Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Facepalm

Usually I critique the neocon and trad Catholic "media" inasmuch as it exists, and dismiss claims of anti-Catholic bigotry as ridiculous. But occasionally I will critique the secular media for being obviously extremely misleading or utterly misinformed.

Today I saw the following headlines online, "Pope exonerates Jews in death of Jesus," and "Pope reverses long-held teaching!" The articles themselves are a little less sensationalist, but they still make it sound like it's only since Vatican II that the Church hasn't attributed personal guilt to each and every Jew collectively in history for the death of Jesus (something we never taught; though, as for typological causation, that's another question entirely.)

They also make it sound like Christianity was the primary motive for pogroms and such, when I think it was quite clearly used (when it was, without the official sanction of the Church) only as a cover for attacks against a visible ethnic minority based on socio-economic pressures, not at all on religion primarily.

But acting like the Pope has suddenly "changed" something here shows a total ignorance about Catholic teaching authority (this is a book he has published as a private author, not an act of magisterium), is a slander inasmuch as it implies to people that we did hold such an opinion until just today (or at least until 1965), and demonstrates the bizarre way the secular media relishes it every time they think they can claim the Church has "changed" a teaching (as if more changes, the ones they want, must be just around the corner!)

And the execrable Abraham Foxman of the ADL is all over this, of course, claiming that "exoneration" of the Jews hasn't seeped into the Catholic mainstream yet (I'd beg to differ; I haven't ever heard a non-traditionalist Catholic do anything other than walk on P.C. eggshells around the topic of the Jews) and he's apparently still pushing the idea that The Passion of the Christ was a movie about blaming the Jews. If you try not to be anti-Semitic (and I really do try my hardest), Mr. Foxman alone makes the prejudice very tempting. I have to suspect that he and his ADL have caused more anti-Semitism than he's prevented by claiming to speak for all of them.

Anyway, in this case, I think such headlines are clearly biased and show a gross and willful ignorance. It's just ridiculous. We don't have to respond in kind, however. I, for example, didn't headline this post with an insinuation about just who controls the secular media...

14 comments:

Who Am I said...

You're correct as regards to The Church never teaching anti semitism, however as you outlined in your entry, members of The church have utilized The Faith as a justification for their contempt of Jews.

I don't necessarily think of The Holocaust, but go back further to the misuse of authority to FORCE conversions in Spain. That and terms like "marrano" which were utilized against newly converted Sephardic Jews to Christianity. Like I said, I agree The Church hasn't taught contempt for Jews, BUT there are still people who will take St.John Chrysostom's homily taken out of context and pervert it to their own ends. We know of a PARTICULAR forum where that INDEED was the case with SOME individuals.

I will however say that I most thoroughly enjoyed your entry on Eclessia Sinagoga and how it relates to the mystical eschatological relationship between Christianity and Judaism. Sadly, even amongst SOME Trads that explanation simply does not fly and the misappropriation of Church teaching will continue to be perverted. How does one stop THAT ?

Mark of the Vineyard said...

What exactly did the Pope say? Is it related to his new book?

Who Am I said...

@MotV: Indeed it is.

People are all abuzz, because of a few lines within the text.

Who Am I said...

Here it is: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4036883,00.html

Mark of the Vineyard said...

1 - Isn't the book written as Joseph Ratzinger, i.e., it is his personal opinion as a theologian?

2 - I've never understood that all Jews everywhere and everywhen where culpable of Jesus' death. What I understand is that their blame is to be understood typoligically. Also that the concept of guilt was different back then, from what I've understood of my readings. Guilt had/has an individual character (as we see the understanding developing in the Prophets, especially during the Exile), but there is also the communal/societal character if you will. So if one wasn't actually responsible for a certain act, the fact that he belonged to the group that perpetrated it made him co-responsible.

I think we have lost this understanding nowadays with the atomization of society.

Who Am I said...

