Skip to comments.Pope exonerates Jews for Jesusí death
Posted on 03/02/2011 11:14:14 AM PST by T Minus Four
Pope Benedict XVI has made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ, tackling one of the most controversial issues in Christianity in a new book. In Jesus of Nazareth-Part II excerpts released on Wednesday, Benedict explains biblically and theologically why there is no basis in Scripture for the argument that the Jewish people as a whole were responsible for Jesus' death. Interpretations to the contrary have been used for centuries to justify the persecution of Jews. While the Catholic Church has for five decades taught that Jews weren't collectively responsible, Jewish scholars said on Wednesday the argument laid out by the German-born pontiff, who has had his share of mishaps with Jews, was a landmark statement from a pope that would help fight anti-Semitism today. "Holocaust survivors know only too well how the centuries-long charge of 'Christ killer' against the Jews created a poisonous climate of hate that was the foundation of anti-Semitic persecution whose ultimate expression was realised in the Holocaust," said Elan Steinberg of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants.
(Excerpt) Read more at au.news.yahoo.com ...
Sounds like this sort of mistaken understanding has been going on for about 1800 years and caused untold amount of inhuman horrors to be inflicted upon innocent people.
Blame the Vatican for these miscommunications, probably thanks in part to these edicts being transmitted in the peculiar, cumbersome, and unnecessarily complicated Latin language with all it's inflections: three genders, multiple verb conjugations, datives, accusatives, voices, aspects, Third person plural/present indicatives, and grammatical moods and numbers. Just absurd.
I have to wonder how many innocent Jews were burnt alive as heretics because some Galician archbishop didn't comprehend the Latin demonstrative pronoun or 'vocative vs. nominative' case in some Papal bull as written in illuminated Gothic blacklettering by a Austrian/Germanic monk acting as Vatican secretary who had only a slim conversational grasp of the medieval Romanisch-Italian language he was supposed to be transcribing.
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Firstly, do you not notice that you just repeated, word for word, what Muslim clerics say today? "We disagree with terrorism, it's a perversion of our faith." You don't buy that. Why?
Because when someone perverts your faith, you do something about that. When a foreign women unwittingly gave a teddy bear the name Mohammad, they marched with machetes threatening to kill her. Can you name a single demonstration against terrorism in the Muslim world? Of course not.
You would not take this "logic" from a parent either. "My son split someone's head open? Oh no, that's not what I told him; that's perversion of my child-rearing principles." You wouldn't buy this cr-p, would you?
Why do you close your eyes not only on the questions of principle but on the history of the Church itself. Has it not excommunicated various individuals for various transgressions? Of course it did. But not for burning synagogues, not for raping Jewish women, not for hanging Jewish men, not for stealing Jewish property. Ever.
No less than (Portuguese) crusaders --- the soldiers of Christ willing to die for him! --- were excommunicated en masse just for "drunkunness and generally unchristian behavior " (whoring). But can you name anyone, just one person who was excommuicated for wiping out entire Jewish villages along the Rhine, when in some of those villages crusaders walked knee-high in blood?
Inquisition existed for almost four centuries, torturing and killing thousands of people around the globe --- has anybody been excommunicated for that? Of course not. Yes, we know that Papal Inquisition was much "milder" than hte Spanish one, but both were sanctified by the Varican, were they not?
Just look what the Church always did when its faith was perverted --- from Arianism to Albigensian massacres. All sorts of perversions were suppressed. If anti-Semitism was indeed a perversion, why is it the only perversion that has never been suppressed, never attempted to be suppressed --- not a person was as little as excommunicated for it? Why?
Was that a perversion of faith by the Pope himself when Jews were expelled from the Papal states merely for being Jewish? Please recall Isabella who, having taken Grenada from the Moors, expelled about 10% of her fellow Spaniards --- all Jews and all Roma (Gypsies). No expulsions are not forced traveling endeavors: great many of those people have died on high sees from the hands of pirates, hunger and decease. [ That's, incidentally how first Jews came to New York: their predecessors escaped all the way to the just discovered Brazil, but when Spain retook it, they had to flee Inquisition to Curacao; it is from there that some descendants arrived to New York ]. With the exception of two countries, nobody allowed the expelled to resetlle: the Turkish sultan actually invited them to come, thinking them to be an asset, and the Dutch agreed to tolerate the refugees.
