Bishop Rhoades and Robert Sungenis


#1

The website and blog “Robert Sungenis and the Jews” has been silent over the past 7 months, since the time it became known that Bishop Rhoades had intervened in regard to Sungenis’ treatment of “Jewish issues.”

However, in an effort to explain why his “Catholic Apologetics Study Bible” was denied an imprimatur and why his bishop issued a “cease and desist order” in regard to writing about all Jewish issues, Robert Sungenis has recently made several serious charges against His Excellency, The Very Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, bishop of the diocese of Harrisburg.

I wrote to Bishop Rhoades in order to give him an opportunity to clarify matters and to respond to the charges made against him and he responded. In light of these circumstances, David Palm, Jacob Michael and I have taken up a defense of Bishop Rhoades and addressed other relevant issues that have developed over this time as well.

The new articles may be viewed here:

Breaking the Silence

Bishop Rhoades Sets the Record Straight

Leon Suprenant of Catholics United for the Faith has also written about this sad situation here: Bishop Rhoades, Sungenis, and the Jews

Please pray for Bishop Rhoades and also for Robert Sungenis this Lent.

Thank you.


#2

Thanks for sharing this Mike. :slight_smile:


#3

This is so frustrating. All the good he can do is being wasted. :mad:

Yes. I’ll pray.


#4

Praying!

:gopray2:


#5

I have immense respect for Roy Schoeman, but Sungenis was not wrong to object to Schoeman’s strong Judaizing tendencies and misuse of Scripture “confiscating” scripture passages, according to Sungenis] to support Zionism.

Roy, we like you but give back those confiscated passages. Hand 'em over.


#6

From what I can observe of this lamentable controversy, the only doctrinal error Sungenis has committed is his negation of the scriptural and patristic teaching that the Jews will convert at the end of time.

His position about the Antichrist is supported by the Fathers. (St. Cyril, catechetical lecture 15, homily on Antichrist attributed to St. Hippolytus, Pope Gregory the Great, comments on the Antichrist in the Moralia in Job Book XXXI, etc).


#7

This whole Judaizing thing is a red herring. Sungenis has too many people misusing the word. I’ve never read anything from Shoeman that would lead me to believe he thinks people need to practice Jewish rituals or what have you in order to be saved. The Sungenis and Jews crew covered this:

Judaizing:

As Claudio Salvucci clearly demonstrated, Robert Sungenis has cavalierly redefined the meaning of this heresy in order to smear brother Catholics who converted from Judaism. Below are two representative statements made by Robert Sungenis:

{Sungenis} “What is Judaizing? Simply put, it is the attempt to mix Judaism with Christianity.”

{Sungenis} “not only do I contend that Moss and Schoeman are reintroducing a modern-day Judaizing theology, I would go so far as to say that it is a hyper-Judaizing theology. This is especially the case with Roy Schoeman, as he has outlined his case in his book, Salvation is from the Jews.”

Yet, what is the actual definition of “Judaize”? Follow along with Claudio Salvucci:

The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 defines Judaizers more precisely as follows:

“A party of Jewish Christians in the Early Church, who either held that circumcision and the observance of the Mosaic Law were necessary for salvation and in consequence wished to impose them on the Gentile converts, or who at least considered them as still obligatory on the Jewish Christians.”

The heresy is not, as Mr. Sungenis suggests, the mere mixing of the two religions, nor even the mere incorporation of Jewish rituals into the Church. Rather, the Judaizing heresy as condemned in Acts and elsewhere also involves the idea of moral necessity: i.e. that it is morally necessary for all Christians, Jews and Gentiles alike, to keep the Mosaic Law. A less extreme variant argued that it is morally necessary for Jewish Christians to keep the Mosaic Law, but that Gentile Christians are exempt from it.”

Sungenis is clearly guilty of redefining this term in order to fit his targets within it. But when one considers the actual, accepted definition, his charges against Schoeman, Moss, et al. fall flat.

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2007/04/sungeniss-definition-difficulties.html

And whole idea that he confiscated the bible for Zionism is overblown, too. That was covered a long time ago. I’m not sure I buy into everything Shoeman wrote either, but these criticisms aren’t on-base.

