Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sorry, St. Paul, We've Written Off Your People

Interfaith: The Prime Directive


The Vatican has just released a new document assuring everyone that it has no mission to the Jews.

This is not going to be politically correct. You have been warned.

The need to examine the Vatican's proof-text (Romans 11:29) in context required a detailed examination of Paul's clear teaching on the issue. That will be published in Part 2.

But for now, St. Paul wrote, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8-9 RSV.)

Keeping in mind St. Paul's double anathema, read what he wrote about the salvation of Jews:
We ourselves, who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, 16 yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.
(Galatians 2:15-16 RSV.)

Now, since a different gospel is preached because of interfaith relations, one may ask which is the more important of the two. It is not surprising to hear the Vatican say it has no mission to the Jews, and that Jews may or may not have a special Jew way to salvation.

If you want the photo op with the rabbi at the press conference, the only thing you have to bargain with is the truth. Today, interfaith relations are so important they have eclipsed the truth. In addition, Pope Francis has worked closely with an Argentinian Rabbi, Abraham Skorka, with whom he authored a book, "On Heaven and Earth." We all know how Jorge Bergoglio's personal connections influence Church policies.

Quo Vadis?

The Protestants say Catholics believe the teachings of men. The Bear has to concede them the point too  often. The Bear is just an ursine mammal, but he would think twice about advocating a scheme in which knowing rejection of Jesus Christ was a routine method of salvation.

What does it really say about the need to be Christian -- no, Catholic -- to be saved, or, rather, our leaders' opinions on that? We have often discovered clues that the Church now believes in universalism, that all persons are saved and Hell is empty. Bad ideas have consequences in the Church, and we should be alert for their expressions. One is this: if everyone is saved, religious differences become unimportant.

Now the Vatican repeats their favorite phrase on this issue: "For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable." Of course He didn't revoke them. They got their Davidic dynasty forever, and they got their Messiah, in Whom the Law was completed. Elijah prepared his way in the person of John the Baptist, and Moses and Elijah -- the Law and the Prophets -- met with Jesus during the Transfiguration. Not to mention over 300 Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus' life.

God never revoked his covenant, He completed it.

All Jews  have to do is accept it. Yet the Church has crossed them off the list of people to be asked in order to please men. Is the Bear alone in finding this monstrous?

How different from the early Church, where Jews were tirelessly proselytized! Why were Jews converting to anything under the urging of the Apostle Paul and other Christian leaders if it were not necessary?

What's Behind the Anti-Evangelical Interfaith Scam?

But something is going on that makes interfaith relations more important than the truth of the faith, and  the salvation of souls of people we supposedly care so much about. The Bear sniffs the air, and there is something unwholesome on the breeze more often than not of late. The Bear finds himself typing "The Prince of This World" too often.

He fears for his Church as never before.

Ultimately, the Bear fears the Church is currently advancing a different program than the one Jesus began with St. Peter.

Let the Bear hasten to add, however, that he believes high-level machinations need not affect the average Catholic in the pew. The Bear has never said these are good times. All he has said is the rather desperate, "Nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there." Who knows what the future shall bring?

The Jew Alphonse Ratisbonne and the Miraculous Medal

Here is an embarrassing fundamentalist fable for our modern Church.

Alphonse Ratisbonne was an unbeliever and a Jew. A friend, Baron Theodore de Bussieres, a fervent Catholic, set out to proselytize Ratisbonne. To that end, he asks him to wear a Miraculous Medal and recite the Memorare morning and evening. Although irritated, Ratisbonne's pride will not allow him to treat the request as a serious thing, so he agrees.

Later, another friend was making funeral arrangements in a church and asked Ratisbonne to wait for him inside. The friend returned to find Ratisbonne on his knees, weeping. He reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary. He was instantly convinced of the seriousness of his sins and the beauty of the Catholic faith. He couldn't get baptized quickly enough. (The appearance was approved by the holy see June 3, 1842.)

Alphonse Ratisbonne became a priest in 1847, and established a convent in Jerusalem from which he and his small band proselytized tirelessly for the conversions of Jews and Mohammedans.

