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Pope: Jewish people must never again be blamed for crucifixion

By on Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Pope Benedict XVI visits Rome’s main synagogue in January 2010. In his new book he seeks to deepen Catholic-Jewish dialogue (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI visits Rome’s main synagogue in January 2010. In his new book he seeks to deepen Catholic-Jewish dialogue (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Benedict XVI is to make a major new contribution to Catholic-Jewish relations with a gripping theological assessment of who was culpable for the death of Jesus Christ.

The Pope takes a significant step forward in furthering the cause of inter-religious dialogue by explicitly exonerating the Jewish people from all blame for the Crucifixion and death of Jesus.

In his forthcoming book on Jesus, the Pope dedicates three pages to the famous passage in St Matthew’s Gospel in which “the Jews” demand the execution of Christ and shout to Pontius Pilate: “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”

He uses both scholarship and faith to explain that the mob does not represent the Jewish people, but sinful humanity in general.

Furthermore, he offers theological insights to say that the blood of Jesus is not used in the purposes of vengeance but is poured out to reconcile mankind to God.

It was not “poured out against anyone, it is poured out for many, for all”, the Pope writes in Jesus of Nazareth – Holy Week: From Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, which will be published on Thursday by the Catholic Truth Society.

He adds that St Matthew’s reference to the blood of Our Lord does not represent “a curse, but rather redemption, salvation”.

The passage in St Matthew’s Gospel is particularly contentious because it has been used down the centuries to try to justify the anti-Semitism of some Christians, which, the Pope laments, had often resulted in “grave consequences”, an allusion to the persecution of European Jews.

The passage generates such strong feelings that Mel Gibson was forced to drop it from the subtitles of his 2004 film The Passion of the Christ, although he did not cut the comments in their Aramaic form from the script.

In 1965 the Vatican rejected the idea of the collective culpability of Jewish people for the death of Christ in the Second Vatican Council document Nostra Aetate, a move which angered some Catholics.

By his remarks Pope Benedict is re-stating and consolidating the now accepted teaching of the Church in continuity with the attempts of his predecessors to build bridges with the Jewish people. Commentators who have seen extracts from the book released by the Vatican this week, however, say that the Pope, a respected scholar and theologian in his own right, is also offering a unique theological insight into the New Testament texts.

Sister Margaret Shepherd, secretary of the bishops’ conference committee for Catholic-Jewish relations, said: “Pope Benedict offers original insights into the death of Jesus and the question of responsibility for it. Pope Benedict takes further Nostra Aetate’s rejection of the deicide charge against the Jews by providing scriptural depth to our understanding of it. We have to see this in the context of the tragic history of such a charge, which has provided a rallying cry for anti-Semites over the centuries and whose effects still linger today.”

She added: “Pope Benedict has continued the genuine desire of his predecessors, Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II, for dialogue and encounter with the Jewish people.

“He has visited synagogues, significantly the Cologne synagogue early in his pontificate, as well as the Rome Synagogue. He has visited Auschwitz and Yad Vashem in Israel. He sent warm greetings to the president of the state of Israel on the occasion of the state’s 60th anniversary. [And] he has met with a number of chief rabbis,” including Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks.

Emeritus Archbishop Kevin McDonald of Southwark, the chairman of the bishops’ committee for Catholic-Jewish relations, said: “Pope Benedict’s new book offers a profound reflection on the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ.

“It goes to the heart of the Christian mystery and his writing is bold and revealing. It is very appropriate that it is being released as we approach the season of Lent since it provides a very fertile preparation for the celebration of Holy Week.”

The new book is the long-awaited sequel to Jesus of Nazareth: From Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration, which became a best-seller when it was published in 2007.

  • Auricularis

    “In 1965 the Vatican rejected the idea of the collective culpability of Jewish people for the death of Christ in the Second Vatican Council document Nostra Aetate, a move which angered some Catholics.”

    The church has never preached that the Jews share “collective culpability” as an official line. A brief look at the Catechism of the Council of Trent will reveal this gem:

    “This guilt seems more enormous in us than in the Jews, since according to the testimony of [St. Paul]: If they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory; (1 Cor 2:8) while we, on the contrary, professing to know Him, yet denying Him by our actions, seem in some sort to lay violent hands on Him.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent, Article IV, Part II).

    Was it really too much for the author to do a little google search?

  • Brian Cook

    Thank you very much, Holy Father.

  • Daniel Hunter

    We were always taught by the Baltimore Catechism and the Cathechism of Trent that all mankinds sins were resposnsible for the Death of Christ.
    I am as responsible just as Caiphas was.
    The Church taught this before Vatican II as well.

    I do not know why this should be any news to a Catholic.