Sungenis: “Schoeman’s next claim is that Hosea 3:5 is a prophecy concerning a distinctive conversion of Jews near the Second Coming of Christ… Hosea 3:5 is one of the passages Church tradition has understood as fulfilled in the first coming of Christ, but Schoeman is trying to confiscate it for Zionism… Suffice it to say, there is nothing in the context of Hosea 3:5 which even remotely points to the Second Coming of Christ and an exclusive conversion of Jews." end (emphasis added)

Note: the following is from addendum #1 (section 5) on the issue of the “Conversion of the Jews”:

  • The highly respected Scripture scholar Fr. Leo Haydock in his Biblical commentary,
    published in 1859, (highly recommended by Bob for its excellent scholarship (12) and included in Bob’s short list of “must haves”) has the following to say about Hosea 3:2-5:
     “Verse 2: The unbelieving Jews, who refrain from idols, receive some temporal advantages, but not….faith of the blessed Trinity and the observance of the Decalogue whereby they might obtain eternal life. Towards the end of the world they shall be converted.” 
     “Verse 5: ‘David their king’ . That is, Christ, who is of the house of David. Ch. - After the captivity, the Jews submitted to Zorobabel. Yet this only foreshewed a more sincere conversion to Jesus Christ. In fact, the house of David never regained the throne, (C.) and it is not clear that Zorobabel had any authority over the people. H.- Christ is the literal object of this prediction.” (emphasis added) 

I don’t believe Bob would seriously want to accuse acclaimed scripture scholar, Fr. George Leo Haydock (writing in the mid 1800’s), of being a Zionist conspirator, impugn his exegetical skills and declare him to be in violation of “Church tradition.” Even more interesting is that Blessed Pope Pius XI referred to this very passage in terms of the return of Israel to Christ (see section 5, addendum #1).

sungenisandthejews.com/Converts_and_Conclusion.html

And saying Sungenis just objected to Shoeman is a radical understatement. He treated him like a heretic-traitor to the faith.


#8

I never saw anyone object to Sungenis believing that the Antichrist would be Jewish. The problem is the contradictory standards he uses. The support is pretty thin for the Antichrist being Jewish, but jumped to treat it just short of a dogma. OTOH, the support is overwhelming for the conversion of the Jews but he pooh-poohed it. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure out why.

There are some other things over with the Sungenis and Jews crew about his theology too that show he’s not being straight when it comes to Jews.

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/02/theology-of-prejudice.html

But that’s obviously not the worst part. It’s his hate-filled rhetoric. His bishop ordered him to stop writing about anything Jewish. So there’s obviously a problem there.


#9

It’s too bad about Sungenis. When he’s not discussing these Jewish related issues, he’s brilliant.

The Not By ___ Alone series is AMAZING and I’ve never seen anyone take James White to school like Sungenis does. I just wish Sungenis would get on track.:frowning:


#10

Oh, for goodness’ sake. Why is it that every time I buy a book, I then discover something bad about the author?

I just — and I mean JUST, as in, within the past 72 hours — ordered two books by Sungenis off of eBay. “Not by Faith Alone” and “Not by Scripture Alone.” Please tell me I haven’t wasted my money.


#11

They are two excellent books, you certainly haven’t wasted your money. Lots of people including his critics, would still concide that they are top-notch books. Check out all the endorsements in the books by people across the theological spectrum in his ‘Not By’ books.

Enjoy!


#12

Gamera,

Eric’s right. You’re safe with those two books. If there’s anything wrong in them it’s not dangerous, at least that I’ve ever heard. It was only later that he went way off course.

jj2011,

I went back looking for more on Shoeman and Sungenis. As it seems you never read it, you might want to. Sungenis was on a search and destroy mission and didn’t care much for the facts when it came to Shoeman.

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2007/02/sources-schoeman-and-credibility-of-bob.html

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2007/02/sources-schoeman-and-credibility-of-bob_17.html

And this one is just flat out heinous:

pugiofidei.com/fraud.htm


#13

Actually I proofread some of Bob’s stuff back when he was relatively uncontroversial. It gave me endless amusement that he spells better in Greek than in English. He also had an extraordinary gift for uncorking double and triple negatives in his argumentation.

All I see is a vortex of attack and counterattack, refutation and counterrefutation, and polemics without end. Ad hominem attacks should not be part of our apologetics, whether they’re directed at Sungenis, Shoeman or anyone else.

If the bloggers don’t agree with Sungenis, they should stay ad rem. Talk to me about which positions Sungenis has wrong. I say he’s right about Antichrist and Zionism, wrong about the final conversion of the Jews, because that’s the way the Fathers have it.


