Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Catechism and the Jewish People

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 597, teaches us that: "The historical complexity of Jesus' trial is apparent in the Gospel accounts. The personal sin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone. Hence we cannot lay responsibility for the trial on the Jews in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of a manipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles' calls to conversion after Pentecost. Jesus himself, in forgiving them on the cross, and Peter in following suit, both accept 'the ignorance' of the Jews of Jerusalem and even of their leaders. Still less can we extend responsibility to other Jews of different times and places, based merely on the crowd's cry: 'His blood be on us and on our children!' a formula for ratifying a judicial sentence. As the Church declared at the Second Vatican Council:

'...Neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his Passion....The Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture." (Citing Nostra Aetate, No. 4).

The Catechism goes on to remind us that all sinners (that's all of us) were the authors of Christ's Passion (CCC, 598).

This is why it is so disturbing that the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire continues to carry anti-Semitic articles at its website and still has not disassociated itself from another Feeneyite website: www.fatherfeeney.org which contains links to various anti-Semitic hate groups (one of which has a picture of what is reportedly a Jewish man who has just been lynched). This website also contains many links to pornography as well as articles which are highly vicious and extremely anti-Semitic.

Hatred has no place in the life of one who is authentically Catholic. Pope John Paul II codemned anti-Semitism on many occasions and likewise his successor Pope Benedict XVI has reached out to the Jewish People. As another Pope Benedict once said, "Spiritually we are Semites."

Karl Keating was right. The fact that this group in Richmond has not disassociated itself from the other Feeneyite website would indicate much about where these people are coming from.

Pray for them!


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