  • LeFloch

    Will this grovelling to the Jews never end? I take it the Holy Father will be using his ‘theological insights’ to revise the Bible – removing the many passages which point the finger at the once Chosen People. For example, St Paul to the Thessalonians (II verse 15) “Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men”.

  • Cjkeeffe

    Given that Jesus died for my sins, is it not the case that effectivly each time we sin its as if we re crucify Him? In any case why do we just not stick with what teh Church has taught through history at Trent and Vatican II? One key question is, given that the Church has bent over backwards to be nice to Jewry, even to the point of saying we should not seek there conversion to Chruist as they are faithful to the old convenant (albeit that that has been superseded by the Incarnation). Can anyone tell me one concrete thing that Jewry has done to embrace Catholicism?
    Whilst the Holy Father is rightthat the mob from a thrological viewpoint reprresents the whole of humanity. On that faithful Good Friday day, that mob was made up of indvidual jewsih men and women who pressed for the death of Jesus inspired by the illiegal night trial of Jewish high priests (perhaps Jewry could apologies for the use of an illeagl nightime trial to murder our saviuour?). So some jews at the time where guilty of pressing Pilate to excute Jesus – this is a simple historical fact. Just like some Germans where members of the SS and happliy pushed jews into gas chambers, that does not mean that my Jewish friends today are guilty of kiling Christ, just as my German friends today are not guilty of the holocaust.
    I think commonsene needs to prevail and that what the church does.
    [apologies for spelling mistakes, I'm dyslexic and could not find teh spelling function.[]

  • nick

    Unless you are fundamentalist the passage you are interpreting as pointing the finger is much
    broader than your interpretation It was this interpretation by uninformed Catholics that caused
    no end of anti-Semitism that culminated in Hitler’s insanity. Thank you I’ll stand with
    Peter on this one

  • LeFloch

    Ah yes, ‘uninformed Catholics’ like St John Chrysostom, who stated in one of eight homilies against the Jews: “The difference between the Jews and us in not a small one, is it? Is the dispute between us over ordinary, everyday matters, so that you think the two religions are really one and the same? Why are you mixing what cannot be mixed? They crucified the Christ whom you adore as God. Do you see how great the difference is? How is it, then, that you keep running to those who slew Christ when you say that you worship him whom they crucified? You do not think, do you, that I am the one who brings up the law on which these charges are based, nor that I make up the form which the accusation takes? Does not the Scripture treat the Jews in this way? ” I think a study of the works of the Saints, Church Fathers and Councils would be more supportive of my interpretation than Benedict’s. What is more likely to be true? Two thousand years of teaching based on Divine Revelation and plain common sense or a ‘theological insight’ gained in 2011?

  • Daniel Hunter

    Old news.
    Trent covered this 450 years ago:

    “This guilt seems more enormous in us than in the Jews, since according to the testimony of [St. Paul]: If they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory; (1 Cor 2:8) while we, on the contrary, professing to know Him, yet denying Him by our actions, seem in some sort to lay violent hands on Him.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent, Article IV, Part II).”

  • Johnpatmcgirr

    ‘It goes without saying that this book is in no way an act of the magisterium, but is solely an expression of my personal search “for the face of the Lord…” Everyone is free, then, to contradict me.’
    (From the Foreword of Volume One of Jesus of Nazareth).

  • Ratbag

    Thank you, Holy Father, for clearing this matter up once and for all!

    Jesus of Nazareth Part II – another cracking book to look forward to….

  • Barabbas

    Modern Judaism is not the Old Testament religion but is, instead, rabbinic Pharisaism — a religion which consists of: verbally honoring Torah, but seeing Moses’ Books through the lens of: the Talmud; Kabbalah and other magical practices and beliefs acquired before and during the Babylonian Captivity, and rabbinical authority (not priestly authority, as in the Old Testament). The rabbinical view of history is that the “Jews” were chosen, as a biological race and because of their genetic superiority, by God to bring about an earthly Jewish Kingdom in which Gentiles follow the Noahide laws and are subject to rabbinical authority.

    So Nick, your pseudo-history template looks something like this: Jesus, (whom the Talmud and Toledoth Yeshu consider a blasphemous heretic sorcerer), came along, the Temple fell, many Jews were “led astray” by the followers of Jesus, and His Church has been persecuting the Jews ever since, without cease, for no reason, and never in response to Jewish behaviors and attitudes. Voila Hitler!

    Ever hear how the Pharisees threw out the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, used by the Palestinian Jews for hundreds of years and cherished by the Apostles, because this version, which contains the Deuterocanonical Books (referred to as the “Apocrypha” by Protestants), was used by the Christians to proselytize Jews due to its more specific language used to convey the Messianic prophecies?

    Ever hear of the Birkat ha-Minim — a part of the Amidah prayer which consists of a curse against Christians asking God to destroy us? This Amidah prayer with its curse against Christians has been prayed by religious Jews three times a day for almost two millennia.