#14

:slight_smile: You must’ve done a good job. I never noticed anything.

:confused: I don’t know what you’re seeing there, jj. You’re only zeroed in on doctrine. That’s never been the most serious issue, IMO.

Do you have a problem with him accusing Shoeman of saying something heretical when he never said it? And now he won’t square the record to clear Shoeman? There’s nothing confusing there. It happened.

What about the way he attacks people as Judaizers. Even Schoeman? Even you believed that from him. And he’s wrong. That’s not what a Judaizer is.

Do you have any problem with him slandering his bishop and disobeying his orders? Nothing too confusing there either, IMO.
sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/02/bishop-rhoades-sets-record-straight_21.html

Using Nazis, white supremecists, anti-Semites in his researching?

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2007/05/sungenis-dishonesty-and-hypocrisy-over.html

Do you have any problem with comments like these?

“The charge of ‘anti-Semitism’ is nothing but a clever ploy."

“Christianity is certainly not inherently violent, but unfortunately, Judaism tends to be, because real Judaism considers all non-Jews goyim that are less than animals, and this precipitates a loathing and violence against non-Jews.”

“The Jews…do intend to rule the world. And now the problem is that they want to rule the Catholic Church, too.”

“Are the Protocols (of the Elders of Zion) forged? I don’t know. What I do know is that there is a lot of reason to believe that there are certain people, yes, the Jews, who would like us all to believe that they are forged.”

“You know, the thing about Bill Clinton was, you know, he tried to secure this peace accord between Israel and the Arabs and wasn’t successful with that, and he did some other things that the Jews didn’t like, because he got some power under him and he thought he could, you know, do whatever he wanted and then they, you know, they sent Monica Lewinski in there after him, you know, and brought him down.”

“The Jews are godless and getting more ungodly with each passing day.”

"Unfortunately, the Jews haven’t changed in our day. They are still the same godless racists they were in Jesus’ day. Few of them have repented of their sins.”

“The nation of Israel has control of AMDOCS, the central telephone operation in the United States. It’s one way the Mossad spies on American citizens, including you and those you talk to."

“the Jewish element has so infected our Catholic Church today…”

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2007/03/sixteen-proofs-of-sungeniss-anti.html

sungenisandthejews.com/Section2.html

Really. It’s all there with proof from his own hand. It’s not like he denies writing all this hateful stuff. It’s gotten so bad he had to take the name Catholic off his website. I don’t know how much clearer it could be.

But if you don’t see it, I guess you don’t see it. :o


#15

But that’s what apologetics is-- literally, it’s the apologia or defense of our faith, the demonstration that it is not contrary to reason. The focus should be on the Faith, not on attacks on the apologist or for that matter our adversaries.

Your quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia has given what seems to me a narrow definition of Judaizers-- those who basically try to impose Old Testament observance. In reality there is a grave problem with any observance of Old Testament rituals, for the reasons given by St. Thomas in S. Th. I-II, q. 103, art 4:
*
All ceremonies are professions of faith, in which the interior worship of God consists. Now man can make profession of his inward faith, by deeds as well as by words: and in either profession, if he make a false declaration, he sins mortally. Now, though our faith in Christ is the same as that of the fathers of old; yet, since they came before Christ, whereas we come after Him, the same faith is expressed in different words, by us and by them. For by them was it said: “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,” where the verbs are in the future tense: whereas we express the same by means of verbs in the past tense, and say that she “conceived and bore.” In like manner the ceremonies of the Old Law betokened Christ as having yet to be born and to suffer: whereas our sacraments signify Him as already born and having suffered. Consequently, just as it would be a mortal sin now for anyone, in making a profession of faith, to say that Christ is yet to be born, which the fathers of old said devoutly and truthfully; so too it would be a mortal sin now to observe those ceremonies which the fathers of old fulfilled with devotion and fidelity. Such is the teaching Augustine (Contra Faust. xix, 16), who says: “It is no longer promised that He shall be born, shall suffer and rise again, truths of which their sacraments were a kind of image: but it is declared that He is already born, has suffered and risen again; of which our sacraments, in which Christians share, are the actual representation.”

I didn’t follow his web site during the plagiarism controversy, but I’d be interested if anyone who worked with Sungenis could confirm that he did post the articles cited by William Cork.

If the quotes given by William Cork are accurate, there would be no question that Sungenis copied something that originated in a Nazi propaganda archive.