Sorry, St. Paul, We've Given Up On Your People 

Under current Church policy, this story would not happen. Catholics are discouraged from proselytizing. Not only would Ratisbonne die in his sins, but his program of proselytization would never happen, and would be prohibited by superiors in any case.

Sorry, St. Paul. Your Church has given up on your people. Please pray for us.

And what does the Church say now about the seeming miraculous nature of Ratisbonne's conversion, and the Virgin Mary's personal blessing of it? She did not come to say, "Alphonse, you are a Jew. You have no need of my Son." One might think that we were looking at two different Churches!

Who will be next to have their own special way of salvation that doesn't bother with Jesus? Surely the other leg of the tripod Three Amigos Great Abrahamic Religions, Islam.

25 comments:

  1. I'm glad you wrote about this, that document from the Vatican is one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen (and I was fine with that light show the other day).

    "an unfathomable divine mystery". Like God deigning to put on the flesh? No. Apparently it's something else, because Mary seeing her Son nailed to a cross like a criminal wasn't necessary for salvation if you're a Jew.

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  2. Thank you for the beautiful story on Baron Theodore Bussieres and Alphonse Ratisbonne. Think I'll ask for a Miraculous Medal for Christmas.

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  3. This really comes down to whether or not we believe in Jesus.

    Those who do not believe in Jesus will put Him in a basket with all the other gods. A good "way"; not the Only Way..

    Those who DO believe in Jesus, by definition MUST insist He is the ONLY way, the "Small Gate", the "Narrow Path" that leads to Life, outside of whom there is no salvation. God incarnate.

    It really is as simple as that.

    A: Is Jesus Lord of ALL?
    B: Or not?

    A Christian must insist on answer A.

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    1. One would think the Church would insist on the same, regardless if it pleased Jews or not. But, hey, you've got to make concessions if you're going to get that photo op with the rabbi.

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    2. I am discovering that many of the effusions from the Vatican strengthen me in my Faith. I wonder how many Catholics will glance at this document and pass blindly on. The Vatican seems to have consigned an entire people to perdition.

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  4. Thanks Bear. More of the same, right. No surprises. I thought Pope F. previously issued a no proselytizing edict which included everyone. I guess he is just spelling it out with his statement on the Jews.

    And really who can blame him? If he no longer believes the Catholic faith it would be hypocritical to attempt conversions. I think he would much rather talk climate change, economics and new world order. Perhaps we can say about our dear Pope is that at least he is honest. Of course, we would to say that it would be better if he was not there at all.

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    1. Proselytizing is a no no only when the salvation of souls is concerned. When it comes to "climate change," it's all proselytizing, all the time. Light shows, encyclicals, you name it.

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    2. Good point. Have we ever been told why proselytizing is bad? Could it be that Church leaders no longer believe it is necessary to be Catholic, or even Christian?

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  5. There is also a sort of under the radar attack on Our Lady. Miraculous Medal? One prelate said someone might think there are miracles attached to it....it is said that the powers that be that are already attacking the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate also want that Miraculous Medal taken off their habit and to stop distributing them. Two Marian shrines, once staffed by the FFI, have been closed. And we saw what was important to the powers that be on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception when a Satanist was hired to create an earthly display approved by the UN on St. Peter's basilica. Yes, there is a subtle and not so subtle against the Mother of God. Yet she WILL crush the head of the enemy and her Immaculate Heart will triumph!

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  6. Satan knows the conversion of the Jews is a prerequisite for the second coming so to prevent the return of Christ he tries to prevent the conversion of the Jews. The Vatican is aiding Satan in this regard.

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    1. That is an excellent point, Michael. I know Satan is the entity behind the conspiracies, but I wish I knew what the conspiracies were. We know the Jews got what they wanted (but not all) and the Church was willing to give up truth and accept and promulgate a lie. What did the Church get? The only thing I can think of is the promotion of an eventual union as equals among the so-called Three Great Abrahamic religions. Union, the Masonic unity of man, one-worldism. A kind of Catholicism will be the symbolic moral compass -- it will encompass some mainline Protestant sects, as well -- to give legitimacy to the whatever emerges as in charge. I think the signs of re-purposing the Church are everywhere. Perhaps this is the way they think the Church can survive in the post-Christian era.