    Ever hear of the respected Rabbi Simeon Ben Johai (quoted over 700 times in Talmud), who formally declared that non-Jews are not even human?

    Ever hear how Jews allied themselves with the Christian-born but later professing pagan Julian the Apostate, Emperor of Rome between A.D. 361 and 363 and fourth successor of Constantine, who oppressed Christians even as he tried to help Jews rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, a project that ended when mysterious balls of fires emanated from the ground (and sky, depending on the account) at the site, burning the workers to death, and an earthquake struck?

    Ever hear of Jewish pogroms against Christians that took place not only in Palestine (note the famous Bar Kochba Rebellion of A.D. 135), in Caesarea, Scytpolis, Yemen, Antioch — a town through which Jews dragged the body of Patriarch Anastasius in A.D. 608, after they threw his genitals in his face and disembowelled him?

    Ever hear how the Jews allied themselves with the Persians in attacking Palestine in A.D. 614 — and how they reveled in slaughtering the Christians there and razing their churches, including the one built over Christ’s Tomb. According to Monk Strategius of Mar Saba (Antiochus Strategos), Jews purchased Christian slaves from the Persians for the sole purpose of slaughtering them “just as one might buy cattle to slaughter” ?

    Ever hear how Jews rose to high levels in medieval Spanish society by falsely claiming to have converted to the Holy Faith, how many became priests, rose to prominence in the Church, and then proceeded to Judaize that country’s Catholics? Ever hear how these false converts also cooperated with Muslims to overtake that country during the Muslim invasions (oh, so that’s why that nasty Catholic Queen Isabella kicked them out in 1492!) ?

    Ever hear about Jewish usury — the other true source of “anti-semitism” in European history?

    Of course not, because you and so many others have been fed a propaganda formula – Catholics=bad, Jews=good; Catholics=persecuters, Jews=persecuted – that inhibits you from reading about or engaging history in any mature way.

  • Rev.Mr.G

    I cannot understand why so many Christians cannot accept the fact that only in Christ’s death is there the complete sacrifice. The purpose of the Resurrection is to prove the validity in all Christ teaches and to model what we should expect in our own resurrection at the end of time. Only in our death to this life is our attainment of salvation. To deny the necessity of the Crucifixion is to deny our own sinful nature and the need for reconciliation and redemption, lest we forget that Chrsit died for all humankind, not just the chosen people: thanks, St. Paul, St Peter, and the First Council of Jerusalem, for that clarification. I give talks to youth confirmation classes on Christology in which I do include information of the process of the death Jesus underwent on the cross. Part of understanding redemption is acceptance that wihout the crucifixion there could be no resurrection. Atonement cannot be half-way: wasn’t that part of Cain’s vain attempt and the cause of his demise? Isn’t that’s what was insufficient in any other sacrificial mode? This is part of what makes Christ the perfect victim-priest. Perhaps if more people understood that fewer would return to Christ in gratitude, not just when they want miracles or immediate relief.

    Dcn Bill Gallerizzo

  • Profidebookstore

    The Catholic doctrine, as different from the Protestant one which insists on private interpretation of Scripture, is that the interpretation is entrusted excluively to the Magisterum. And we have an example of private doctor interpreting Scripture on his own, and even more, interprets it against the Pope.
    Extraordinary !!!

  • Profidebookstore

    “rabbinic Pharisaism — a religion which consists of: verbally honoring Torah, but seeing Moses’ Books through the lens of: the Talmud; Kabbalah and other magical practices and beliefs acquired before and during the Babylonian Captivity, and rabbinical authority (not priestly authority, as in the Old Testament). ”
    Excuse me, but have you read what is claimed above in Jewish sources or you have learned it from somebody else?

  • Profidebookstore

    Are you suggesting that St john Chrysostom meant the Jews who were his contemporaries?

  • Anonymous

    And yet the Jewish Anti Defamation League continues to attack the Catholic Church at every opportunity, defaming the good name of Pope Pius XII in particular, while the Jewish Talmud refers to Our Lord as a sorcerer and the son of a whore named Miriam the hairdresser.

    I accept that not all Jews of the time were responsible for the crucifixion of Our Lord. I also accept that Our Lord died for the sins of all humanity. Nevertheless, it is historically recorded in the Gospels that a significant contingent of powerful Jews planned Our Lord’s arrest and agitated for His death. Our Saviour Himself said to them: “you seek to kill me.” Was He mistaken?

    We cannot continue with this situation today in which the Jews are held up as whited sepulchres, under pain of prosecution for anyone who disagrees, while open season in declared on Christianity. The Jews are sinners just like the rest of humanity and it’s about high time the non-Jews of the world stopped bowing and scraping before them.