#16

jj, you can’t really mean that. It looks like you’re saying that if a person is a Catholic apologist he can slander others at will, plagiarize and put up a slew of bigotry and people should just focus on his doctrine. You have no reaction to those hateful things he wrote?

And he does have theological problems deriving from his obsession with Jews.

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/02/bishop-rhoades-sets-record-straight_21.html

That definition is based straight from the Scriptures, jj. They were the Jews who taught that converts and everyone still had to be circumcized and follow the law.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaizers

And that’s kind of an odd argument to use in defense of someone like Sungenis who is so much about Catholic tradition, don’t you think? I think it’s obvious he used the word because it carries a heavy, historical weight of heresy. I agree with Salvucci.


#17

They already did confirm it, jj. His employees at the time Michael Jacobs and Michael Forrest already covered this. And Sungenis didn’t deny it. He just said it was accidental or whatever.

Jacobs:
lumengentleman.com/pdf/sungenis_mohr_comparison.pdf

There’s a side by side showing the plagarism in that link above. And he put this together, too-

Jacobs

The most voluminous example of this was his plagiarism of sixteen paragraphs of Jack Mohr’s book The Effects of the Talmud on Judeo-Christianity, which has been documented here. To this day, Bob has refused to even admit that what he engaged in here was true plagiarism. Sixteen paragraphs of plagiarized work says otherwise.

{Sungenis} “This was a private article which I had no intentions of publishing on the open market. Had I plans to publish it on the open market, every statement would have been properly footnoted and with a bibliography, as is the case with every book I have ever written.”

No, it was a public article posted on his web site, and thousands upon thousands of people saw it. Let’s not forget, either, that this web site is the source of Bob’s livelihood - as he has so often reminded us. Therefore, everything that goes up on his site is both public and for profit - which is precisely “publishing on the open market.” Regardless, Bob simply and conveniently absolves himself of the responsibility to use proper attribution; apparently, if it’s just a “private article,” even if only in his own eyes, plagiarizing is acceptable.

{Sungenis} "In fact, I am noted in the scholarly world for voluminous footnotes and bibliographies in my books because I take great pride and care in giving people the actual words and sources for all my material in case they want to look it up themselves. But leave it to a sinful slanderer like Jacob Michael to distort all this and make people think that I am a practicing plagiarist! "

All the more reason, then, to make the charge: Bob apparently knows what the standards are, and has gone to great lengths to respect those standards in the past. Thus, it must said again, when the issue is criticizing the Jews, Bob ignores the standards and does the copy-and-paste routine with reckless abandon. If he knows the standards, why does he dispense with them when writing against the Jews? Prejudice, predisposition to accept anti-Jewish claims without verification, bigotry, animus, hostility toward the Jews - in a word, anti-Semitism

Forrest:

In September, 2002 Bob wrote an article entitled, Conversion of the Jews Not Necessary?? The Apocalyptic Ramifications of a Novel Teaching in response to the Reflections on Covenant and Mission document released by a committee of the USCCB [link]. In this article, he criticized RCM at length and expressed inflammatory and extremist conspiratorial views about Jews that created a firestorm of controversy. Unfortunately, he also took material without attribution from a few sources, some of which were extremely unsavory and highly prejudiced against Jews. This was documented by Dr. William Cork [link] although I did not examine Cork’s evidence at that time. (Note: Any reference to Dr. Cork here should in no way be construed as implying anything about other views Dr. Cork has expressed, including any other opinions on the RCM document and Bob’s criticism of it. However, in regard to his documentation of Bob’s verbatim, unacknowledged use of problematic sources for his article of 2002, his work is irrefutable and Bob has effectively admitted as much.)

sungenisandthejews.com/Section2.html


#18

The article he wrote with all the plagarized information is still on the internet, jj. You can read it yourself.

web.archive.org/web/20041214012952/http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/744670/posts

But that’s not the only time he plagarized.

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2007/05/more-sungenis-dishonesty-and-plagiarism.html

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2007/04/sungeniss-definition-difficulties.html

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2007/02/sungenis-and-jews-sources-schoeman-and.html

Jacobs:

“One instance”? Just “five years ago”? Hardly. Bob has plagiarized from several different sources, on several different occasions, including Ley (a Nazi), Mohr (a White Supremacist), Fr. Fahey, Vennari, Weber, Pike, the Journal of Historical Review, a bogus quote in Galileo Was Wrong attributed to Truesdell, a bogus quote attributed to Einstein, a bogus quote attributed to John Paul II, a bogus quote attributed to Christopher Blosser, and a bogus quote attributed to Ariel Sharon. He has repeatedly copied material from other people’s work and used it without any attribution whatsoever, thus making it appear as though the work was his own.

