Does Robert Sungenis REALLY believe this?

I was reading this document on the website of the apologist, Robert Sungenis. The essay is sharply critical of the remarks of emeritus Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza concerning Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate (relation of the Church to non-Christian religions).

On the whole, I found Sungenis’ remarks to be a cogent expression of legitimate Catholic teaching regarding the Jewish people, and a good refutation of the errors of Zionism which permeate many modern protestant churches and even Catholic priests and bishops. I would have preferred Sungenis to adopt a more respectful tone to Bishop Fiorenza (who is, after all, a successor to the Apostles), but his criticisms generally seem orthodox and accurate.

However, I was shocked by this quote (which spans pages 5 and 6):

the pope cannot mean that “Christians” are responsible for the deaths of Jews in World War II, since historical records reveal that no Christians killed or claimed to have killed innocent Jews.

That’s silly on several levels, not the least of which is that it is logically impossible. It is impossible for historical records to “prove” a negative - to even attempt such a proof would require documentation about each and every person who did kill an innocent Jew and reliable information about his/her religious affiliation. Silly. Not to mention, I KNOW a German who killed a Jew (maybe more than one - he’s never said for sure), and he is a lifelong Lutheran (and he is wracked with guilt about it). And, besides, as Sungenis surely knows, the Catholic definition of “Christian” is “a Baptized person” - which makes such a sweeping statement even more implausible.

Sungenis criticized the Bishop several times for making bold claims without offering any supporting evidence. Yet, this statement is bolder than anything the Bishop said, and lacks any supporting evidence.

I thought I would write to Sungenis to ask if he really means what he clearly seems to be saying here. But it costs three dollars to ask him a question, so I declined and decided to ask here (where there may be folks who have read more of his stuff than I).

He has been accused of being a “Holocaust denier” and an anti-Semite (he is clearly anti-Zionist, which is not the same thing as anti-Semitic, though they are often confused). I have not read a lot of his writings, but, until now, I have not read anything that seemed to clearly support either accusation (though some of his stuff has an edge to it that makes me uncomfortable).

But this statement - though it does not clearly fall into either category - seems irrational and extreme. Is this simply a poorly-worded paragraph or does it represent his actual views?

What are the, “The errors of Zionism which permeate many modern protestant churches and even Catholic priests and bishops.”?

Hiyas:)

What I’ve read attributed to Mr. Sungenis IMHO is filled with shotgun splattered hatred.
I really dono who he approves of…except himself.

As Always, just my thoughts

Well, if you read the article I cited, you will see many of them cited and refuted. Such as the idea that the covenant of Moses is still valid for Jews today (and, thus, Jews do not need the saving Grace of Jesus), and that Catholics should not seek to convert Jews. These historically new ideas are unsupported in (and are directly contradicted by) Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the teaching Magesterium of the Catholic Church, yet some Catholics (even Bishops) espouse errors such as these.

Of what I’ve read of Sungenis’ work, he is so sharp that most Apologetics would rather that he be relegated to the kooky annuls than to challenge him!

The problem is that he is ‘merciless’ with his critique of all who contradict or fault The Church, or anyone who teaches or profess novelties which “clearly” flies against the ECF’S views or the trinity of Catholicism; Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scriptures and The Magisterium. That these may include prelates of The Church does not cause him to waver but vociferous, if you will.

Given how The Church has ‘suffered’ blows recently from within and without, I like him!

I would compare him to Augustine, Bellarmine, Irenaeus and co. St Paul was THE MOST confrontational, vociferous and stubborn of ALL the Apostles! Because of that, I think there’s a place for people like Sungenis, and in some circles, very much needed.

All that said, I’d have to wait to see the context of the portion you question. Maybe $3.00 isn’t that much if you REALLY want to know what he meant.

:cool:

That itself seems to be a very “hate-filled” statement - a much more severe statement than anything that I have read of Sungenis (which I have admitted is not extensive). In the spirit of Christian charity and justice, would you please cite (just) one of these readings which support your severe accusations, so as to enlighten me and the others on this forum?

I am not impressed with Sungenis’ ability. Specifically,

  1. He is an apologist for what? Not Catholicism, that is certain. AB Fiorenza is already Catholic. The only thing he is apologizing for is antisemetism or at least some justification for it. After all, what part of our Faith requires us to blame the Jews for anything. Why does he even address the topic of how much blame the Jews should bear?