    The Jews are keen to remind us that not all of them were involved in Christ’s death, yet they blame all non-Jews in one way or another for Hitler and the Holocaust. Where’s the justice in that?

    the role of Jews in the creation of Communism is undeniable, as is the particular hatred this ideology has for Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. There have been many more Christian murder victims under Communist regimes than there were murdered Jews under Hitler, yet Christians don’t go around bleeting to the world about how terribly persecuted they are. I will refrain at this point from going into the origins of Freemasonry and its hatred of the Catholic religion. Enough has been said, I hope.

    Suffice it to say that from a Catholic point of view, and I hope the Holy Father will make this perfectly clear, the Jews must accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah, just as the Muslims and Hindus and all other rejecters of Christ’s divinity must believe in Him if they would save their souls in eternity. That’s not my opinion, it’s the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church. If recounting this divinely revealed truth for the love of the Jews and a wish to spend eternity in heaven with them opens me to accusations of being antisemitic, then I am proud to bear the slander.

  • Dtmartian

    Jesus came to save all including the Jews…
    We all kill Jesus through our sins.. not the Jews…

  • Apostle

    You should circulate all of your information to enlighten more Christians and Catholics to the History of the Past.

  • Barabbas

    You are excused. The answers to your questions are “yes” and “yes.” The Jewish sources are Uriel DaCosta and Yaron Yadan. The somebody or something else is the very existence today of Karaite Judaism since the 7th Century.

  • Doug

    Got to watch out for those crowds! The devil gets into those crowds!

    It’s an outright shame that, 40 years later, God saw fit to bring in the Romans to destroy the whole of Jerusalem, the bulk of the people living there, and the Temple … just because of a few Scribes and Pharisees … especially since most all of those nasty “temple aristocrats” were long dead, by that time!

    Worse yet … all this totally unnecessary, disingenuous qualification and obfuscation was done merely to satisfy the liberal/progressive wing of the Catholic Church … along with the Jewish ADL (Anti Defamation League) … two obvious “birds of a feather”.

    Fortunately, the pope has already pointed out that nothing contained in either of his books on this subject need be accepted on faith, by any Catholic. They are to be viewed as just another form of today’s “popular” literature: ‘It goes without saying that this book is in no way an act of the magisterium, but is solely an expression of my personal search “for the face of the Lord…” Everyone is free, then, to contradict me.’ (Foreword: Volume One – Jesus of Nazareth)

    I wonder if there’s an actual category by the name of “Fairy Tales for Our Jewish Friends”?

  • Judewang

    Jesus Christ forgave them as He did for our sins. Why can’t we forgive them and embrace them as our elder brothers? Jesus Christ loved both Jews and Gentiles alike because we belong to the same Father.

  • Seangough

    well said. these anti semitic people are so far from God. even if you think jews are enemies, Jesus demands that you love them non the less, ‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’.

    and concerning st john vs benedict…whose teaching is the megesterium? i dont need to look any further…

  • Observer

    yap you support the Jews and the USA bishops and their administration, in return the yanks who are now strong allies of Germany will keep all your secrets from your Hitler Youth days. Cynicism all round. nothing like a German pope and the world’s only superpower in alliance to demolish Communist Cuba and Communist China. And in China its about the money. jesus Christ is far away. If 500 million are converted to the Catholic faith and each put 1 remimbi in the love offering each week, so that is a weekly collection of 500million remimbi. More power and money to the church which is unbelievably rotten and corrupt at its core. Jesus is very far from the Catholic church. Sometimes I wonedrw hy he bothered to die for the Catholics.

  • LeFloch

    Exactly! St John Chrysostom was a great Church Father and Saint. His standpoint was reflected in Church teaching for 2,000 years. Benedict may be the Pope but his ‘insights’ and personal opinions published in a book do not remotely constitute the Magisterium of the Church. By the way are you saying Jews are not our enemies or that they are our enemies but we should pray for them. If the latter, then we are in agreement.

  • kyriakos

    Well Vatican 2 has spoken authoritatively on the Jewish question.So it is a part of the magisterium that Jews are not to be blamed.Well when you say ‘Benedict may be pope’ you seem not to be sure of the validity of Benedict’s papacy.Are you one of that SSPX enthusiasts who deny the authority of the second Vatian council and who are unsure of papal authority ?Well I don’t deny that this is a private opinion of the Pope,but it agrees with the Church’s official teaching which you seem to deny

  • LeFloch

    Vatican II did not speak with authority on anything let alone the Jews. It was a pastoral council which did not rise to the level of doctrine. How could it overturn 2,000 years of unbroken teaching on Jewish guilt in any case? The Council vote on this question was influenced by a powerful campaign of manipulation and subversion by Jewish organisations, fronted by the arch-Judaizer Cardinal Bea.