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    2. "The only thing I can think of is the promotion of an eventual union as equals among the so-called Three Great Abrahamic religions. Union, the Masonic unity of man, one-worldism."

      Bear speaks truth. To Pope F. salvation applies to the here and now. The irony is by pursuing this path he will accomplish the Lord's work by winnowing the wheat from the chaff.



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  7. Here's what I don't get: post-Temple Judaism (what Fr Hunwicke today called Pharisaic Rabbinic Synagogue Judaism) is not at all the same religion as the Temple Judaism practiced by Jews up till AD 70. It is younger than Christianity and is, according to some experts, a Pharasaic construct largely defined in response to (and in opposition to) the claims made by the Catholic Church.

    If this is true, the Jews of today are no more our "elder brothers" than Muslims, Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses, and they are called to conversion just as much as those other religions. If you want the true Israel, well...you're in it.

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    1. Wow, really fascinating point! I'd never thought of that, but it sure fits in with Jesus' prophecies about the destruction of the Temple coinciding with the establishment of His Church.

      They no longer connect in a direct line to Temple Judaism. Their boat sank in 70 AD and we have been taking in survivors ever since, (until now I guess where Pope Francis closed the hatch).

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    2. Their boat sank in 70 AD and we have been taking in survivors ever since...

      Yes, precisely. Christians have gotten into the habit of conflating modern Judaism with the Old Testament form, as if Jews are just Christians-without-Jesus, but the real story seems to be far more complex (and interesting!) than that.

      The Talmud recounts the strange cessation of a longstanding event around AD 30: On Yom Kippur, the priests would tie a scarlet ribbon onto the head of the scapegoat, and on many occasions, the ribbon would miraculously turn white in the presence of the crowd at the Temple. This was taken by the Jewish people to be a sign from God that their sins had been forgiven. After AD 30 or so, the ribbon never turned white again.

      The fascinating thing is that this is acknowledged by Jews themselves--though they unsurprisingly draw an entirely different conclusion from it than Christians do. Here is a Jewish apologetic on the question, which claims definitively to debunk the Christian interpretation of this event, but which (at least in this case) is much longer on speculation and invective than on reasoned argumentation. He makes some interesting points along the way, but his explanations for the cessation of the miracle are sheer conjecture, and arguably less compelling than the Christian interpretation.

      What's my point? Simply this: the Catholic claim, dating back to St Paul, is that the ancient Jewish Temple religion ceased to have salvific effect one Friday afternoon around AD 30, and that the Church is the legitimate continuation of the ancient Temple rite instituted by God through Moses. Modern Judaism is a cobbled-together substitution of Pharasaic tradition for the ancient cult in the wake of the Roman destruction of the Temple in AD 70. The Talmud goes to some lengths to denigrate Christianity and the person of Christ, along with his mother and his disciples. It acknowledges that Jesus performed miracles, but claims that he did so by misappropriating God's power. It likewise acknowledges that the high priests had Jesus put to death for heresy, but argues that they were right to do so. In many respects, it is a defense brief by the Pharisees against the Christian claims made in the Gospels, in that it agrees with us on events, but interprets them differently. But even setting aside the question of whose interpretation is correct, it seems clear to me that the Jewish claim to legitimate continuity is highly disputable, and beyond dispute that Judaism in its modern form is younger than Christianity.

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    3. It's always puzzled me, how Jews deal with their Scripture (our OT), all of which points to a Messiah (explicitly or implicitly). When the Messiah came, they were all ready; primed, anticipating the big event. They knew the Messiah was near. Scripture was clear on that. Herod asked his experts if the rumors of the birth of Messiah King were true; "yes, the prophecies pointed to his time", they told him. It certainly was true, according to their own Scriptural patrimony. "The time is NOW"!

