Catholic Anti-Semitism

All the hullabaloo about ‘The Passion’ movie brought up lots of old resentments by Jews towards Christians and especially the Catholic Church. I haven’t seen the movie, but my general observation has been that many Jews are very quick to throw out this accusation, so I didn’t take it seriously regarding the movie.

But, from the Jewish standpoint of their history, they see the Catholic Church as inherently anti-Semitic and blame her for much of the oppression that they endured in Europe throughout the years. They don’t seem satisfied with our Holy Father’s public expressions of regret.

What is the straight scoop on this sensitive issue? Any thoughts?

I don’t want to minimize the terrible suffering and persecution the Jewish people have endured, and I know that some folks who have been catholic have committed sins against the Jews, but I really think the idea of catholic anti-semitism has been overdone. I think this is mostly a symptom of anti-catholicism in the media - anti-catholicism is the only form of bigotry which is politically correct! Almost all catholics I know subscribe to the notion that the Jews are our elder brothers in the faith.

Radio talk show host Dennis Prager, who is a Jewish, points out that it is mostly in Europe where there has been a long history of serious, even at times systematic, anti-Semitism by Christians. In the United States it is (by comparison) *relatively * unknown. On the one hand, you can understand the fear of European Christianity by Jews, but on the other hand, based on the Jewish-Christian experience in this country, equivalent fears are unfounded. As we saw, there were no pogroms after the showing of The Passion because rabid anti-Semitism (except for your occasional bigot and nut-case) is not part of the American experience.

I’m hoping anyone who is Christian is not an anti-Semite – Jesus is a Jew! So is our Holy Family! And Christianity does not replace the old covenant – it fulfills and perfects it through Jesus! Many of our prayers in the Mass are from the Jewish passover.

The one line in the bible that seems to cause controversy is after Jesus’ death when a Jew says “May his blood be upon us and upon our children.” This could be seen as a curse, or it could be seen as redemptive – we WANT to be covered by the Holy Blood of Jesus – we RECEIVE the Holy Blood of Jesus! AMEN!

As I understand it, this line remains in Gibson’s Passion movie, but does not appear in the subtitles, so you would only catch it if you knew Aramaic.

Dear Fidelis,
On the contrary, it seems as if Jews in America have done exceptionally well. But, many still carry a huge chip on their shoulders. Also, Jews are not without prejudices, and as a rule many have disdain for the RCC, branding ALL Catholics as anti-Semitic, which is just as wrong as stereotyping any group, IMO.

Yes, Jews in Europe went through terrible times. But, should people today still carry the guilt for the actions of those in the past? What do we still owe the Jewish people to make up for past wrongs?
Sincerely WhiteDove

[quote=WhiteDove]Dear Fidelis,
On the contrary, it seems as if Jews in America have done exceptionally well. But, many still carry a huge chip on their shoulders. Also, Jews are not without prejudices, and as a rule many have disdain for the RCC, branding ALL Catholics as anti-Semitic, which is just as wrong as stereotyping any group, IMO.

Yes, Jews in Europe went through terrible times. But, should people today still carry the guilt for the actions of those in the past? What do we still owe the Jewish people to make up for past wrongs?
Sincerely WhiteDove
[/quote]

WhiteDove-
You entirely misread my post. My point was that those who can see anti-Semitism in something as beautiful as The Passion are reacting against an anti-Semitism that, while it was a dark chapter in Europe’s past, never existed in this country to the anywhere the same degree. To find examples of gross ant-Semitism, they have to reach back into Europe’s history, but rarely into ours. America in general, and today’s Christians in particular, are the best friends the Jewish people have ever had.

Sorry, I didn’t phrase my post correctly. Yes, I agreed with you, I was just saying it wrong. I meant, I agree, Jews in America have not had to contend with serious anti-semitism, but have done well. In fact, Jews are anything but an oppressed group but are actually a big part of the established power structure, with quite a bit of economic and political clout.

[quote=WhiteDove]All the hullabaloo about ‘The Passion’ movie brought up lots of old resentments by Jews towards Christians and especially the Catholic Church. I haven’t seen the movie, but my general observation has been that many Jews are very quick to throw out this accusation, so I didn’t take it seriously regarding the movie.

But, from the Jewish standpoint of their history, they see the Catholic Church as inherently anti-Semitic and blame her for much of the oppression that they endured in Europe throughout the years. They don’t seem satisfied with our Holy Father’s public expressions of regret.