  • Auricularis

    The Judaism of today is not the same as Old Testament Judaism. Our Lord alludes to the fact that even the Jewish leaders of His time, were nothing more than rabbinical pharisees, who persecuted the prophets of Old Testament Judaism (you can read it in the gospel of St. Matthew 23).

    Judaism (by the logic of its own rules) ended with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD – after that there could be no priesthood or sacrifices and as a result Judaism ceased to exist officially as a religion. The whole term “elder brothers in the faith” (a term invented by the last pontificate) is technically not theologically correct. Today’s Judaism is nothing but a Zionist farce (evidenced by the fact that Hassidic Jews refuse to support the state of Israel because it is secular and blasphemous). The covenant has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ on the cross and this is the covenant, Jews must now accept in order to be saved.

  • Marc

    The Pope is taking strong steps to weed out hate. Freed from this negativity, we be able to to reach and attain the ulltimate fruits of our connection with God and Nature.

  • Robinho710

    It is important that we do not undermine the quotation LeFloch has brought forth, for the words of St. John Chrysostom are not to be taken lightly, or twisted, or rationalized away as a lot of soft Catholics try to do. But we do need to be specific. The issue is not whether or not the Jews killed Christ. The issue is GUILT, that is, how guilty — if at all — are the Jews since the death of Christ for the death of Christ. On this very specific matter, St. John Chrysostom, as far as I know (which I confess isn’t as much as I ought to know), has said nothing.

  • Robinho710

    “Given that Jesus died for my sins, is it not the case that effectivly each time we sin its as if we re crucify Him?”

    I don’t know why Catholics say this. No, it is not. Jesus died once for the sins of those alive in His age, those who lived before Him, and those to come. Your sins were, in a sense, anticipated in His crucifixion.

  • Robinho710

    “We were always taught by the Baltimore Catechism and the Cathechism of Trent that all mankinds sins were resposnsible for the Death of Christ.”

    There is no sense in using a spiritual [although very real] interpretation to deny the plain facts of reality. The fact is Christ was a real historical person who was wrongfully and violently killed by people who chose to do that. Your sins did not cause Christ to die. The nails in his hands and feet and the spear that was plunged into his side is what killed him, and that’s what we are talking about. If you want to use flowery figurative language to say “oh, but your sins hurt Christ more than any nails ever could have” you can be the poet, but the fact is, the man was KILLED by PEOPLE in a particular HISTORICAL point in TIME, and no one and no thing forced His killers to kill Him.

  • Robinho710

    “The Judaism of today is not the same as Old Testament Judaism. Our Lord alludes to the fact that even the Jewish leaders of His time, were nothing more than rabbinical pharisees, who persecuted the prophets of Old Testament Judaism (you can read it in the gospel of St. Matthew 23).”

    So what are you saying? Ok. Judaism is a different thing today. Therefore what? What is your conclusion? This is getting silly. Let me ask you a question: are the Catholics of the 21st the same as those of the apostolic age? Even if the teaching and doctrine is the same, comparing Catholics or Catholicisim of today to the age of St. Polycarp is a joke, because the Catholic Church is a mess today. But, therefore what? What conclusion do I draw from this? My only point is that any point that implies we should not respect any groups of people — especially on the basis of not have the levitical priesthood — is a truly intolerable lack of charity that should be avoided at all cost. Charity is too great a virtue. I agree with Judewang.

  • Robinho710

    The Holy Father didn’t clear up anything at all. It was not some kind of ex-cathedra statement. He was speaking as a theologian, not teaching anyone anything as Bishop of Rome.

  • Auricularis

    Your comparison about Catholics is a straw-man and doesn’t even make sense because Catholics (the faithful ones at least) maintain the same faith as the early Christians in the days of the apostles (unlike Protestants and other heretical sects). The same cannot be said for the Jews, because they have no levitical priesthood and do not maintain the same faith as their ancestors.

    And I never said that charity must not be extended to the Jews: that was something you read into (wilfully?). True charity, however, consists of preaching the gospel unadulterated to the Jews (as well as Muslims, Hindus and every other follower of a different religion). That has not happened for the last 40 years – if anything there has been a creeping of the dispensationalist heresy into Catholic thought, which maintains that the Jewish covenant is still salvific, which is plain and unmitigated blasphemy because it nullifies the death and passion of Our Lord.

  • Emmanuel

    I am always very reluctant to join issues of this nature but not when I see the need to. LeFloch, are you saying that the Jews are out of the salvation grace? Why do you consider them your enemies? It appears that you are yet to come to terms with God’s way and His plan for the salvation of mankind. If you do, you will not see them (the Jews) as enemies. You accept the Apostle John’s role at the crucifixion was a representation of mankind but refuse to accept that the Jews who shoulted “crucify him, crucify him” did not represent the fallen man, including you and I? Can we change the argument please if we are actually Catholics.