Amidst such world-wide persecution and misery, did any of the Popes even speak up against this "perversion of faith."? Of course not: for these achievements, for the purity of her faith, Isabella became thenceforward known as Isabella the Catholic.
The consequences of this long history we see even in the United States where, unlike in Europe, Jews were not persecuted by the church and, despite considerable prejudice, no Jew lost his life in a pogrom. It is a deep Irony, that American Jews have a knee-jerk apprehension of religiously --- so much so that they are distrustful of their current best friends, fundamentalist and other Christians. Where do you think they got that apprehension from? Certainly not from American Christians themselves. They imported that apprehension and distrust from Europe, were they had been declared and persecuted as "Christ-killers" for 17 centuries. Memories are long, and Jews came to this country, as you will recall, just three-four generations prior to the present one.
So, with all due respect, please be honest with yourself.
I understand that it is painful for a person to discover unpleasant facts about members of his family. But that does not stop an honest person from facing the facts and applying his moral principles uniformly.
G-d bless the Pope for taking this long overdue step: it will only strengthen the unity of Christians and Jews, the unity we desperately need to fight the threats to our country: Muslim invasion and socialism.
Sounds fun. I love my Jewish friends but the food...I’m not getting it. But being Italian nothing else compares.
It is most likely that a crucifixion duty would have been given to mercenary soldiers, not Roman citizens. In the case of Jesus, the men who pounded the nails and cast lots for His garments were what we would today call Syrians
Really? And Constantine, the first Christian emperor, was not the Church --- he did not enact anti-Jewish laws?
And the Pope that expelled Jews from the papal states was not the Church either?
Your view is at odds not only with facts but with principles as well. Teaching does not consist of merely stating one's opinion: the teacher must ensure that the student follows. A teacher who limits himself merely to stating in class that 2+2=4 but gives everybody a passing grade on the exam, whether they write that 2+2 equals 3, 4l or 5 is not really a teacher. You yourself I am sure, would declare that such teacher has abrogated his (teaching) duties.
The same principle you apply Muslims. Similarly to your statements, all those imams always say on (Western) television, "We are against terrorism; we never told anybody to terrorize; it's a perversion of our faith." You don't buy that for a minute: you demand that imams stop that perversion.
I that is a principle we follow, we should it uniformly, including to our own faiths.
Please see the preceding #62 for further details.
Thanks for the info. Is there a thread somewhere that explains the rationale behind that?
“What the Pope here is reiterating (for this is nothing new) is that there is no “collective guilt” particularly damning Jews -— who, like Gentiles, share in a damaged, sin-prone human nature, as do we all, and whose sins, like all of humanity’s sins, are the real burden Jesus carried as our Savior.”
Actually, there is BIBLICAL support for collective guilt.
The leadership at the time of Christ demanded that He be put to death and chose a common thief to be set free. They said, “Let his blood be upon us and upon our children.” The pope is wrong, if the article is correct.
Are they damned? No. That is a separate issue. God will again turn to Israel in the future.
“Did you read the statement?
That was Luther's personal belief and the subject of three books by him.
Good post. bttt.
Alex Murphy asked: What did the Catholic Church teach prior to that?
From one who studies Catholicism from ALL antiquity (not just the last 50 years of Vatican II), I say, that was a good observation Alex Murphy. I wonder why they would write that?
As far as the answer, I don't know. Did the church accuse the Jews collectively? I don't know. I don't really care either. However, you can bet a "CHANGE" in the year 1960+- is going to be strange. The Church got it wrong for 1960 years? Anyhow, it's Yahoo, and it's the secular newsmedia, so, this kind of propaganda is to be expected.