  2. I can only wonder if his use of the phrase “the Jews” is deliberate or ignorant. He points out rightly in some parts that the Church had never blamed all the Jews. This seems a little ridiculous since that would have accused all the apostles, as well as the Lord. Yet he constantly fell back to the vague phrase “the Jews”. Let us say a man blamed “the blacks” for drug-trafficking in this country and “the blacks” for riots and gang activity. Would a statement acknowledging that all blacks do not traffic drugs, riot or belong to gangs bear any significance if you went right back to use accussing the blacks of these things? Yet this it what Sungenis does. After clarifying that not all Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus, he goes right back to referring to them as a group. This comes across as bigotry and anti-semetism regardless of the intent. It does make him seem hate-filled whether he is or not.

  3. Then, in a classic pot meet kettle moment, he objects to the same type of language being used for Christians, as the OP mentioned.

  1. He says that AB Fiorenza is wrong about the implicit teaching that the Covenant still exists. Yet Pope John Paul II saw the same implication and made it explicit.

  2. Sungenis suggests that maybe it was the Holy Spirit that prevented the draft encyclical from being published. Good. The same Holy Spirit endows AB Fiorenza with a charism through Holy Orders for his job, yet this is a charism which Sungesis is lacking.

In short, for a layman to accuse an Archbishop of heresy is a dangerous thing. He lacks authority and cause. Even if the Archbishop made a mistatement or ill-advised comment, it would not amount to heresy. I have noticed that word comes too easy from the lips and pens of many. It is a serious accusation and not to be done lightly. I am under the impression that Sungenis completely failed to note the context of this speech, the audience and the location, and is using this as a way of apologizing first and foremost for his ministry.

I would rather see such apostlates stick to spreading the gospel and not dissension.

Sungenis does believe in a few unusual thinks, concerning the Holocaust from what I read on his site he does not believe that necessarily 6 million Jews died, but he does not deny it either, he just has not accepted it as fact yet. I remember reading this on his article the on the SSPX bishop Williamson.

I think Sungenis on certain things is a genius, but I just hate how he is so obsessed with Judaism and in an almost useless way, He is really wasting his time and talents by his obsession with dealing with Jews. The only point related on Judaism that I think he pointed about that was actually useful was saying the Old Covenant that was made at the time of Moses is no longer valid. I also think he is wasting his talent by pushing for geocentrism. He is a 7 24 hour days creationist, which I think is fine to believe in, but he spends too much time on his website for that too. He should stick to more important issues that are about apologetics and avoid the Jews topic like his bishop requested.

Really? Certain? I find myself in the somewhat uncomfortable position of defending Sungenis, but only because some of the criticism of him on this forum seems so unfounded. Would you please care to CITE something he has said to support your accusation, so that I may (please) divest myself of this charitable duty to defend him?

That’s more silly than anything that I have heard Sungenis say. Martin Luther was Catholic (and a priest). John Calvin was Catholic. Bart Brewster was Catholic (and a priest). Michael Lefebre was Catholic (and a Bishop). LOTS of heretics (including priests and bishops) have been Catholic. Do you claim that a Catholic should not challenge a heretic simply because he is (nominally) a Catholic? (I am not claiming, specifically, that Bishop Fiorenza is a “heretic” but I agree with Sungenis that the Bishop’s statement seems to contain several doctrinal errors which I hope the Bishop will clarify).

I did. You find it silly and don’t get it.

I am have been spoiled by good apologetics, specifically, those who defend the Catholic Church from arguements. That is simply not what Sungenis is doing here. There is not attack on basic tenets of the Catholic Faith. A Catholic Bishop was making a speech at a Holocaust museum.

If you wish to defend Sungeis, feel free to do so. I would rather spend my time defending the Catholic Church.

Do you claim that a Catholic should not challenge a heretic simply because he is (nominally) a Catholic?

FYI - Calling people silly is not a good apologetic technique. Also, I think it is also a bad idea to suggest that AB Fiorenza is a nominal Catholic or a heretic. I am sure you are familiar with the fallacy of begging the question. Everyone in your list has one major difference that makes them poor analogies. Archbishop Fiorenza is in good standing with the Catholic Church and has always been.

I have called nobody “silly.” I have called some of the **ideas **of both Sungenis and you “silly.” I do not retract either claim (though I would be happy to do so on your behalf in the face of a more cogent and rational response).

Yes, I am, but I can presume that you are not. I have not assumed the conclusion to the premise (and you cannot cite any example from this thread). I have specifically removed myself from any supposition that the Bishop is a heretic (which is the OPPOSITE of petitio principii). I have maintained, and still maintain, that I DO NOT consider the Bishop to be a heretic (but I am not opposed to that possibility, either - which is NOT petitio principii). I have said that I hope the Bishop will clarify statements that he has made which seem clearly opposed to legitimate Catholic teaching (in Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the teaching Magisterium of the Church).

