Skip to comments.Pope responds to Israeli rabbis (Jewish authorities threaten to sever ties)
Posted on 01/28/2009 2:25:27 PM PST by NYer
(ANSA) - Vatican City, January 28 - Pope Benedict XVI acted quickly on Wednesday to counter a threat from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to indefinitely sever relations with the Vatican over his decision to lift the excommunication for a traditionalist bishop who continued to deny the existence of the Holocaust.
The move was announced by the Chief Rabbinate director general, Oded Weiner, who also said that a March 2-4 meeting in Rome with the Catholic Church's Commission for Religious Relations with Jews had been cancelled.
At the center of the dispute is British-born Bishop Richard Williamson, one of four traditionalist bishops whose excommunications were lifted Saturday. Williamson, a member of the ultra-conservative Society of Saint Pius X, recently reiterated his belief that there were no gas chambers and only 300,000 Jews died in the Holocaust, not six million.
News of the rabbinate's decision appeared first on the Jerusalem Post website and the pope quickly responded by reiterating his full support for his ''Jewish brothers'' and said the Holocaust must not be denied because ''the memory of the Shoah regenerates our humanity and helps us reflect on the unexpected power which evil can exert on the hearts of man''.
The importance of the Shoah, he added, cannot be denied nor diminished because ''violence committed against even one man is violence against all men''.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardo expressed his hope that the pope's words would be ''more than sufficient for anyone who had any doubts over the views of the Holy Father and the Church'' on the Holocaust.
He added that he also hoped that this will be sufficient to avoid any break in relations between the Holy See and the Rabbinate.
Williamson was one of four bishops excommunicated in 1988 along with the late dissident French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the society's founder, who had ordained them without permission from the Vatican The Society of Pius X was created in 1970 and broke with Rome over the changes made at the Second Vatican Council, the ground-breaking meeting of all the world's Catholic bishops in the early 1960s.
Among the changes the group opposed was the decision to celebrate Mass in local languages rather than Latin and Jews should not be blamed for the death of Christ.
Speaking at his Wednesday audience, the pope said the four bishops who were let back into the Church's graces would have to respond to his gesture by renewing their loyalty to the Church and its teachings, including the changes made by the Vatican Council.
On Tuesday the head of the society of Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, denied that Williamson's views reflected those of the order and apologised to the pope for any problems his statements may have created.
Several leading rabbis in Israel are demanding that Williamson, who lives in seclusion in Argentina, himself make a public apology.
Is this the present day equivalent of the Sanhedrin?
I mean who really cares what they do? They are always whining and blaming everyone else for every thing anyways.
You can’t be excommunicated for being a cretin, only for formal heretical acts - such as getting made a Bishop outside of the Apostolic line.
The Holocaust happened, but denying that it happened is not a heresy: it is a falsehood.
The Jews have a way of making stars out of nobodies such as Farrakhan. I never even heard of Farrakhan until the Jews made a star out of him and made him a leader in the black community. No one even heard of Calypso Louie before he made a remark against the Jewish community.
I’m really surprised the rabbinate would respond this way. The excommunication had nothing to do with the (stupid) Bishop Williamson’s (stupid) opinions on the Holocaust, and the lifting of the excommunication had nothing to do with it, either. It’s an internal, in-house, purely ecclesial matter between the SSPX and the Catholic Church.
The rabbis and the Vatican ought to have conferred about this privately, instead of launching this communication-via-prickly-press-release routine which benefits nobody.
Williamson lives in seclusion in Argentina... now that is irony you can sink your teeth into!
Let us pray for the perfidious Jews: that our God and Lord may remove the veil from their hearts; that they also may acknowledge Our Lord Jesus Christ. Almighty and Eternal God, Who does not exclude from Thy mercy even the perfidious Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of Thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness.
How bout you pray for the perfidious bishop and the arrogant Catholics?
Good lord, daily, and for many bishops.
Pray for yourself as well. Seems to be a very large beam in the ol' eye.
Lol .... now here's a story your can truly appreciate. Nearly 30 years ago, I purchased a new home on LI. One day I saw an elderly gentleman standing in front of the mailbox he had just erected in front of the new house across the street. I introduced myself. He had a heavy german accent. When I asked him where he was from, he responded "Argentina". He walked with a limp. This he explained was an old 'war injury' from his service in the Argentinian military. I never bought that story. Several years later, he sold the house. With time I got to know the new owners. The wife asked me about the previous owners and I gave a brief description, noting the heavy german accent. "Oh that would explain it.", she said. And with that she pulled out a photograph she found in the back of a closet. It was a picture of the prevoius owner, in a Nazi uniform.
Good for Pope Benedict.
Not that I am aware of. But we do recite a "Prayer for the State of Israel," authored by some Chief Rabbi sometime, once a week.
“The Jews have a way of making stars out of nobodies such as Farrakhan. I never even heard of Farrakhan until the Jews made a star out of him and made him a leader in the black community. No one even heard of Calypso Louie before he made a remark against the Jewish community.”
You sound about one step up from Williamson. I’d withdraw fangs about this if I were you. It’s unbecoming of a Christian or a Catholic. You give justification to the concerns of the Jews about Catholics who think in anti-semitic terms.
There are quite a few of "them" on FR, good conservatives all. Do you usually veer into bigotry at the drop of a hat?
God of Abraham, the prophets, Jesus Christ, in You everything is embraced, toward You everything moves, You are the end of all things. Hear the prayers we extend for the Jewish nation which thanks to its forefathers is still very dear to you.