      And then .... Nothing. They don't accept this man as King. He is an imposter. The "fraud" was put to death. They wait some more. Acts tells of continued speculation about the Messiah in Jewish society after Jesus' Ascension. Still, nothing except chastisement; never ending chastisement and the unstoppable power of the Name of Jesus throughout the world, (in fulfillment of other of their prophecies).. The Temple is destroyed. No more sacrifice. No more prophecies. Silence from the heavens and tribulation here on earth for 2 millennia; dispersion.

      You would think that this foundation would afford fertile ground for evangelization. We hold the key that unlocks their fundamental questions! Do we not believe what we profess? Their story and ours is simply incompatible. We do violence to our Lord when we allow this.

      Thanks for that interesting view!

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    4. I guess the short answer is they weren't prepared to accept a crucified Messiah. They wanted a king who would remove the hated Romans. That wasn't God's plan, and they could't roll with it.

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    5. Someone somewhere wrote that the division within Christendom is not what we think it is, or what is purveyed by Mass Media.

      It is NOT between right and left, conservative and liberal, Trad and Rad.

      It IS between a VERTICAL and HORIZONTAL spiritual orientation.

      In Jesus' time they were horizontal; looking for a King who would solve their political-military problems. And the launch pad of Jesus' public ministry was His war with Satan in the wilderness over these horizontal/vertical issues. His victory came by placing His mind, soul, body and strength at the service of worship (vertical).

      This is obviously (to me) the battle we fight today for the soul of our Church. We Christians are dead to this world, crucified with Christ, looking forward to the next. Liturgy is excellent. Serving the poor is good. Neither is the primary point. What is essential is a spirit devoted to proper worship of God with every fiber of our being; being consumed. All the rest follows upon that foundation. We must not let the "world" suck us in.

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    6. As we watch the institutional Church become more and more horizontal.

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  8. You make an important point, that a completed and fulfilled covenant of God is not a "revoked" one. By the way, did you know that Fr. Alphonse Ratisbonne also had a brother who converted from Judaism and became a priest, and he too had a mission to convert Jews. Please see http://divinefiat.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-gospel-is-to-be-preached-to-jew.html
    Frank

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  9. I wonder if Jesus would have proselytized to the Jews?

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  10. . Not liking this Pope on the death penalty and on the over marketing of air conditioners, I agree with him here if he is behind this Vatican document. I think the Bear is missing something from Romans: 11:25 " I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not become wise [in] your own estimation: a hardening has come upon Israel in part, until the full number of the Gentiles comes in.. "
    The Church goes against this verse if she has a special mission to convert them. They cannot convert in the aggregate til the full number of gentiles enter in...period. They are in the position of Joseph's brothers in Genesis who handed over their brother Joseph ( prophetically- Christ ) to the Gentiles who imprisoned him from which Joseph rose to the right hand of pharoah and distributed grain (prophetically- the Eucharist ) to the whole world. When his brothers arrive in Egypt, Joseph disguises his face at each meeting so that they talk to the brother they betrayed but see him only in disguise. That's Jews right now. They talk to their brother Christ when they talk to God but Christ's face is disguised to them until the full number of the gentiles enter in....like at least some of the Japanese and millions more Chinese. So there is a mystical sense in which the Jews talk to Christ but He is disguised as they talk to God per se....the God of the Bible....not just any non Trinity like the muslim one.

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    1. The Bear mentions this in Part 2. It seems to the Bear that proselytization would hasten the coming of the kingdom.

      But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? 15 And how can men preach unless they are sent (Romans 10:14-15 RSV)

      We don't know what the full number of Gentiles is. It could be one more. If we believe it is necessary to believe in Christ, it seems we do no service to write off an entire race.

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    2. Then we differ on numbers of the gentiles remaining to enter in as to adequate and profound preaching. Two Catholic countries, Brazil and Peru have some of the largest numbers of uncontacted tribes ( and we've been there 500 years..lol). The Chinese have hundreds of millions who have not heard the gospel in an adequate way....and many still seeth over Catholic France forcing simultaneously in the second opium war treaty...missionaries and British opium on China for which John Paul II apologized. We differ on the approach of the end times as to timing.

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