  • Auricularis

    Again! The Catholic church has NEVER taught that the Jews were the sole people responsible for the death of Our Lord (in a spiritual sense). However, the facts cannot be changed because the gospels quite clearly record, a large majority of the Jews, together with the Sanhedrin, demanded the death of Our Lord. The Holy Father (as much as I pray for him daily) is making a diplomatic concession (yet again) to the state of Israel which continually stick their noses into Catholic affairs. And this concession has theological consequences.

  • uche

    Even today there is much “jew” in you and in me that cause us to persecute Jesus the second time, and also persecute the apostles and prophets of today. What do you say of that?

  • James H

    Son-of-the-father, your grasp of history is not the best. The false conversions to Christianity were a problem _after_ the reconquest of Spain in 1492 – it was one of the drivers of the Spanish Inquisition! The Moorish invasion happened in the 8th Century.

    Jewish usury owes more to Renaissance caricature (e.g. Merchant of Venice) than to fact. There were always usurers. I’m afraid it’s you who has a simplistic, immature version of history.

  • James H

    “the role of Jews in the creation of Communism is undeniable”. If we are to hold Jews responsible for the acts of one of their apostates, they can hold us responsible for Hitler, under the Gandersauce principle.

    Yes, Jews and Moslems are under condemnation if they reject Christ. But I would rather leave them to the mercy of God, to which I hope to appeal myself.

  • Anonymous

    One of their apostates? You’re having a laugh, right?

    Marx, Lenin, Bronstein, Trotsky, Preuss, Freund, Landsberg, Kautski, Schiffer, Bernstein, Cohen, Hirsch, Rosenfeld, Futran, Arndt, Simon, Kastenberg, Strathgen, Wurm, Merz, Weil, Katzenstein, Stern, Lowenberg, Frankel, Schlesinger, Israelowitz, Selingsohn, Laubenheim, Eisner, Gaspar, Wollheim, Rothschild, Rosenhek, Birnbaum, Arnold, Kohen, Kun (Cohn), Ernst, Sinzheimer, Lewy, Jaffe, Brentano, Talheimer, Heimann, Fulda, Wolf, Agoston, Landler, Vago, Hamburger, Vantus, Weichselbaum, Szkely, Kunftz, Kukacs, Feidler, Schwartz, Schreiber, Samuel, Rosenkrantz, Rosentstegl, Ladai, Eisenstein, Boehm, Honig, Dovsak, Jaszai, Korvin, Kerekes, Biro, Seidem, Faber, Illes, Szabados, Kalmar, Szabo, Vince, Kraus, Dienes, Lengyel, Laszlo, etc.

    I could provide you with at least another 150 names of those Jews who were most active in the formation of the Communist USSR, but I think the point is made.

    Nor does your Gandersauce principle work since all non-Jews generally have condemned what Hitler did. Have you ever heard a Jewish condemnation of evil Communism, though, or the whisper of an apology for the peoples it subdued and the countless numbers its adherents tortured and murdered? You see, it’s not a two way street.

    As to leaving the salvation of Jews and Muslims to the mercy of God, that’s not good enough for a Catholic. God has His militant Church on earth, of which all Catholics are members. It is our duty, but more specifically one of the hierarchy, to seek to win these souls to Christ by preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Entering into interfaith dialogue with a view to joining forces on equal terms against a hostile pagan world is a condemned error.

    Here’s what Pius XI says about it in Mortalium Animos: ” …Assured that there exist few men who are entirely void of the religious sense, they seem to ground on this belief a hope that all nations, while differing indeed in religious matters, may yet without great difficulty be brought to fraternal agreement on certain points of doctrine which will form a common basis of the spiritual life. With this object, congresses, meetings and addresses are arranged, attended by a large concourse of hearers, where all without distinction, unbelievers of every kind as well as Christians, even those who have unhappily rejected Christ and denied His divine nature or mission, are invited to join in the discussion. Now, such efforts can meet with no kind of approval among Catholics. They presuppose the erroneous view that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, in as much as all give expression, under various forms, to that inate sense which leads men to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Those who hold such a view are not only in error, they distort the true idea of religion, and thus reject it, falling gradually into naturalism and atheism. To favour this opinion, therefore, and to encourage such undertakings is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God.

    By these clear words of Pius XI, Assisi and all those Catholic/Muslim and Catholic/Jewish dialogues we hear so much of since Vatican II, stand forever condemned as erroneous and the cause of naturalism and atheism, or, if you like, what Our Lady specified as “the errors of Russia.”

    Cardinal Walter Kasper has already made it plain to the Jews that the Church does not seek to convert them, whilst the Popes of the Council indulge themselves in errors previously condemned authoritively by their predecessors.