Ah, but I’m not Mr. Sungenis…This is what I said
Originally Posted by kimmielittle forums.catholic.com/images/buttons_khaki/viewpost.gif
*What I’ve read attributed to Mr. Sungenis IMHO is filled with shotgun splattered hatred. I really dono who he approves of…except himself…IMHO is In My Humble Opinion…I stand by it…I need not defend it.:shrug:

Um, 'scuse me, but this is an apologetics forum. The very word means “to defend.” You say that you have read “hateful” remarks from Sungenis. I politely ask you to simply cite (just) ONE such remark, and you decline, with indignation. You make harsh accusations, and simply expect us to take your word for it, and get upset if I challenge you to justify your claims.

Hmmmm. At least Sungenis defends his opinions. You do not.

If I say, IMHO, that you are a heretic or a murderer, I would expect you to object and compel me to produce evidence. “IMHO” is no license to make up whatever nonsense you like.

It’s your thread…You must be correct:)
Humbly, I bow to your superior intellect and knowledge how his writings should affect me.

I am sorry, I should not have an opinion.
I am sorry, I should not state my opinion.

Why did I feel that way?

You win…or maybe you could get Mr. Sungenis to call me a heretic…to complement this win.:shrug:

I don’t really know what this means. Look, we (according to our profiles) are both Catholic (and you are Southern, as am I (I’m from Georgia), but I am now on Pacific time, which is already late for me but VERY late for you on EDT).

So I really have no desire for conflict with you. My intent was to debate (or clarify) a specific phrase of Robert Sungenis, but nobody has really taken up that particular challenge.

But you have said that Sungenis has said hateful things. That is (from a Christian perspective) a very serious accusation. I have said that some of his remarks have made me uneasy, but I have never read anything from him that is actually hateful.

You are free to have an opinion, but your opinion should be informed by fact, especially if you voice this opinion in a public forum. Do you actually have any factual evidence to support your accusation against Robert Sungenis?

At first when Sungenis wrote that the Jews were the true anti-Semites because they rejected Jesus and Jesus was Jewish or when he wrote that Lenin and Stalin were Jewish or when he plagarized from a nazi anti Jewish tract , that here was one of the most brilliant humoristic Catholic satirists alive. :thumbsup:

However then I got to thinking how maybe there was no Robert Sungenis and maybe he was just a front for a cabal of power hungry bolshevic Jews set out to destroy Catholicism along with their Judaizer allies :shrug:

pnewton-

Have you read Sungenis’ books: Not by Faith Alone, Not By Scripture Alone, or Not By Bread Alone?

Have you ever listened to any of his debates with non-Catholics?

Matey, from the little that I know of Sungenis, many Catholics like him and a score of apologetics do not, because his style is, ‘he calls a spade a spade!’ Protestants have gone from respecting him to fearing him because he is lazer sharp! Unfortunately, or fortuntely, Sugenis does not spare Catholics of all status from the same lazer! He was critical of JP2 regarding one or two of The Holy Father’s activities and his views and convictions are corroborated by his citations of the ECFS, Scriptures and magisterium. He is absolutely cutting on his treatment of Cardinals and bishops downward! If it weren’t for his accuracy, even I would say he borders of disrespect! But there is the accuracy of his arguments to be considered.

I’ve seen his detractors take half-truths and build strawmen arguments upon them against him just so they could promote a popular concept or aspect to rally numbered opinion against him. Some distance themselves out of fear they’d be viewed in some unfavourable light by association or connection! He doesn’t seem to care for popularity, much.

He certainly attacks the bones of the Jewish issues and from here, away from American Semite-fear, his challenges of the Jewish faith is seen as an afront to ALL Jews and twisted into anti-Semitic views, instead of the core argument he advances.

For decades Catholics have seen and watched as The Church seem to be harbouring something less than healthy within Her bossom and IMHO we could ‘feel’ something rotten among us! I do not mean the sexual scandals only, but the watering down of Mass in some places; the inclusion of practices during Mass that sometimes you have to recheck you haven’t walked into a Protestant service by mistake…etc.

He is the only Apologetic I have seen, of the dozen or so I have read, where priests thank and encourage him to continue being accurate in his treatments. Of course, I have not read all of the Apologetics and I only discovered Sungenis through this forum.

There is always the risk that Apologetics can become a law unto themselves like the protestants demonstrate constantly, but as long as he stays on song and lazer sharp in the ‘defence’ of Holy Mother Church, I wish there were more like him. Of course, he still has to be read in conjunction with everyone else in the field and filtered through the very support he cites; Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scriptures and Holy Magisterium.

As a practice, I really like people who stick to their guns unless convinced by truth to review their ground! It is what they do when that moment eventuates that ‘tells’ of the character of a person. I am waiting on him, but I haven’t read most of his debates or work.

:cool:

I have some books by Sungenis and I think they’re excellent. 50 years ago I doubt many people would have complained about him.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.