Instill within it a constant, ever livelier desire to deepen your truth and love. Help it, as it yearns for peace and justice, that it may reveal to the world the might of Your blessing.
Succor it that it may obtain respect and love from the side of those who do not yet understand the greatness of suffering it has borne, and those who, in solidarity and a sense of mutual care, experience together the pain of wounds inflicted upon it.
Remember the new generations of youth and children that they may, unchangeably faithful to You, uphold what remains the particular mystery of their vocation.
Strengthen all generations, that, thanks to their testimony, humanity will understand that Your salvific intention extends over all humankind, and that You, God, are for all nations the beginning and the final end. Amen.
Ignorance ... hence, my question: Is the rabbinate the modern day equivalent of the Sanhedrin?
Then what is its function? Who decides its membership? Is it international or local? Just curious.
Of course, but that would be a different prayer.
My guess would be, no, because there is no Hebrew priesthood anymore in Judaism and no temple worship.
I'm not really the one to ask. I told you almost everything I know about the guy in my previous post. Two Jews, three opinions; you must know the joke. Even within an organized section of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and makebelieve) there isn't any agreement generally about what the group really accepts on faith and what it does not. But there is a Wikipedia article!
These Rabbis and prominent members of the Jewish community are attempting to dictate to the Catholic Church what we will and will not do in regards to a schism in our Church that has NOTHING to do with them and we are the arrogant ones?? That's Chutzpah in the extreme.
***I mean who really cares what they do? They are always whining and blaming everyone else for every thing anyways.***
The Jewish nation is God’s chosen people. They are our elder brethren and we their adoptive younger brethren through Jesus Christ. God has stated that He cares. Perhaps we ought to do the same.
Ping to post 26.
I just wish that we had Pius X as Pope right now.
We should love and respect Jewish people as we love and respect all humanity. We should however insist that they respect us. The relationship is currently broken and our leaders prostrate themselves before them and are extended no respect for their efforts. We should simply state that we will not interfere in their internal workings of their faith and they should not interfere with ours.
***I think you have some very good intentions but I don’t believe the whole ‘Big Brothers’ thing. ***
What Big Brothers thing? I said nothing about Big Brothers.
***We should love and respect Jewish people as we love and respect all humanity. ***
We should love and respect the Jews because they are God’s Chosen People and only by His Grace are we accorded the New Testament which goes out to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Are you unfamiliar with the attendant Scripture?
***We should however insist that they respect us. ***
***The relationship is currently broken and our leaders prostrate themselves before them and are extended no respect for their efforts. We should simply state that we will not interfere in their internal workings of their faith and they should not interfere with ours.***
I think that a study of Church history coupled with Bible history might be in order.
I apologize if I misinterpreted this statement: They are our elder brethren.
We should love and respect the Jews because they are Gods Chosen People and only by His Grace are we accorded the New Testament which goes out to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Are you unfamiliar with the attendant Scripture?
Please lay out your arguement through Scripture and if you could, add some commentary from Church Fathers on the subject.
Because in any kind of dialogue there should be a mutual respect. If one sides chastises the other constantly and attempts to force themselves into situations that have nothing to do with them, there is no longer dialogue. That is a monologue. That does the Church no good at all and she should remover herself from that broken relationship.
I think that a study of Church history coupled with Bible history might be in order.
I'm all eyes. Educate me.
Are you arguing that the Church should be in a perpetual state of penance whilst being lectured by Rabbis? If so, where does the Bible argue for that and where has that happened in Church history?
That’s AWESOME! From Argentina to the Big Bagel! Thanks!
Do not use potty language - or references to potty language - on the Religion Forum.
Are you Catholic? You seem to incline towards a strongly philosemitic theology, eccentric for a Catholic and more in line with certain Protestant fundamentalists. Just curious... I have no particular stake in it; I’m neither Catholic nor a fundamentalist, but Methodist.
The Ecumenical movement, I think, only exists in the mind of certain fringe. What are we supposed to be moving toward? No one is building a world religion, unless the Christian Catholic faith is that world religion. On the other hand, we want friendly relations with all faiths.
I agree that the attempt to dictate what prayers are said by Catholics is no one else's business; any interference like that in the name of ecumenism will only discredit ecumenism, whatever its goals are. If anyone of different faith prayed for my conversion to his faith, I'd be touched: misguided as he is, he wants me to join him.
The situation with Williamson is different because it does insult the Jews when the Holocaust is denied, and bishops are teachers. I cannot fault the rabbis for voicing concern, just like I as Catholic am concerned that Pius XII is calumniated at Vad Yashem. It is when they cross into deliberately ignoring the plain fact that Catholics are people with private opinions too, and the Holocaust is not an article of Catholic faith, that they are out of line. Then it becomes very appropriate to pray for their enlightenment, as the old Good Friday prayer does.
As for praying for oneself as a sinner, most of us pray this repeatedly every day: "pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death."
Still, do we take it to heart? Speaking for myself, not nearly enough.
The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is not the Sanhedrion. That awaits Mashiach.
The Chief Rabbinate is actually a political body within the Israeli government with its powers determined by political negotiation.
Any authority they carry outside the secular Israeli government is dependent on their personal level of Torah learning, which has varied greatly.
The non-governmental Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah (”Council of [great] Torah Sages”) and the Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah actually carry more religious authority. These bodies are made up the heads of the great traditional religious academies or the heads of Chasidic groups. They do not engage in any kind of “interfaith dialog” of which I am aware.
Thank you for the clarification.