    We have to ask ourselves in light of these Assisi and other interfaith scandals: Is this how St. Peter and the first Apostles won souls to Our Lord? Is this how the Church behaved towards non-Christians at any time in her sacred history up to Vatican II? We need to read the signs of the times, and the times are apostate!!

  • Anonymous

    Those who reject the Son reject the Father also, you should not forget that when you speak of our “elder brothers.” Jesus does indeed love the Jews, even before the Gentiles, but they will surely perish in eternity if they reject Him in this life. The same applies to all non-Jews who reject Christ the Saviour. Worldly friendship with Jews, Muslims, etc., is perfectly fine so long as it does not obscure this primary truth which must be preached from the housetops.

  • Anonymous

    You are quite wrong! That Jesus died for the sins of all men from the foundation to the end of the world does not mean that our present and future sins do not greatly offend and wound Him. Read the lives of any of the mystic saints and you’ll see to what degree we crucify Our Lord with every mortal sin.

  • Barabbas

    It is certainly not the best, but you are clueless!

    Your words James: “The false conversions to Christianity were a problem _after_ the reconquest of Spain in 1492 – it was one of the drivers of the Spanish Inquisition!”

    Wrong, the Inquisition’s activities begin in 1480 at Seville. Here’s a citation of a book review, you should brush up: http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/04/19/reviews/980419.19kagent.html

    Your words James: “The Moorish invasion happened in the 8th Century.”
    Right but it wasn’t until January 2, 1492 that Emir Muhammad XII finally surrendered the Emirate of Granada to Queen Isabella I of Castile and her husband King Ferdinand II of Aragon. After the Battle of Grenada, thes monarchs issued the Alhambra Decree (1492) promptly rescinded the Jews’ rights, expelling both the observant and the conversos suspected of secretly practicing Judaism (crypto-Judaism) called Marranos.

    Finally, “Renaissance caricature”? That’s creative but completely ridiculous. I’ll let the Historian Henry Charles Lea respond to this nonsense from his History of the Inquisition of Spain (4 vols., New York and London, 1906–1907): “The unsavoriness of the calling, its risks and the scarcity of coin during the Middle Ages, conspired to render the current rates of interest exorbitantly oppressive. In Aragon the Jews were allowed to charge 20 per cent, per annum, in Castile 33, (53) and the constant repetition of these limitations and the provisions against all manner of ingenious devices, by fictitious sales and other frauds, to obtain an illegal increase, show how little the laws were respected in the grasping avarice with which the Jews speculated on the necessities of their customers. (54) In 1326 the aljama of Cuenca, considering the legal rate of 33 per cent, too low, refused absolutely to lend either money or wheat for the sowing. This caused great distress and the town-council entered into negotiations, resulting in an agreement by which the Jews were authorized to charge 40 per cent. (55) In 1385 the Córtes of Valladolid describe one cause of the necessity of submitting to whatever exactions the Jews saw fit to impose, when it says that the new lords, to whom Henry of Trastamara [98] had granted towns and villages, were accustomed to imprison their vassals and starve and torture them to force payment of what they had not got, obliging them to get money from Jews to whom they gave whatever bonds were demanded. (56) Monarchs as well as peasants were subject to these impositions. In Navarre, a law of Felipe III, in 1330, limited the rate of interest to 20 per cent, and we find this paid by his grandson, Carlos III, in 1399, for a loan of 1000 florins but, in 1401, he paid at the rate of 35 per cent, for a loan of 2000.florins, and in 1402 his queen, Doña Leonor, borrowed 70 florins from her Jewish physician Abraham at four florins a month, giving him silver plate as security; finding, at the end of twenty-one months that the interest amounted to 84 florins, she begged a reduction and he contented himself with 30 florins. (57) When money could be procured in no other way, when the burgher had to raise it to pay his taxes or the extortions of his lord and the husbandman had to procure seed-corn or starve, it is easy to see how all had to submit to the exactions of the money-lender; how, in spite of occasional plunder and scaling of debts, the Jews absorbed the floating capital of the community and how recklessly they aided the frailes in concentrating popular detestation on themselves.”

    Sounds like crushing interest to me Shakespeare and well prior to the Renaissance; and I’m afraid that after this rebuttal you will still be as clueless as ever because you like Nick are drunk on that propaganda formula..

  • jordan

    The Catholic Church has always taught that the sins of all humankind, and especially Christians, occasioned the passion and death of Christ. The gospel passion narratives, and especially the Gospel of John Passion, must be viewed through the lens of 1st century Roman domination in Judaea and the evolution of infant Christianity. The Judeans of the 1st century CE, as well as Jewish people throughout history, have nothing to do with Jesus’ death. Rather, the historical Jesus was most likely put to death by the Romans, alongside many others, simply for challenging the iron fist of Roman rule through a new religious movement. Also, John’s use of the term “The Jews”, _hoi ioudaoi_, reflects tensions within the early Jerusalem Christian community over identification with Judaism. Jews and Judaism then and today are not culpable for internectine issues in early Christianity.

