Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Catechism: All sinners were the authors of Christ's Passion

Readers will recall how an anti-Semite left a comment at this website in which he referred to the Jewish People as the "enemy of all humanity" and suggested that they are responsible collectively for Jesus' death. Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say on this subject:

"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." (CCC, 597).

No. 598 of this same Catechism tells us that, "In her Magisterial teaching of the faith and in the witness of her saints, the Church has never forgotten that 'sinners were the authors and the ministers of all the sufferings that the divine Redeemer endured.' Taking into account the fact that our sins affect Christ himself, the Church does not hesitate to impute to Christians the gravest responsibility for the torments inflicted upon Jesus, a responsibility with which they have all too often burdened the Jews alone:

We must regard as guilty all those who continue to relapse into their sins. Since our sins made the Lord Christ suffer the torment of the cross, those who plunge themselves into disorders and crimes crucify the Son of God anew in their hearts (for he is in them) and hold him up to contempt. And it can be seen that our crime in this case is GREATER in us than in the Jews. As for them, according to the witness of the Apostle, 'None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.' We, however, profess to know him. And when we deny him by our deeds, we in some way seem to lay violent hands on him. Nor did demons crucify him; IT IS YOU WHO HAVE CRUCIFIED HIM, AND CRUCIFY HIM STILL, WHEN YOU DELIGHT IN YOUR VICES AND SINS."

This is the teaching of Holy Mother Church. Anyone who persists in blaming the Jewish People collectively for Christ's death on the Cross is simply wrong. And any attempt to rationalize hatred toward the Jewish people by blaming them for Christ's Passion is just plain evil. Referring to the Jewish People as the "enemy of humanity" is demonic.

Paul

4 comments:

Eric Levan said...

That was really the point of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." Of course, some in the Jewish community tried to smear the film as being "anti-semitic."

I read that this is why Mr. Gibson insisted upon using his own hand to hold the hammer in the crucifixion scene.

Cheryl said...

This Tobias must be connected in some way to the Feeneyite Movement. And probably the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond. The disobedience there and the radical hatred of Jews are well-known.

Marie Cecile said...

Dear Paul,

In my opinion, if we follow the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and follow our consciences, as we are called upon to do so by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then I believe that love of neighbor will flourish among the people of the world. It is knowing in ourselves that judging others and hating others is wrong. When we as a people come to realize how we do the hurting, maybe then, will we find renewal on the face of the earth.

With a Smile in my Heart
God Love You,
Marie Cecile

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

I couldn't have said it better Marie Cecile. Every Catholic should read and reflect very carefully upon Lumen Gentium, No. 14).

God love you &
Peace!
Paul

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