What is the straight scoop on this sensitive issue? Any thoughts?
[/quote]

I listened to a tape by a catholic who converted from Judaism. If I can find the CD, I will post it.

He was very enlightening in that he went through much of the history of the Jews, and the oppressions they faced from many people, including the Catholic Church. He was not justifying it but trying to help people understand that it is much like a foster child who has been to 5 different homes. Everyone of his foster parents have physically abused him. Now he is going to a new, very loving home, but his fists are up. Ready to fight at the first provocation when infact, that new foster parent just wanted to give him a hug. :frowning:

There’s a fine line in being sensitive without perpetuating the victim role. It’s trust and responsibility from both sides that will take generations to establish.

If anyone saw the film as being anti-Semitic…it’s because they wanted to find it. The fact is the Bible indicates that the religious hierarchy…had a problem with Jesus…they felt threatened…and as a result…they had an agenda…to get rid of him…and went to the Romans. During this time… the Sanhedrin had great authority…while still being under Roman rule. The council consisted of 71 members…including both Pharisees and Sadducees…presided over by the chief priest. Looking back on history…understand that Pilate was called back to Rome …two or three times…and warned for his behavior. …they told him…that if they had to call him back again…he would have to answer to Caesar. Therefore, Pilate would wash his hands…in regards to Jesus. The religious hierarchy wanted him done with…Pilate wanted to step back and say…hey…it wasn’t me that did it…it was them.

Though, in the end…the film is about love…forgiveness…and that
we’re all culpable in Jesus’s death. If you look at it from a dramatic pov…each of the characters contributes to Jesus’s death in some way. You have Judas who betrays him…Peter, who denies him… the Sanhedrin, that accuses him…Pilate, who allows him to be condemned…the mob, that ridicules him, etc.


History

The Jewish people have been persecuted…but so, have Catholics…so have numerous religious organizations, races, etc. I believe a lot of the Jewish/Catholic tension goes back to the early days of the Church (See 1 and 2).

  1. The members of the Church in Rome were mostly Gentiles, Jewish individuals and proselytes. As Christianity began to grow…serious dissension rose between the Church and the synagogue. The Jewish individuals even resorted to acts of violence and Emperior Claudius expelled both Jews and Christians. They both eventually returned…and the Church grew rapidly.

  2. Also, when the fire destroyed Rome on July 18, 64 AD…there is belief that some synagogue leaders may have persuaded Nero to blame the fire on the Christians.

(Continue)

(Continued)

Misconceptions and the full picture…

  1. During the Crusades…there were some horrible acts committed against the Jews…but, it was not the norm. For instance, in 1095 a group of Crusaders led by Count Emicho of Leiningen made its way down the Rhine robbing and murdering every Jew in site. What people won’t tell you…is the Church strongly condemned the attacks.

St. Bernard spoke against the Jewish attacks saying, “The Jews are the living figures and letters, which remind us of the mysteries of our religion. Besides, they dwell peacefully in our midst. In warring against the unbelievers, we repel force by force, but it ill befits a Christian warrior to strike an unarmed foe.”

Also, a Cistercian monk named Radulf stirred up anti-Semitism against the Rhineland Jews…St. Bernard sent letters to him…telling him to stop at once…he also notified the Archbishop of Mainz…Bernard eventually had to go to Germany…and sent Radulf back to his convent.

  1. WWII…horrible atrocities were committed against the Jews…but also remember…in Poland…2-3 million Polish Catholics were murdered. By 1941 – 7000 Polish priests were executed (all found within the Nuremberg Trial documents – 3279-PS, etc.)…another 3000 were in concentration camps.

Document F-616 submitted as exhibit number RF-425…in the area of Nice…July 20, 1944…went to a farm…raped the wife of the christian farm owner and crucified their 3 year old son.

Christian Slavs aka “Der Untermensch” (polish, czechs, yugoslavians, ukrainians)…referred to as part of the “inferior race” were all executed. (See testimony of Von Dem Bach)

3268-PS…a Polish priest was…scourged…had a crown of thorns placed on him…and was crucified in Dachau.

On, September 30, 1942…Dr. Gutkelch gave a report where Christian babies were ordered to be thrown off of moving trains (2520-PS and 084-PS)

1939…pilgrimages to national shrines was strictly prohibited…czech priests were robbed of their property and executed. SS Youth were assigned to whip priests…as the priests…in rags…would pull carts (p. 333…Volume 8…Nuremberg War Crimes Testimony)

German soldiers turned churches into stables…housing dogs and horses (the Church of the Prophet Elijah)…people were burned alive inside churches (Exhibit Number USSR-51(3)). In the village of Kholm…Germans beat up an 82 year old priest. In retreating from the Church of the Ascension…Germans blew up the Church…along with the Church of the Holy Trinity…and the Cathedral of Nicholas. Document USSR-12…German soldiers turned the Znamensky Cathedral into a huge latrine for soldiers.

