Saturday, January 09, 2010

Pray for Pope Benedict... he continues the tradition, established by John Paul II, of visiting a Rome synagogue. Thanks to the ghastly anti-Jewish rants of the Lefebvrist's Dr Williamson - still, alas, not denounced by that community - there are tensions between Rome's Jewish community and the Catholic Church. As Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict did more than anyone else in the Church to help forge new friendships between Jews and Catholics, and it has been tragic to see how the Lefebvrist issue has now got in the way.

For me, one of the most frightening things that happened in 2009 was the realisation that anti-semitism has a hold on a certain (thank God, extremely small) group of Catholics - I was truly shocked and disgusted at some of the emails I recieved after writing about this subject. I suspect that most belonged to schismatic groups or were of a schismatic mentality. But the fact that they felt that they could pronounce horrible anti-Jewish comments under the guise of calling themselves "traditional Catholics" appalled and sickened me. I do not see how anyone who is a traditional and loyal Catholic can be anti-Jewish.

I am currently working on some research concerning an English nun who hid Jewish children in Rome during the war and saved their lives. In the early post-war years, the name of Pius XII was revered by many is Israel who knew of lives saved in this way.


Sharon said...

I quite agree with you that no one who is really a traditional Catholic could be anti-Jewish and as for the anti Pius sentiments around this was posted on a Catholic discussion board in Australia.

The Jews to His Holiness Pius XII

“The Congress of Delegates of the Italian Israelite communities, held in Rome for the first time after the Liberation, is obliged to pay tribute to Your Holiness, and to express the deepest sense of gratitude from all Jews, for the show of human brotherhood by the Church during the years of persecution and when their lives were put in danger by the Nazi-Fascist atrocities. Many times, sacerdotes endured prison and concentration camps and even sacrificed their lives to aid the Jews. Such proof that the sense of goodness and charity still drives the just has served to lessen the shame of the indignities endured, the torment of the losses millions of human beings suffered. Israel has not finished suffering: the Jews will always remember what the Church, under orders from the Popes, did for them in that dreadful time”.

Motion approved by the Third Congress of the Italian Israelite Communities held in March 1946 TRANSLATION

Jacobi said...

Anti-Semitism or more properly, ant-Jewishness is by no means confined to the extreme traditionalist wing of the Church, as is seen in the steady drip, drip of one-sided reporting from so many Christian operators in the Holy Land. Granted the lot of the Palestinians, and particularly that of Christians, in the Holy Land is severe, but we hear so little of the continuing assaults from Palestine on Israel, - including the Christians who live there.

A little more balance in Christian attitudes is called for and some more understanding of the strategic position of Israel

We Catholics are after all in the Judeo-Christian stream of revelation. The New Covenant by which we live contains and completes the essence Judaism and as such Catholics should not be anti-Jewish.

pattif said...

Curious, this anti-Jewishness from some who claim to be tradtional Catholics. It is, after all, the old calendar that keeps the Feast of the Maccabean Martyrs (1st August, and the Canon of the Mass contains the following:
"Supra quae propitio ac sereno vultu respicere digneris: et accepta habere, siculti accepta habere dignatus es munera pueri tui iusti Abel, et sacrificium Patriarchae nostri Abrahae, et quod tibi obtulit summus sacerdos tuus Melchisedech, sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam."

Note the references to OUR Patriarch, Abraham, and to YOUR PRIEST, Melchisedech.

I can't see any basis for anti-Jewishness there. Do you suppose it is possible to be a Cafeteria Trad?

Andy said...

I lived in Israel a long time ago. Four years ago I became a catholic. I have always adored Israel, Israelis, Jews and Jewish culture. I was dismayed, like you, to discover traces of antisemitism in the catholic church. I am always heartened by John Paul II's take on the Jews and his espousal of them and love of them. Jesus is a Jew just as St Peter, Our Lady and the founders of the church are Jewish. I pray daily for Israel, for her deliverance and her protection. To deny the Jews in my view is to deny God.

Janjan said...

Thank you, Auntie Joanna. I am heartened by your words. I am a Jewish Catholic, because the Catholic Church is the only Jewish one.Anyone who doesn't see this is willfully ignoring the facts.

Dominic Mary said...

I can't see how a Catholic can be anti-Jewish - but, sadly, you're right, and there still is a strong undercurrent of it amongst many intelligent Catholics who ought to know better.

I won't say where, but I was once present at a (rather distinguished) Catholic gathering where there was a general feeling regret at the excision of the 'perfidious jews' description in the Good Friday prayers, and one person actually said that he enjoyed eating bacon sandwiches because it would upset the Jews !

I'm sorry, but I just don't understand that viewpoint. Jesus, after all, was a Jew.

Anonymous said...

Please do not lump all Traditional Catholics in with a few prejudice people who I suspect would be anti-Jewish even without hiding behind their religious umbrella. Williamson certainly does not speak for the SSPX which you are refering too, as calling them Lefebvrist is incorrect as he was not a "movement". Even our Holy Father recognizes that. One day all walls will come down and we will worship together without politics and presumptions. Thanks be to God!

Joanna Bogle said...

DEar Anonymous

I am a traditional Catholic. It is wrong for those who only want the Extraordinary Form to claim this title as if they had sole use of it. The Lefebvrists have done much harm to the Church. As soon as they formally denounce Dr Williamson's horrible remarks,some of that damage could start to be repaired. If you have any contact with them, you need to tell them this.

Anonymous said...

Dear Auntie Joanna,

The Bishop Felley has come out on Feb. 2, 2010 and denounced Bishop Williamson for his statements. May we continue to pray humbly for all those who desire good for our Holy Mother Church.