@MotV: But how do you address The Church's teaching of The Jews in The Gospels standing in for a microcosm of fallen man (ie The Nations) and how people misappropriate that to mean "%@#$^! Jews !" and utilizing them as a scapegoat for EVERYTHING.

Mark of the Vineyard said...

Is that supposed to be a question? I don't understand.

A Sinner said...

I dunno, the point is: this isn't a news story. The Pope has said nothing new, changed nothing, and yet the media is insinuating that basically up to this point we've attributed personal guilt for the deicide to each and every Jew alive today (which is absurd) and that the Pope's comments are some huge turnaround or rapprochement. After Vatican II I could see arguing that, especially given what happened in the holocaust. But today just because the Pope repeats the party-line in a book he has privately written?? It's a huge and deliberate misrepresentation.

Who Am I said...

@MotV: Yes it's a question. :P

The Church teaches that The Jews were in effect a microcosm of fallen man.

http://renegadetrad.blogspot.com/2010/02/paradox-of-jews.html

That being the case, how then do you curb those who PERVERT what The Church has ALWAYS taught regarding The Jews and utilize it for their own anti semitic ends. The Church teaches A, but that does not indicate that members of The church (The Faithful) will express and adhere to teaching A. How do you curb that ?

Mark of the Vineyard said...

@WAI:

That perversion is called heresy. Generally it ends in schism.

Speaking of "schism" and "heresy", I hope I'm wrong, but something tells me that in a few years we'll be hearing about the heresy of "Lefebvrianism" (that is, if the Church still bothers to point out heresies).

Who Am I said...

@AS: I don't think people are solely thinking of The Holocaust, but to The Iberian Peninsula, France and Italy as well.

A Sinner said...

Even if it was only because the corrupt Popes wanted a lot of usurious loans, I've heard the Papal States were one of the SAFEST places to be a Jew (even if they had to put to put up with indignities like the yearly "conversion" sermon, kidnapped baptized children, etc) during the age of pogroms.

A Sinner said...

Comments that promote any sort of Judaizing "parallel covenant" heresy WILL be deleted. Sorry. But that one gets to me.

It's special pleading for the Jews to argue that THEY get some sort of exemption in that regard that we don't give to anyone else, especially given that the only reason they are special or chosen in the first place was Christ.

The Law does not sanctify except in expectation of Christ, who has now come. Who came and was killed by His people, meaning us sinners, yes, but typified by the microcosm of humanity He had prepared.

That "parallel covenant" idea is very dangerous heresy, and saying that isn't anti-Semitic; the pogroms of European history cannot be blamed on typology.

The Church teaches what it has always taught in terms of interpreting the Scriptures. The Church is the New Israel.

Now, a "hard supercessionism" that views the extension of the covenant to the Gentiles as some sort of punishment for the Jews, as if they were bad and the Gentiles weren't, as if, had they accepted Him, it would not have been extended, or as if they were particularly bad in a way different than everyone else (as opposed to simply being a Type of ALL humanity's evil) obviously is untenable.

But the Church very much still holds (and can't, for any contingent political reasons, teach otherwise) that the Church is the New Israel, that the Old Law has been fulfilled and superseded in Christ, and the Jewish remnant which remains testifying to both God's promises (and to what Christ-rejection looks like) will be incorporated into it in their conversion at the End of Time.

Saying that Paul (and Christ) intended something other than the very clear typological reading of their writings (ie, that there was basically a second "felix culpa" in the Passion) based on modern political correctness, giving it a reading that would have been absolutely unimaginable for 2000 years, is simply intellectually dishonest, and frankly rather disturbing inasmuch as it demonstrates just how effective certain Jews have been in using their modern position of victim-sympathy to actually get OTHER religions, even, to confirm their own self-image.

But that's not going to be accepted around here.

A Sinner said...

As for the question of the conversion of the Jews, evangelization, etc., I think Jimmy Akin has a very good article here:

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/pope-dont-evangelize-jews-really/