Those people that learn the faith from newspapers: "after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, .. turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables".
I think of it this way:
If the Jews hadn’t killed Christ, we wouldn’t have been saved.
I think of it this way:
If the Jews hadnt killed Christ, we wouldnt have been saved.
“That was Luther’s personal belief and the subject of three books by him.”
You’re right about that. But protestants don’t today hold Luther as any kind of “link in the chain of apostolic authority”. So that’s not really a “comeback” as you seem to intend it. Luther is not/was not/will never be the “protestant pope”.
My main post on this is at #58.
It's absolutely superb. May G-d bless him and keep him.
I don't question that this is dogma. And, to begin with, how can I, a Jew, argue the Christian dogma with you, Pope Pius XII? That would be very presumptuous, wouldn't it?
It's an easy and tempting thing to do: to shift the issue to a discussion of dogma. The real question is and has never been of dogma but why the way in which the Church practiced that dogma.
And, if how does one explain that, with almost absolute consistency over two millennia, starting immediately upon inception, in its treatment of Jews the Church (i) herself practiced the opposite of its dogma, and (ii) never punished members of its floc for violating the dogma --- even when violations took the form of murder?
How come an institution demanding the love even of one's enemies never condemed mass killings, rape and plunder of people who were not even enemies but neighbors that had lived on the same land for centuries?
How come the Pope, preeching to love "thy enemy as thy neighgbor" could not tolerate Jews even as neighbors, expelling them from the Papal States?
No, it's not about dogma. When somone violates our laws, we don't just explain, "Sorry that guy acted contrary to our laws." We catch the murderer and send him to jail or another world. No, we don't discuss dogma with a kid orphaned by the murderer.
It's about the responsiblity of promulgating the dogma. Note that the Church expended considerable effort --- and was quite victoruous --- against Arianism, Albigenses, etc. There is just one "perversion" --- anti-Semitism, the oldest one of all! --- that somehow escapted the Chruch's efforts and stayed alive for two milllennia. Do you really, really buy that?
Silly me: I am arguing with the Pope.
This is not true of Islam. In the case of Islam, the example and precepts of Mohammad himself supported slave-capture, captive-rape, sex with little girls, use of armed force to exterminate Jews and others who do not accept Islam.
Moreover, Shari'a law explicitly calls for many oppressive practices including judicial mutilation, the imposition of dhimmitude and the jizra for resident Jew and Christians, and the death penalty for apostasy; whereas Catholic Canon law calls for nothing even remotely resembling this. You could look it up (Link).
This does not deny historic crimes on the part of any Catholic, including those of the highest hierarchical rank; it only shows that it was a denial of what we have been taught as Moral Law and what we believe de fide.
Little Muslims are taught that those who do suicide bombing, for instance, are shahids (martyrs) and will go to Paradise; little Catholics are taught that such acts are abominable to God and deserving of hell.
And nobody in Catholicism can be classified as a martyr if they died in possession of arms. I know of no Crusader who died in the field of battle, who has ever canonized; but very highly honored is St. Francis of Assisi, who in the midst of war went to talk with the 13th century Islamic leader Sultan Malik al-Kamil--- unarmed.
Jews were declared Christ-killers and separated from the rest of society more than a millennium before Luther. Read the writings of Church Fathers, for instance, and the laws passed by Constantine, thee first Christian Emperor of Rome, enslavement of Jews in Gothic Spain immediately prior to the Muslim conquest..
None of that had anything to do with Luther.
Second, it is contradicted by Jesus' statement (and it IS the authority of God): "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Thirdly, collective sin (estrangement from God) is something we ALL carry as descendants of Adam who suffer from a defective human nature. It does not imply personal guilt for a personal act, but it does mean that we share in the hereditary defects, so to speak, which came down to us from our first ancestors.
God knows all this; and I trust Him who knows the heart, to judge rightly.
AMorePerfectUnion, God's Mercy is our hope. May He bless you always!