Hans Frank (Nazi Minister of Justice and Nazi-Governor…General of Polani) before being executed stated…“At the beginning of our way we did not suspect that our turning away from God could have such disastrous deadly consequences”…and…“Hitler’s road was the way without God, the way of turning from Christ and, in the last analysis, the way of political foolishness, the way of disaster, and the way of death.”

I could go on and on…with testimonies, etc.

[quote=WhiteDove]All the hullabaloo about ‘The Passion’ movie brought up lots of old resentments by Jews towards Christians and especially the Catholic Church. I haven’t seen the movie, but my general observation has been that many Jews are very quick to throw out this accusation, so I didn’t take it seriously regarding the movie.

But, from the Jewish standpoint of their history, they see the Catholic Church as inherently anti-Semitic and blame her for much of the oppression that they endured in Europe throughout the years. They don’t seem satisfied with our Holy Father’s public expressions of regret.

What is the straight scoop on this sensitive issue? Any thoughts?
[/quote]

The Jews who are upset are radical liberals who are anti-christian to begin with. They have a particular agenda - and it is not fighting racism. It all started with the leader of the ADL who is a well known rabble rouser. Very few conservative or Orthodox Jews agreed with this guy and the liberal media that fanned the flames of his rhetoric. If anything he helped foster anti-semiticism among the ignorant that are sick of everybody whining about being a victim.

The Jews have suffered greatly by those who name the name of Christ. And it is true that there is a great resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe, but also in America. But the difference is that it is the Liberal elite who are being anti-semitic. They are showing their true colors. It is the hip lefty thing in Europe to hate Israel and therefore Jews and act as if they Palestinians are innocent victims. It is simply moral relativism at it’s worst. Jews are easy targets and universl scapegoats. The Leftist cowards think it better to jump on the Islamic misinformatoin bandwagon. That way maybe they will be nice to us. After all it’s the Jews fault that Muslims hate us. :rolleyes:

So there are two things going on real anti-semitism is on the rise -I have seen it and experienced it. And a few anti-Christian bigots are attacking anything traditionally Christian as anti-semitic, lIke The Passion. So it just complicates the issue of real anti-semitism. It is like the little boy who cried wolf. While it is more and more acceptible to say whatever one wantd to about Jews. Those who don’t see it only see the media reports of the anti-Christian leftists claiming false anti-semitism, because they hate Jesus, and they conclude that there is no real rise in anti-semitism. Just another group of whiny pertpetual “victims”.

It is a sad state of affairs.

Mel

I agree that the modern Church is not anti-Semitic, but I think that people are vastly underrating the history of anti-Semitism in the Church. And I’m not talking about condemned anti-Semitism, such as in the case of the rogue Crusaders. I’m talking about the anti-Semitism in the writings of the Church Fathers, which characterize Jews extremely negatively from a moral perspective. I’m talking about council decrees that required Jews to wear special clothing, that banned them from all sorts of legal activities, that forbade contact between Jews and Christians. They have very good reasons to think negatively of us based on history.

I do think that the claims of Catholic anti-Semitism in recent history, particular WW II, are absolutely ridiculous. They are based on absurdities, like the suggestion that the concordat with the Nazi government made the Church complicit in that regime’s anti-Semitism, even though Catholics in Germany were some of the loudest voices of dissent against those practices. I would hope that the recent history would display clearly that the Catholic Church has disavowed its long history of anti-Semitism. But that doesn’t make it go away.

remember.org/History.root.classical.html

Simple, catholics may have acted in anti-semitic manner, just like crussaders may have engaged in attrocities, but always against church teaching…the church never teaches to violate peoples inherent right and human dignity…

If you went into the movie with anti-Semetic feelings you came out with them. If you had none going in, you had none when you came out. I have Jewish friends who asked me if I thought it was anti-Semetic and that is what I told them. I also said that even if a Christian thought the Jews of that time were responsible for Christ’s death, for a Christian to hold todays Jews responsible would be like holding a 22 year old German responsible for the what happend to the Jews in WWII. I suggested that they see the movie for themselves and make up their own mind.

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