph are with you right here, right now, as they are in heaven, not as they were a couple thousand years ago. Sure, take a look at what they did for you and all back in the day, but, in our Lord’s grace, with a spirit of humble thanksgiving for them, right here, right now.

Remember, it’s not about your imagination that you are in their presence, which Pelagian effort of imagination is a lot of hooey. Rather, your act of the will in our Lord’s grace to humbly thank Him and our Blessed Mother is what the prayer of the rosary is all about.

Clever meditations, whether in “rant” style such as in this article, or, later, please God, in a style presented in a more genteel manner, don’t get anyone anywhere. The only way what is presented on this blog is going to help anyone is if that someone, by the grace of our Lord, uses these words as an occasion to humbly thank the Holy Family right now for what went on back in the day.

* * *

For this preliminary “rant meditation” on the second joyful mystery of the most holy rosary, let’s leave off Luke 1,5-25 (the scene with Zachariah) and Luke 1,46-80 (saving those for future meditations!), concentrating on Luke 1,39-45, for which a summary interlinear comment will be provided, based on my own in-your-face translation from the Greek, with an eye to the Vulgate. I’m not into the esoteric practice of translating one word for one word, as if, magically, all languages had absolutely perfect one word for one word equivalents. Such pretension cannot ever provide a great translation, unless you’re in a position to create the language, as was the case with the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, which made up a goodly number of words, but paraphrased the rest. Instead, trying to avoid coining any words, I’ll provide a translation with more in-your-face accuracy than any one word for one word translation could ever present. Note that the “perfect” verbs, with their continuing perfection, are not easy to translate! …

Luke 1,39 But Mary, having arisen in these days, went out into the hill country with enthusiastic haste, into a city of Judah, 40 and she entered into the house of Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it came about that as Elizabeth listened to the greeting of Mary, the unborn child leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a great exclamation and said: “You are perfectly continuing to remain perfectly blessed among women, and the Fruit of your womb is perfectly continuing to remain perfectly blessed. 43 And how has this come about to me that the Mother of my Lord might come to me? 44 For behold! As the voice of your greeting came about in my ears, the unborn child leaped in exaltation in my womb. 45 And blessed is she who has believed that the things spoken to her by the Lord, perfectly continuing to remain with their perfective force, will have fulfillment.”

O.K. Let’s try some interlinear commentary:

Luke 1,39 But Mary, having arisen in these days [“these days,” not “those days.” This speaks to what is happening to Mary interiorly. She’s immediately thinking of Hanna’s words, and singing the “Magnificat”. But, more on that in a, please God, future meditation.], went out into the hill country [which is also way up from Nazareth] with enthusiastic haste, into a city of Judah [Just a couple of miles down from Jerusalem: “enthusiastic haste”… I remember walking from the Sea of Galilee down to Jericho with enthusiastic haste the day before the first Gulf War with Saddam Hussain. I had intended to go up to Jerusalem past Saint George monastery, but the military nicely, but forcefully had some of the settlers crowd drive me the rest of the way to Jerusalem. Anyway, just to say, I was about twice the age that Mary would have been. It took me one day to do that. Her enthusiastic haste bore the Son of God, giving wings to her feet], 40 and she entered into the house of Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth. [What a greeting! Mary was filled with her “Magnificat” already, her heart and soul bursting with the praise of God…] 41 And it came about that as Elizabeth listened to the greeting of Mary, the unborn child leaped in her womb [This is traditionally understood as the sanctification of John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth. This is why the birthday of John the Baptist is celebrated, along with that of Mary and Jesus. He was already holy in the womb, as were Jesus and Mary.], and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit [This cannot but give great joy to our hearts and souls!]. 42 And she cried out with a great exclamation [to be repeated countless times in later centuries] and said: “You are perfectly continuing to remain perfectly blessed among women, and the Fruit of your womb is perfectly continuing to remain perfectly blessed [which completes the first part of the Hail Mary, the earlier parts being those said by the angel Gabriel to Mary, a very biblical prayer…]. 43 And how has this come about to me [such humility, which can always be had before the greatest goodness and kindness, so far beyond us, and yet with us…] that the Mother of my Lord might come to me? [“The Mother of my Lord”… A prophecy to be noted today: the blastocyst is not implanted in the uterus in the mother until about nine days after conception. Give Mary and all her enthusiastic haste, very likely traveling alone, about – what? – a day, two days, three to get to Elizabeth… At any rate, before implantation of the conceived Child, just a few cells at this stage: “The Mother of my Lord”… Pius XII instructed us that the just conceived Jesus in the womb of Mary embraced the entire Mystical Body of Christ from, in fact, the first instant of His conception.] 44 For behold! As the voice of your greeting came about in my ears, the unborn child leaped in exaltation in my womb [Not the normal “kick”!]. 45 And blessed is she who has believed that the things spoken to her by the Lord, perfectly continuing to remain with their perfective force, will have fulfillment.” [Elizabeth… What a great saint… So filled with the Holy Spirit, instructed by the Holy Spirit… knowing the truth of it all. Wow! The two of them! What joy they would have had during those months with Mary helping Elizabeth. Our Lord Jesus, always foremost in their thoughts… Just so awesome… ]

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