    I’m shocked and saddened by the rank anti-semitism in this thread. Catholicism in a post-modern world does not need a scapegoat Other in order to live in grace and the joy of the sacraments. I have no problem with “traditional” Catholicism, the Latin Mass, or any aspect of Catholicism’s rich history. Still, our faith must be lived responsibly and peacefully. All our liturgies must evolve to match the understanding of Jews and Judaism in today’s Catholicism. Bizarre conspiracy theories, warped views of Jewish and Christian historical interactions, and purposeful distortions of the Jewish religion degrade rather than enrich the Catholic faith.

  • LeFloch

    “post modern world”? “scapegoat Other”? “today’s Catholicism” I should give the Tablet up for Lent if I were you! Open your eyes, read some history and you will learn that Jewry has been the main enemy of the Catholic Church and Western civilisation for 2,000 years. Its malign influence runs from the persecutions of the Early Church to the ‘Russian’ Revolution and continues today with the work of organisations such as the Anti Defamation League. I recommend the works of Father Fahey as a guide to Organised Naturalism and its Jewish leaders.

  • jordan

    What does your jaundiced view of late Medieval banking have to do with the the Paschal Mystery?

    Plenty of cultures throughout history have created “untouchable” castes that perform necessary services that are ritually forbidden (or distasteful) to other members of society. In India, many dalits clean latrines and cesspools, for example. Sanitation is important lest a community develop cholera or other diseases that stem from raw sewage. Even so, dalits are brutally oppressed as “unclean” even though they are a vital part of the community. The use of religion or social custom as a cover for the enslavement of a particular group of people to hazardous but necessary occupations is not a development isolated to European culture.

    Some Jews in Medieval, Renaissance, and early modern Europe operated primitive banks because of the Christian usury prohibition. They were scapegoated for providing a necessary service that was “impure” (offensive to Christian morality of the time). Like dalits, medieval Jews lived under a social double jeopardy marked with periodic ritualized violence. Pogroms ensured that the Jewish community would continue to provide the unclean but desperately needed service.

    Anecdotal evidence of high interest rates correlates little with the grand cycle of victimization that trapped European Jews. So, moneylenders in Renaissance Europe charged high interest rates? Jews had no property rights, including the right to personal autonomy (the property of one’s own life). In societies where commodity currency could buy protection, Jewish people might have had to charge more simply to stay alive. A noble or wealthy person could simply kill a Jewish lender instead of defaulting on a loan. It’s quite likely that higher fees provided self-defense for the Jewish community.

    It is highly disingenuous to propose that Christians were the unilateral victims of Jewish money lending. Christian rulers and wealthy men made sure that the Jews were locked into cycles of victimization that ensured the financing of their realms.

  • jordan

    The greater question is this: why does Catholicism need enemies to define itself?

    Let’s say that someone were able to conclusively prove to you that most Jewish people and Judaism as a religion are not at all interested in persecuting Catholics and Catholicism. Who would you then blame for your problems?

    Have my Jewish friends, relatives, professors, teachers &c. been weaving together a nefarious plot to turn me into a pinko commie atheist? My best friend from childhood is part Jewish. Was he sent to earth just to lead me to perdition? He and his Jewish wife are a very important part of my life. Maybe if you get out more and meet actual real live! Jewish people (I haven’t seen any horns yet), you might make a few friends. That’s a few more than the zero you have right now.

    Ever think about running as the BNP candidate in your riding? Sadly, hardcore BNP types are probably the only people who will tolerate your crackpot hate.

  • Anonymous

    And if people would only open their eyes today, they would find exactly the same methods being used on a global scale. The economic crisis is manufactured to raise interest and relieve people of their money and property.

    Consider this: A man takes a mortgage on a house at the height of the property boom, it costs, say, £300,000. Then the economic crisis kicks in and the value of his property plummets, but the mortgage payments stay high. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands, even millions, globally, and you can see the enourmous profits that a handful of powerful individuals, those who really run the world, are pulling in.

    The British government speaks of a huge deficit, billions of pounds, owed for borrowing, but note that no one ever tells us who this money is owed to. Who are the governments of the world in debt to, and why is the wealth suddenly being shifted from West to East where atheistic Communism still reigns supreme. Some may call it conspiratorial, but there’s no denying what is happening right before our eyes.

  • LeFloch

    I see. Because you have Jewish friends therefore organised Jewry is not the enemy of the Church, played no role in the Russian Revolution and so on? It sounds from your postings as if your Jewish contacts have not enhanced your ability to reason, to say the least.

  • Ileandro

    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven:
    The creed says: “….by the power of the Holy Spirit
    he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
    and was made man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried…” So He was crucifeid by “us”!!!!!