This is plagiarism, and none of Bob’s denials of this fact or attempts to redefine “plagiarism” will change this fact. Merriam-Webster defines “plagiarize” as follows: “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own : use (another’s production) without crediting the source.” David Palm has documented that this very thing has been going on at least up until January 2007 (the most recent example being the “12 points” of anti-Semitism which he lifted from Ted Pike, again without attribution). This is far more than “one instance” which took place “five years ago.”

Here’s an interesting exercise for the reader: visit Bob’s web site today and count the number of “news alerts” that Bob has posted without attribution, which makes it appear as though the work is his. Visit Bob’s web site today and count the number of “Book Recommendations” that Bob has copied and pasted from Amazon.com or the Barnes & Noble web site, without attribution, which makes it appear as though he wrote the reviews himself. No, Bob’s problem with plagiarism is not limited to just “one instance” from “five years ago” - it’s an ongoing problem, today, here and now.


#19

Rick,

I don’t recall saying one word in justification of Sungenis. I made some inquiries to satisfy myself that the plagiarism charges against Sungenis are true, and I think they are.

What troubles me is the hypocrisy of those who worked with Sungenis for years, and in some instances defended him, but who now fulminate against him with all the righteousness of a revival meeting.

I only know that if my boss had copied material originally from a Nazi archive, or from a white supremacist web site, I would have resigned. I would not continue working with him, defending him, and later turn on him and spend literally years blogging against him.

I thought it was clear that my reasoning had nothing to do with Sungenis, because it was taken from St. Thomas whom I have studied long before I ever heard of Sungenis or Schoeman.

To remove all ambiguity, let me assure you that I do not form my opinions on anything based on what Sungenis says. In fact, I am pleased at the information you have offered about Roy Schoeman. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be able to say that Schoeman is innocent. I’ll reserve judgment on the seder thing until I can find out what he is doing more precisely. However, I have read Schoeman’s book, and notwithstanding my high opinion of him, I don’t think my comments were especially injurious.


#20

Okay, jj. But you kept insisting that we only focus on the doctrine even after I reminded you about the hateful things he’s done and written. So, I don’t think my confusion about your intentions was unreasonable. If you agree Sungenis’ writing about Jews has been hateful and unacceptable, great.

:slight_smile: You sound like me and a many others until a while ago. Then we started reading more. Douglass’ leaving was a turning point for a lot of us. The lights went on. I’ve read sungenis and the jews. And it’s not the way you’re describing it. It’s calm and factual. You can’t have read it but you should. They went to him in private first and it didn’t matter.

sungenisandthejews.com/

I don’t see what’s fulminating like a revival meeting in there. But show me where I’m wrong.

Sungenis was the one who turned all personal and righteous.

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2007/02/sungenis-and-jews-comments-on.html

sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2007/02/sungenis-and-jews-david-palms-defense.html

When Ben Douglass left he tried to be as quiet as a mouse. But Sungenis ripped him apart anyway. It’s what he’s done to everyone as far as I can see.

pugiofidei.com/sungenis.htm

And now he’s slandering a Catholic bishop, jj.
sungenisandthejews.blogspot.com/2008/02/bishop-rhoades-sets-record-straight_21.html

jj, I doubt you really read the articles then. What you’re saying is in there. Just read these two pages carefully if you won’t read anything else. And Sungenis kept at his hate-writing for years and is still at it. Shouldn’t we be more concerned about that?

sungenisandthejews.com/

sungenisandthejews.com/Section2.html

:o No offense intended, jj. I thought I read Sungenis use that quote. And as you started off by talking about Sungenis’ critiques of Schoeman and being a Judaizer and how Sungenis is right, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that I would think you might have gotten your ideas from him.

I thought I made it clear that I don’t think you’re out for Shoeman’s head like Sungenis is. I don’t doubt you’d be pleased to know he’s fine.

Listen, after backing Sungenis I had my own rude awakening. So I’m not trying to be hard on you. I’m not saying all of his critics have been perfect. I’m just saying you should read the information carefully, that’s all. I wish I had read it more carefully before sticking my neck out with people. But that’s my problem not yours. :slight_smile:

I don’t think we disagree about much really, anyway.

Pax.


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